Sometimes when I’m depressed I get this weird urge to take a selfie. Maybe it’s because I need help convincing myself that I’m real. Maybe that’s the reason I decided to try blogging as well.
There are times when trying to write myself through an episode of depression or anxiety, or just general unwellness is truly helpful and cathartic. A little voice inside me whispers that this will turn into good art one day, and this is how healing and recovery starts. And then there are days when I wonder if focusing on this part of myself is self-indulgent, or comes across as needy and attention-seeking. Maybe that’s just my internalized stigma. But either way, I’m still trying to find the balance between catharsis and… whatever the opposite of that is.
I took the picture on the left about a year and a half ago, back when things first started getting bad, although in reality how do you even determine those things? Beginnings and endings and middles are always getting mixed up and bleeding into each other. It was on a day when I couldn’t bring myself to make the hour-and-a-half-long commute to school. I was sitting at my computer, trying to force my brain to focus enough to get some studying done. I was tired and depressed and confused and trying to convince myself that I was okay with being someone who didn’t give any fucks because that was easier than trying to figure out what was going on in my brain.
The second photo was taken this morning before I had washed my face or tried to make my hair not look weird. I pulled up the camera on my phone, stared at myself in the screen for a few seconds wondering whose face it was starting back at me. Click.
That second girl is also tired and depressed and confused, with a few extra doses of anxiety attacks mixed in for good measure. But when I look at her, I can’t help but think that she’s braver. Is there bravery in letting yourself be messy, in letting people see your dirty kitchen counter and smudged eye make-up, in letting people pull you out of bed in the morning and answering that one phone call? I want to believe there is.
Here’s to letting ourselves be messy.