There's this song by this group Zero 7 called Somersault. It starts "You're the prince to my ballerina," and from that very line, a smile just can't help but carve into my usually stoic features. The song is about a love who's benevolence and strength allow the lover to become who they have always been, and who they've always wanted to be. I first heard it, as a snippet in that movie, "Guess Who" with Ashton Kutcher and Zoe Saldana and was never able to forget it.
Fast forward a few years and I'd finally found the song again, and, the first time I play it, I'm in a friend's truck bed, being driven around a twilight drenched, quiet road in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I'd never felt so struck by a feeling of peace, watching the beautiful darkness wipe clean the smeared pastels of the day. I felt all of the pieces of me had come together in that one moment, and that I finally understood who and what it was I was.
The middle of this past December, I had lost all of me. I didn't know who I was. I couldn't breathe in my own skin anymore. I couldn't think clearly. I was crying and couldn't stop. I wasn't sleeping. I felt like my life was in jeopardy, and that I was the one putting it there. I had frequent thoughts of letting go of the wheel, as I sped down busy highways. Wondered what would happen, if I died young. I scared myself so much that I begged my mother to put me under a 72 hour hold, because I couldn't see myself anymore.
What I mean is, I'd look in the mirror and it was like looking into a wall instead. There was nobody there. Nothing to relate to, nothing to remind me of the person that I was, or wanted to be. It was empty. I was empty. I'd always prided myself on being so in touch with who I was and here it was, some random fucking Tuesday, and I had the most tenuous of grasps on my sanity after weeks, months of saying "You're okay." I was not okay.
I started therapy the following week, pretty much going to the first place that popped up to look for answers and found someone to help me through it. It's been almost a month, and I'm proud to say that, I'm so much better.
Now, I bet you're wondering, "Tes, what does that song have to do with you and your depression?"
Following my break down, just like with the mirror in which I couldn't see myself, I cut myself off from immersing myself in the things I love, and instead tried to bury myself in them. I read so many books, just to not think about myself. Listened to kick ass, independent women songs and pumped my fist, but I was never in the music. I didn't feel it anymore. I was afraid to feel anything and tried to stay at a 5 on the emotional scale as to not cry at the drop of a hat for being too happy or too sad.
"Somersault" was the first song after starting therapy that I actually immersed myself in. Sitting on my balcony, as twilight turned to night, I blew bubbles at a full moon. I was back to being that little girl who believed in princes and true love. I was back to being that kid who believed in being nice just for niceness' sake. I was that teenager, in the back of a pick up truck, marveling at the everyday miracles of the world and at the breathlessness of freedom, of flying.
It brought all those fragmented and tarnished pieces of my inner mirror back together. And through the cracks and the smudges, I could see myself again. And whether I was sad, happy, angry or any emotion in between I was me. I was beautiful. I was whole. I was everything I was meant to be in that moment. And even now, I'm wiping away tears of just...relief at that recognition.
With pieces of yourself being chipped away everyday, be it by outside forces, or the more insidious internal ones, never forget the whole picture. Be relieved and grateful that you are who you are. It was a hard learned lesson, but one I know I'll never forget.