I sat on the saggy black couch and watched as the doctor checked off boxes on her computer. She was checking bright, alert, talkative, she was also unchecking sad, tired, unhappy. This is always how we started our appointments. I was alert, I was bright, I was talkative, I was lying. It wasn’t quite raining, but it wasn’t snowing either. There seemed to be a downfall of slush from the sky and I was thankful that it wasn’t sunny. I hate when its bright out, I feel some unnamed pressure to prove that I can be bright too. The sun is to demanding.
She asked me how I was feeling.
I was feeling fine. Great, the Prozac was really working this time.
How much was I taking?
Twenty milligrams, around lunch time.
And how was that working for me?
Fine, I feel much better.
Any plans for the weekend?
Having dinner with some friends, working, the usual.
And it was, good really, except it wasn’t. My mother asked me before we left the house what I was going to tell the doctor. I was going to tell her I was doing fine, I was doing better, I was going to tell her I was feeling much more optimistic.
I wasn’t going to tell her I was still making plans. I wasn’t going to tell her that the darkness was still living in my chest. That I didn’t know if I would ever fully dislodge it. I wouldn’t tell her that at night when I crawled into bed, the demons still ran races around my mind until my brain was too tired to fight back.
I knew everyone needed me to be better, and some days I really was. In many ways, I did feel brighter, I did feel more alive. But when I had a bad day, boy did I have a bad day. And not in the, oh no I failed a test kind of bad day but the, oh no I can’t get out of bed kind of bad days.
I don’t tell her that every time I drive my car down the street I think people are following me. I don’t tell her that everyone shopping with me in the super market is an undercover cop ready to take me down. I don’t tell her that I can’t sit still in class because the walls are moving, and they’re getting closer.