Memories and feelings

The candles were burning and I watched them, watched little flames transforming hard wax into liquid. And it brought me into another time, some years ago, could be last year, could be a lifetime ago. It was this time of year, when here we slowly prepare for holidays, for family gatherings, celebrations… But for me that year was something else. The beginning of years when it was never as it was before.

That year, my mother took me to our family doctor, and he sent me to psychiatrist, who diagnosed me with depression. Two years after my daughter was born. Two years that should be filled with joy but were, instead, filled with pain.

It wasn’t that memory that hurt. What hurt was remembering what happened after. My doctor recommended anti-depressants to help me get back on my feet, and then go on with support group. Looking back it was a good call. I wasn’t in state to do anything on my own. It was too long, I was too damaged. Too hurt. Too tired. I wasn’t able to look for help. I wasn’t able to accept help.

People are different, and so are things that help us. Some need talk. Some need rest. Some need activity. Some need individual therapy. Some need groups. It’s important to recognize that, to accept and respect that.

However, some need medical help to stand up and take another step. There is no shame in that. For me, it’s the same as any other medicine. If it helps, if it’s thoughtful, if it’s supervised… then why not?

But that’s not what I want to write about.

The thing with antidepressants is that it’s not like pain medicine you take in wait for effect and that’s it. You start taking small dosages and then wait until your body recognises it. It takes time. And, what is very important, in the beginning, it can make you feel worse.

For someone with suicidal thoughts worse is… dangerous.

So my doctor warned my family. I remember him saying “Look after her. Call me. Help her.” And then… Then my then-husband took our daughter and left, gone to his parents, and hour and half away.

I’ve dealt with it. I don’t resent it. I know my part in our relationship. I’ve accepted the good and the bad, how it was and how it ended. He will forever be my daughter’s father. But that’s all.

Yet… I felt pain. Pain remembering that December. A pain triggered by the relationship I am in now, yes.

It’s not that we don’t forgive. Or get over. Or however you want to call it. Some feelings still stay. Some wounds leave scars even when healed. We don’t bleed, but the skin is never the same. And sometimes it hurts.

And it’s ok. It’s ok to feel. We don’t want to. I for sure don’t want to. But it’s ok to. Feeling is being alive. Only dead things don’t feel.

Alenka H., 2021

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