The walls became the world all around

“That very night in Max’s room a forest grew and grew and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around.”

Excerpt from “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

“You are constantly told in depression that your judgment is compromised, but a part of depression is that it touches cognition. That you are having a breakdown does not mean that your life isn’t a mess…You are in touch with the real terribleness of your life… When you are depressed, the past and future are absorbed entirely by the present moment, as in the world of a three-year-old. You cannot remember a time when you felt better, at least not clearly; and you certainly cannot imagine a future time when you will feel better.”

Andrew Solomon

I keep thinking about these quotes now that I’m nearly fully post two weeks my second dose of the vaccine and the walls around me are slowly no longer my entire world. The collapsing effect this last year+ has had on my soul is profound and runs deep. For a time, it felt impossible to plan for the future, which felt like some sort of sick joke pulled from depression’s playbook. “Stop copying each other. Be original!” is a thought I’ve murmured to my feelings. I’m tired of the ones coming up. I know them too well. At the same time, there’s something comforting about a collective collapse. At least we’re in it together even if we can’t hug it out (don’t get me started on the hugging situation).

Different parts of you appear depending on the situation. While obvious to say, it feels important to still mention. Without nomading, I’ve been cut off from more extreme parts of myself that I’ve come to love and invest in. The outgoing version who jumps into random pick up soccer games without a second thought in a place I’ve never been before or starts chatting easily with a stranger at a restaurant bar. The version of me in a museum both feeling like I could never accomplish what I’m witnessing and feeling inspired to create anyway. The part of me that manages to have marathon back to back lifechats trying to squeeze as much goodness out of a day as possible as if I truly believe it can be saved for a rainy day. The part of me who wakes up at 4am ready for a solo adventure nearly skipping into the day out of pure excitement and adrenaline. I miss those versions of myself and I can’t wait to be reunited. At the same time, I’ve explored a version of myself over this last year who fought back, found a way to connect in isolation, rested, and did everything I could to remember the way back to myself.

The walls became my world and I’m following the trail of breadcrumbs back to myself in a state of shock. I’m going through the motions right now knowing that at some point my soul, while still sputtering, will start back up again eventually. In a way, I can already tell that I’ll miss this version of myself too. I wonder what bizarre circumstances like this past year will cause me to return to her once more.

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