This Time Last Year

...was so tremendously different. It's one of the moments I could recall vividly without looking at the writing I've done the past few years.

It felt like I didn't exist at times; a shadow within the shadows. Vacillating between utter darkness and not as utter darkness.

Back & forth, back & forth, back, back, back, back, back...

I was invited to a Super Bowl party by a good friend who was kind enough to keep inviting me to things during my depression that I kept declining. But at some point after Beyonce's performance I drug myself off the floor.

drug myself into some clothes.

drug myself down the streets.

drug myself to the elevator.

Yes, when you're depressed these things can become physically difficult. This is not an overstatement. 

But this was me pushing myself; trying.

My doctor said I gotta try.

My momma said I gotta try.

My closest homegirls said I gotta try.

So I tried. 

And my God.

It felt like it was going to kill me. The pressure was so immense, my breathing, so short. 

What should have been a good time with people that I love, with a sport that I love, with the things I loved most of all (food), instead was one of the biggest tests of will I have ever experienced in all of my years. Just thinking about the tension I held within myself, by myself, is literally making me tense up now. 

The party was at a beautiful Airbnb; not any particular one I visited prior, but I had an extensive history with various Airbnb's around the country. And although that history was severed, the memories remained. 

Well, more than remained.

They were amplified with every waking moment to the point where in the midst of a depression I was frequently riddled with headaches. 

I had a headache before I left to go to the Super Bowl party and it only got worse when I got there. I was pulling double duty: engaging my great friends, catching up, and trying my hardest to not break down in a heap of tears, and snot, and vintage clothing. It was physically taxing.

I was in the middle of a dark storm by myself waiting on the eye to give me a slight reprieve.

It wouldn't come until later, at the end of the party. After I had been holding back tears for hours. 

When it died down considerably.

And people left.

And I could breathe.

A little.

I helped those that were staying clean up the place a bit. Because for me, giving back helps. Helping those that don't quite know how to ask (but may need to) helps. 

Because you never know what people need.

And I'd like to think that I'm a good friend.

I went home and cried.

It hurt.

But it helped.

Because I tried.

This time last year.

B.R.