Marks On A Calendar

By: Kimberly Zapata

As I stand here at the calendar, crossing through days without thought, reflection, or the smallest bit of regard, I wonder what I am doing.

What the hell am I doing?

Of course, I know — at least in theory: I am marking days passed, and days lived. I’m using a bright blue Sharpie to keep track of hours and schedules. Of baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, and family functions. But events are beginning to blur together. Days, and entire weeks, are beginning to blur together, and time — as I once knew it — is no more.

The years cycle without care, concern, or incident.

You see, the last 16 years of my life have been something of a fluke. They are an accident and mistake: the byproduct of a sloppy suicide attempt gone wrong. And while I am thankful for my “second chance” I still struggle with it: I mean, why me? Why am I so lucky? Why am I still alive?

Make no mistake, I know what others would say: you are here to help people, and save people. You are here for your husband, your daughter, your family, and your friends. And while this sentiment is beautiful, it is too sweet for my liking —  it is like a Hallmark greeting card dipped in chocolate and rolled in sugar. My head hurts just thinking about it. My teeth hurt while saying it.

And all this saccharine and sap is a lie.
One big, grandiose, elaborate lie.

Because my life is not “special.” I’m not here because I am special, and the only reason I am still here is because I “lucked out.”

Because I fucked up. And that knowledge is not lost on me. It taunts me, and haunts me. It covers me, and smothers me, and like a river of molasses, it flows ever so slowly through my body, my being, my soul, and my core.

Of course, I would love to get better and be better. I would love to feel better and move on, but depression keeps me stuck. Anxiety keeps me stuck, and all of my “illness” keep me stuck.

Like gum on your shoe or that proverbial saying something something “like glue,” I am stuck onto you, always with you. And no matter what I do or how much I fight, I cannot manage to break free from the guilt.

From the sadness. From my sickness. And from the suicidal thoughts.

They chase me and find me in the most unlikely places, and on the most unlikely days. And I don’t know how many more times I can be cut up, scraped off, and reconstituted.

How many more times can I (and must I) come alive?

I don’t know.
Only God knows.

So instead of wriggling and running and fighting myself, I go with it, I roll with it, and I write. I cry, and I write. I scream, and I write and I hope beyond that that this ritual — this bloodletting of soul with pen and pad — will be the thing that fixes me.

I hope that this will be the thing which helps me.
I hope that this will be the thing which saves me.

God, please let these words save me.



writers.jpgAbout the Author:

Kimberly Zapata is a wife, mother, writer, mental health advocate, and distance runner. She is the voice behind Sunshine Spoils Milk, and her work has been featured on numerous websites, including The Washington Post, HuffPost, Babble, Scary Mommy, Little Things, Romper, Ravishly, The Mighty, The Good Men Project, Mom Babble, Mamalode, Bonbon Break, and Sammiches & Psych Meds. Her work also appears in two anthologies, “So Glad They Told Me: Women Get Real About Motherhood” and “Lose The Cape: Never Will I Ever…And Then I Had Kids.”


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