AN ODE TO TRYING
A RELATABLE PIECE ON SURVIVAL & CELEBRATING LITTLE WINS
I’m laying in bed, a duvet pulled up to my ears. The window is half open and the breeze feels nice. I can hear cars drive by. I haven’t slept and my heart is pounding in a familiar way that suggests I am dehydrated. From my fortress of solitude I can see a half empty bottle of wine perched on my drawers, partially hidden behind the TV I never use, obscured by the plant I always forget to water. It’s too late to go for a walk now. I feel so useless.
I’ll try again tomorrow.
I feel like this epithet has run through my mind every single day for the past 365 days.
I swear, I’ll try again tomorrow.
It’s not that I don’t want to, we have been locked inside for nearly a year -- I miss the outside so much I could cry. It’s the immovable sludge of my depression and the flickering wisp of motivation I have to do or care about anything beyond the four walls of my bedroom.
During winter, I sank into a deep oceanic mental health trough, some days I would go to bed in the darkness and wake to more darkness.
Hours passed into days in my dimly lit bedroom, a small lamp and a tinny speaker playing 80s ballads were my only company for what felt like weeks. I felt trapped in a mechanism of my own making.
I wake up hours later. The window is still open. I can hear the popping of fireworks nearby. The sky is grey and dark and consumed by a thick fog. I stretch my arm out to grab the edge of my phone, slowly dragging the screen into my line of sight. It’s still early. I can hear the indistinct whispers of the conversation my neighbours are having in their garden but the more I strain to hear actual words the further away they sound. I turn over on my side, and sink back into a dreamless sleep.
There are days when brilliant sunshine leaks through my blinds, casting my cave in dappled sunlight, tiny floating flecks of dust made visible in the light. I lift my head from the heavy weight of my blankets and soak up the warm rays, my body humming and twisting into the heat.
“It’s so nice to walk through the parks and see the buds, isn’t it lovely that they survived the frost of winter?”
“Yeah, I guess we survived the winter too.”
Today, I’ll try today.
As my feet slap across uneven pavement, I take a deep breath in. The air is warm, and I can feel a lone bead of sweat fall into the small of my back. My lungs are burning, but it’s a good burn. I come to a stop at a turning in the road and look down at my phone, using my hand to shield my eyes from the glare of the sun. It’s only been five minutes. But it’s something.
Much later, when I’m in the shower, I will dance a little - soapy suds and endorphins racing over my body. I’m happier than I was before. It is enough.