Stigma

Two days ago I went on antidepressants. As I sat in the doctor’s office, I nervously stared out the window. Uncomfortable silence surrounded questions about suicide as I pinched an index fingernail into the palm of my hand. Anything to keep me grounded in the moment. 

It amazed me people answered these questions truthfully. All my life I spent lying on these forms. filling in so as not to allow my sadness to be categorized. There is a trepidation attached to admitting brokenness. As if by telling someone you may either a) alienate yourself or b) be dragged kicking and screaming away. The loony bin, standing in line waiting for sedation and zombification from the intense breaking that is undergoing on the inside.

Isn’t it funny? A fear of becoming dead inside, while lying on forms about taking your own life?

We can grimace at the irony.

“Does depression run in your family?”

No, it gently walks us to the brink before flinging us over the ledge. Days later, I am checking my eyes in the mirror. Holding my eyelids as wide as best possible without some Clockwork Orange-esque device, wondering when I will die inside. The doctor gave me the pills, pausing before going into the black box warning.

In some, the antidepressants may make the depression run you to the ledge. That’s comforting. I didn’t need something to make me more suicidal. The knives in my house were pre-sharpened. Ready for their intended purposes; to cut through meat.

My eyes have always been a bit too dark for me to be able to tell if I am dead inside. Give the meds time to build up. I wonder what the buildup would be if I took all thirty at once.

This is a trial run. There is no tried and true method to stabilizing crazy. It’s a cocktail of big pharma and trying to be more positive about life.

Something is building inside. Or dying. 

Maybe now I can claim to be a stigma fighter. Look at me, waving my happy pills and claiming this is normal life.

“Are you always this anxious?”

He asks, as if you shouldn’t be anxious in times like these. I have lost my composure, no longer able to lie.

“Yes. But usually I am better at holding it inside.” I murmur.

Cars pass by the window and I wonder how many children are inside. Children, the future of the world. The children, young as I used to be, when I learned how to lie.

“How are you?”



 

“I hurt inside.” 



“I am fine.” 

Two days on the pills has made me jittery and ditzy. I try to hold conversations before something inane catches my eye. I thank the people around me for helping me continue life. Those that see my fogginess tell me to give it time.

I am trying. In a year that took Bowie, Prince, Rickman; it’s been about to take me.

But, I give it time. I wash the pills down and stare in the mirror looking for dwindling life in my eyes. Maybe I can be a stigma fighter. Look at me! I choose to live and not die!

*Pops a pill* 

Stigma fighting. I don’t think my candidness lies in a want to end stigma but in reminding people how beyond fucked up I am. In keeping those around me at an arm’s length. I am no stigma fighter, just a sad person wielding my sadness like a stick to keep anyone from getting too close. From looking in my eyes.

The inane continues to catch my eyes and break my conversation. Giving it time is leaving me foggy inside.

The doctor asks me all sorts of questions. I can tell his patience is wearing thin as I mumble through awkward answer after awkward answer, staring out the window. Counting cars. That was two days ago. I left the doctor’s office without lying on the little questionnaire. Without pretending to be well-adjusted. With prescription in hand.

And now, I just give it time. To walk me back or forward. I am reminded of a black box warning, as I stare in to my dark brown eyes.

And now, I give it time. I stare in to my dark brown eyes, wondering if I am dead or alive. 

*****

Briton Underwood, better known as Punk Rock Papa, is a parent above all else. When he gets sick of being at their beck and call, he likes to escape to his page or site. He writes about any and everything he wants, but mainly about his twin boys or his newest addition- another boy. He also would like the world to know he has a beautiful wife, because the couch isn’t that comfy.

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