Three of my nighttime pills are tablets, and I like to take them all at once to minimize the horrible dissolving-pill taste as much as possible. One time, two went down but one got stuck to the back of my tongue and began to dissolve. It was like purifying the essence of every cruciferous vegetable and mixing them with charcoal, then pouring the horrific concoction down my throat. Immediately, my esophagus’s movement reversed direction and it took serious effort not to hurl right then and there. Instead, I had to force myself to chug water and think about anything but my poor tastebuds. To this day, the memory makes me shiver in horror.
And now, a change in the formulation of one of my meds means that I have received capsules instead of tablets. It’s the little things.
I was recently flipping through a journal and came across the first poem. I remember writing it. I was sitting on a bench outside, feeling utterly defeated by depression. I had gone for a walk on a trail I’d paced a hundred times, but felt foreign on the path and in my own body. Everything heavy, I sat on a bench and looked numbly at the world around me. All the parts of being outside that I love the most- the sun, the animals, the plants- seemed wrong. The sunlight was flat, the grasses moved unnaturally, and the birds seemed oblivious to my presence- as if I had already faded away.
These days, I still walk the same trail. Sometimes it feels like a chore, and sometimes it feels just right. I listen to the meadowlarks sing and the prairie dogs yip, and moving forward is easy. One foot in front of the other, I let the motion of my legs carry me without a thought. Other days, the weight of depression demands my attention. When that happens, and I’m overwhelmed by the sense that I shouldn’t be here- I shouldn’t be anywhere- all I can do is breathe, and wait for another good day.