My memories are draped in muslin. In my brain and at the time they were shrouded. Dull, sort of hazy. I didn’t realize until well into adulthood that this pall was because of depression. I thought most everyone felt like I did — felt nothing in the face of occasion, felt empty when life was vibrant, felt useless even when laughing. A lot of people did, I’m discovering now, but we didn’t and still don’t talk too much about it.
Despite this, some of my memories are vivid, electric, powerful. I can remember smells, small sounds, the feeling of the moment on my skin. These are my manic days, days which I mostly enjoyed heartily.
The first time I realized everyone didn’t feel like I did, everyone didn’t rapidly cycle between highs and lows, is when my Mom told me “You’re always either way up or way down. There is no in-between for you.” I was 16 and she was frustrated with me. She wanted me to get my shit together. To have a normal reaction for my own sake as well as hers. It would be thirteen years before I could even start and even another thirteen years after that, I’m working on it.
I’m working on it.
My intention now is to write about moments of my life, my family, my friends, my relationships (with people, with food, with alcohol, with music, with books) as if the details are sitting crisply together on a timeline as sharp as a chef’s knife. To recall things that happened, add things that didn’t, create an in-between. To tell mostly true stories from a mostly real person using a fake name and other lies. Now that I have the choice, I’m transforming the drab shroud into something that I think suits me better: a very loud and sparkly tulle.