Letter to Self

Having a hard time, dreariness, melancholy, feeling down, heartsickness, depression. There. I said it. Depression. You don’t frighten me!

That is why I have not been writing much. The writers I study in my english classes always  produce great masterpieces from the depths of despair (or at least produce something…), but for me it is simply not so. Perhaps it means I am not a real writer, or perhaps it means that my depression itself is “differently abled.” All I know is, it has certainly manifested itself in less productive ways.

I have spent a huge portion of time watching TV on hulu and generally neglecting personal hygiene. Cool. It is easier to forget how inadequate I’m feeling if I make no attempt to be adequate in the first place. It is easier to run and hide than it is to deal. Easier to pretend that the melancholic little thing I have become has never existed, and that these imaginary characters’ small stories in this next show have the power to infuse me with life again. They do not.

Neither do I really have the power to help myself. I know that. But, meanwhile back at the ranch, I’ve written myself a letter about “waking up and trying.” Because, while writing does not come eagerly right about now, the satisfaction in saying precisely what I mean is a warm, welcome relief.

Self,

I know you are having a hard time remembering about things like swelling opera and sloping fields in sunny Tuscany and the “giggle when a tickle takes.” You’ve been having an even harder time remembering about amazing grace and everlasting arms and Jesus, lover of your soul.

So let’s start with an easy question.

WHAT IS TODAY LIKE? Not only the color, but the texture, the scent, the tang?

How is it different from yesterday?

How is it better?

What do you miss and why?

That too much? No, don’t stare in the mirror and cry–answer me this:

How do you feel about your socks? Are you wearing socks? You ought to, we both know how cold you let your feet get before putting something on them.

Perhaps you ought to take a hot bath and sing a song.

Is it sunny out?

How about wearing a skirt today?

If you put on a skirt I’ll let you look in the mirror. Then at least there’ll be something worth seeing.

Why don’t you read something aloud?

Do you remember the sound of a good sentence snapping into place like brand-new elastic?

I bet you remember the man who wrote this:

I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree

Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;

Remember how he also wrote this:

I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes

Down all that glory in the heavens to glean out Saviour;

How do you think he wrote both? I know we’re getting to the hard questions here, but stick with me. I’m going as slow as I can.

Do you remember in Persuasion when Anne receives Captain Wentworth’s letter which is “not soon to be recovered from,” and they walk along with “smiles reined in and spirits dancing in private rapture”?

Do you remember in the Great Divorce when the man let the spirit destroy his sin but instead of dying it turned into a magnificent stallion and carried him up the mountain?

Do you remember when Jesus had to tell Mary not to cling to him, because she was so overwhelmed to find her Lord alive, and would not let go?

What I’m really asking is do you remember joy and do you still think it’s worth waiting for?

Do you remember how “having done all, to stand”?

You must be just a little more than “patience on a monument.” Chin up, toots.

Affectionately,

Alice

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