One Saturday night, I found myself grabbing junk out of my closet and stuffing it into a large garbage bag. I was tossing out anything that was within reach of my pistonlike-moving arms. My runny nose signaled late fall, which signaled the Holidays, which signaled people coming to my house. I was getting antsy thinking about people seeing the clutter I’d collected during the long and overly hot summer. I needed space to hide the clutter; cleaning out my closet (which held last winter’s clutter) was my only option.
An old sneaker followed a broken pair of binoculars into the garbage bag. I was shocked at my ability to collect broken stuff. Things like toy cars without wheels have always managed to find their way into my possession. I guess I’m a magnet for the inoperative. I was just about to toss worn-out notebook when it slipped out of my hands and fell open. I looked close at the chicken scratch on the tattered pages and realized it was an old journal of mine that I’d forgotten all about. I looked over page after page without being able to read my own writing. Soon though, I saw that on one page in particular was rather legible. These words were clear and jumped off the page: “I just want to adjust…I’ll know I’ve adjusted once my heart is restored to calm. That is, when my heart is calm for the first time in my life.”
I read my words twice then I looked at date at the top of the page: 02/03/2000. My arms stiffened. For a second I couldn’t breathe, yet my pulse raced. I shook my head and slammed the notebook shut. I then launched it into my wall. I wished my handwriting was even worse. Some things may be better left unread. February, 2000 was when Depression almost took my life. I’ve moved on and healed form those days, but I wasn’t in the mood that Saturday night to visit my demons and reunite with their darkness.
I keep a journal to purge and lock bad juju away form my life. There is catharsis in revisiting dark days, So after a few days passed, I reviewed it. My mind was laced with self-hate that progressed into apathetic numbness for my life. At my lowest point, there wasn’t much I could see that held worth. It was clear in that journal that something in me had passed from this world and headed for the next.
I read for a little while, then closed the notebook and shook my head and smiled. Depression sucked for me, but I climbed out its grasp and walk each day with the knowledge that I am calm, I love and am loved, and that Depression didn’t kill me, it only made me stronger.