I lay here, curled under the covers at 1 p.m. Motionless, I stare at the curtain blocking the world out. Sometimes I think it ripples, feeling the breeze against the window. The overnight rain has subsided but I guess there’s more to come. The dark cloud of depression has settled itself in my room. Stretching out. Getting comfortable. The air feels thinner now. It’s a struggle to breathe. In fact, everything is a struggle.
This thick veil of blankets used to weigh me down, but in this moment I think it’s my very existence causing undue pressure. I repeat over and over how sorry I am — sorry for the burden I feel I’ve become, the trouble I seem to cause, the constant worry you shoulder. The fear of not knowing who I’m going to be when you arrive home: angry or agitated or manic or depressed. Or worse yet, cycling through them all.

My voice: 12 octaves higher, signaling I’m manic — not to mention all the projects I’ve started in the last 8 hours. “Honey! Honey, I wrote a story, It’s really good. You are going to like it.” Racing around the house in a daze “Look at it and tell me what you think! I don’t know how I did it. Came out great, right?”

My lifeless body on the bed now. I can barely muster a “hello.” Can’t muster a “how was your day?” This is where I was when you left this morning. “No, I haven’t eaten. I’m just not hungry. No, I didn’t clean, I’m so tired.”

The echo of my rage throughout the house shakes the pictures, even scaring myself. Nothing you say is right. “I’m not fucking hungry, alright? Leave it alone. Why don’t you cook once in a while, for God’s sake! I clean and I clean and look at this mess. I don’t know why I bother.”
You wipe away the never-ending tears fielding my questions: “What happened? I was doing everything right. I mean, wasn’t I? I’m a good person, aren’t I? I don’t mean to be this way, to cause so much pain. I don’t understand. Why now? Why are you even with me?”

Some days I feel as though I have lost myself. Deep within the depths of my mind lies truth and judgment. Though I judge no one only myself, as I am the one to cast the very first stone. The utter emptiness and transparent sudden dissociation from all that I once loved has Settled within me so deep that no pill, no alcohol or amount of love could possibly seep through and dissolve it. I have fallen into a pit and I’m searching with everything in me to come out alive. I dream of confinement, I pray for understanding and most of all I hope for peace. In the rollercoaster of emotion I am running from one high to the next. Enjoying new smells, sounds, and tastes. Shopping feverishly to contain the madness but the madness has contained me and all that’s left is to just go along with it. Try to minimize as much of the damage as I can. Until I can no longer deal and all that I so looked forward to seems pointless and suffocating.

Natasha Velez born and raised in New York City, is a Financial Controller and Accountant practicing in Central Florida. She suffers with Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder and is a blogger and writer for sites such as The Mighty, The Huffington Post and This Is My Brave. She recently started writing a book on her experiences with mental illness and overcoming the stigmatism that comes with it in the professional industry and her personal life. Her acceptance and passion for fighting the stigma that comes with mental illness is what caused her to become a mental health advocate along with being fiction and non-fiction writer.