There is a quiet knock on my door. I convince myself it’s nothing even though I know you’re out there. But, you see, you’re very controlling and the last time you came in it took me years to fully recover. I’m going to try and ignore you – pretend you don’t exist – but I’ve dealt with you enough times to know you don’t leave on your own accord and will manipulate me until I take a stand. Even from the outside you have begun to entangle me in your own version of my reality.
You knock a little louder but I cannot answer. My life has changed a lot since the last time you were a part of it and I’m not sure I have the capacity to deal with you as well. I have made it a priority to keep you at bay and even though I’m older – stronger – than the last time, your presence here makes me feel young and naïve. I remember the hold you once had on me and as I question whether or not I could survive it again, I realize you have already tightened your grasp. I have been second-guessing everything I’ve done to pick myself up and move forward and remember that is how you operate – by making me question myself and by convincing me that I am incapable.
The knocking continues and so does your quest to undermine me. I choose to look for the good in my life and you tell me that there is none. I want to be active and present with my children and you remind me that I will never be the mom I always hoped I would be, so why bother? My alarm goes off in the morning and you convince me that I won’t be missed if I don’t get out of bed that day. I try to reach out to people I love and you have me believe that nobody will reach back. I feel determined to live a life that may be different but still full and you repeatedly point out that it is too difficult, too awkward and too exhausting – it is too much.
You knock louder and louder. I tell you to go away but you are persistent and ignoring you is no longer effective because other people begin to notice. I begrudgingly open the door to acknowledge your presence.
Hello depression, my old unwelcome friend. It’s been a while.
You are familiar to me and I hate you for that – a sign of too many battles fought with you. However, unlike our past encounters, you haven’t consumed me yet. I can still look in the mirror and see past the lies you tell me. I suppose one of the perks of getting to know you so well over the last 20 years is that I’ve learned your tricks. On some level, I’m always expecting you. But you can stop knocking now because I’ve let you in. Just don’t plan on staying too long because, this time, I’m ready for you.