Hello, my name is Laney, and I am a wannabe. There are a lot of things I want to be but never will be: a good dancer, able to draw, a non-diabetic, coordinated enough to not hit my head on so much stuff, a published writer, my own boss (those last two might be attainable in my lifetime though). Mostly I want to be someone who doesn’t have to force themselves to function.
These past few weeks have been “fake it ’til you make it” weeks, meaning the only activity that feels natural to me lately is lying unshowered under a large pile of blankets and a pillow over my head. That’s what I feel like I want to do with my life, and I have to fake anything other than that – leaving the house, doing laundry, showering, having conversations. My rational side is way more ambitious than that, but my depressed side has been trying to take over lately.
It hasn’t yet, though. I make myself take a shower, wear pants, and leave the house every day, which feels terrible and wrong. I make myself see other people, even if talking to them is a challenge that makes them give me worried looks. I make myself keep writing even though it also feels wrong and I suddenly hate everything I’ve ever written.
I am taking up a very tiny space inside my body, somewhere around my ankle. It doesn’t even feel like my body, but it makes a good fortress to hide in. I make my tiny self a little bigger when it’s time to get up against my will and be a productive member of society…okay a member of society…and make one leg move. Then I make the other leg move. Then I’m exhausted. But I make the legs move one by one until they get where I know I need to go, even if it’s just to the washer and dryer and back. Then I become tiny again and go back to my ankle until it’s time to do it all over again.
I’ve heard that there are people who don’t have to think about minimal functioning. They have abundant energy to live productive daily lives, and I wonder what that might be like. I even know that I’ve experienced times like this, but for the life of me I can’t recall what it felt like right now.
I wannabe that version of myself who doesn’t have to parcel energy into whichever minimally functional task I can afford at the moment. I wannabe Me, Version 2.0. I know that version will be back, no depression wave lasts forever; but I’m not going to sit around waiting for it to get better. But say it doesn’t.
What if this is how life it going to be – what if I live in my ankle now? What am I going to do about it?
I’m going to keep making one leg move in front of the other one and having awkward conversations when I try to relate to people. My husband hopes to god that showering is among my priorities, but I probably shouldn’t make any promises right now. My plan is to keep moving forward, doing what I’m able to do, and resting when I need to.
I hope real life doesn’t stay this hard forever; I really wannabe better than this. I also wanna be Alicia Keys. I’ll let you know which I accomplish first.