Swim With Me

Self-loathing is something I do best. It never ends. I have knots in my stomach, bricks on my chest, a lump in my throat. I’m anxious and depressed at the same time. I try to be positive. I read articles about how to get myself out of this. But I can’t. It consumes me; it takes control, and no matter how hard I try to steer this boat, it sinks. 

My self-talk is negative. Always. If I talked to other people the way I talk to myself, I’d have no friends. And it’s not even intentional. The thoughts just come, and come, and never stop. Not until I’m out of the low. 

I beat myself up. For everything. I’m a bad mom, I’m a bad wife, I’m a bad daughter, I’m a bad friend, I’m a bad teacher. I try to tell myself these are cognitive distortions; I know that logically. Yet all I want to do is cry. 

I feel like a burden to everyone. 

I’ve been fighting this my whole life. Sometimes I just want to end it. End me. But I won’t. Even though it seems like the only way to escape this pain, I won’t do that. 

My mind is a prison, and the key is on the ocean floor, tangled in the coral, oblivious as fish swim by. I can’t get the key. I try. I try hard every day. I put on an act. I have to, to keep my job. I just want these meds to work. 

I’ve had good periods, where it seems like I’m balanced. And then, for no particular reason, the meds stop working. I fall into a low and I can’t get out.  My boat sinks and I am flailing in the ocean’s current, constantly going under while everyone around me swims by with effortless strokes. 

How do I get out? How? Someone tell me. No one can really help. I just have to keep myself from drowning until this passes, until I see the shore.  You can’t help me. You can’t. 

But you can swim with me, and let me know that it will all be okay.

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