Autobiography · Mental Health · Relationships


"Puddle Play" © Mary Jo Boughton, 2015. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Puddle Play” © Mary Jo Boughton, 2015. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
I held my breath all the way home. Led Mason back into our apartment, walked to the bedroom, and collapsed on the floor. Hurt went through me like waves and I tried to ride them. Tried to steady my breathing. Say something nice or think of one good thing about myself.

Slouched over to one side, I curled my knees into my chest and sobbed. “I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.” Just one of those nights. One of those days. I started running through my list of emergency contacts. Practiced saying, “I need you to take me to the hospital,” under my breath.

Mason came into the bedroom when I started to hyperventilate and throw fists. Coaxed me onto the bed and pulled me into his chest tight. Immobilized, I softened.

“I’m trying. I’m trying. I’m trying so fucking hard and I don’t feel like anything is changing. And I can’t exist like this.”

My own words crashed over me. Each one a sharp epiphany. They pointed to my exhaustion, my self-doubt. They told me the truth about how I’ve been seeing myself lately. Torn between how I’ve been feeling and how I want to feel. Logically, I know I’m a good person who is working hard. Emotionally, I feel like a waste of space who deserves nothing lovely.

“I just… I fucking hate myself.”

And I don’t think I’d ever admitted it to someone else before. I wanted to slap my own words out of my mouth. I knew how hurtful they were, to him and to me. But I didn’t know how to say anything else. It was the only thing that seemed to hold any significance. Any weight of its own.

I didn’t backpedal, though I wanted to. Wanted to make excuses about getting caught in the moment or being overly-dramatic. But that wouldn’t be true. I said it. I meant it.

But not all the time.

Sometimes I think I’m worth the work. Most of the time I know I do good things. And that’s what’s important to remember. When my fingernails are digging into the palms of my hands. When I’m listing the things in the house I need Mase to hide from me. I have to learn to remember it is not always like this.

It usually isn’t. Even though lately it is.

34 thoughts on “Crumble

  1. I started to crash Tuesday afternoon. Now I’m back in the floor crying thinking almost the same stuff you are. I’m not back to the hospital but I know how you feel. You’re not alone and I’m trying to tell myself the same thing.
    I think my meds aren’t right and it’s been long enough to know. My doc is dragging her feet about adjusting and I don’t know why.
    Hold on it’ll get better. I’ll promise if you’ll promise

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And it is so hard to know if it’s a problem with medication or just the kind of natural ebb and flow of emotions, isn’t it? I always feel like I’m trying to ask my doctor to make me into someone who always feels the same when I ask about adjusting doses. And that’s not at all what I’m after. I just can’t feel like this, you know? You know.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I always admire your ability to be graceful in writing such difficult truths. Keep reminding yourself that your brain is not you, it is broken and you are a victim to its lies. I see you in there, even in your writing, I see you, and you are beautiful and worthy of happiness. It’s been so long since I was really down in the hole but I know how impossible it all looks from down there. Sending my love to you and Mason. Hang on.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It’s not always like this.
    There isn’t always a pile of unopened mail
    there isn’t always laundry organized and still waiting.
    Mundane tasks left behind while we sit and wonder
    About all the work we have left undone.
    You do good things.
    But, better…
    You are good.
    You are worth every bit
    of work and hope and love.
    It isn’t about earning someone’s trust
    and love and acceptance.
    Fuck that. It’s
    Remembering that you are loved and accepted and trusted.
    Sometimes we forget
    Sometimes we crumble
    Sometimes we hover too long in one spot
    Forgetting that we can strafe right, left, criss-cross
    Zoom, soar, and dart.

    I am not, as you can see, much of a poetess. But I, like most writers, feel things especially hard. You’re having an emotion? Here, have it in spades. Have it in hundreds! (Quoth the brain).
    Anywho, reading your words today gave me (as the kids say) all the feels. I sincerely hope that as you read people’s words back to your own, you can see the care and acceptance.

    I hope these words find you better, find you safe, find you happy.
    Having cast your own words out into the internet; a bottled message in a digital sea, if you will forgive the conceit, please accept this response as the outstretched hand that it is meant to be.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. There’s definitely a strength in being able to say something that’s so extreme but true.. and not want to back pedal. I do it all the time.. the back pedaling thing. .. but my truths that I have a hard time admitting to are different, maybe not as scary.. but still fucking hard to admit, then sit with while the excuse and explanations burn the inside of my vocal chords.


  5. I did this same thing yesterday. Laid on the bed and sobbed, telling my husband how much I hate myself. I lose track of what I’m fighting for when all I can feel is crippling pain oozing through my veins like molasses. I’m too scared to go back to the hospital. So I only told two people that I want to die, they live across the country so there’s not much they can do. Why do I fight to get better, when I know it will beat me down like this again? The tears burn hot behind my eyes as I hold them back all day. I get home and the levy breaks. It’s been so long since I’ve gone a day without crying, it’s hard to remember that I don’t always feel this way. It’s hard to hold on to the good. I’m glad you can see through your darkness, I’m glad you know it’s not always like this and can hold onto that. Just keep holding on.


  6. When you mean it, you should say it. You would only be lying to yourself if you didn’t. But it is temporary, dear. There are always days in which you are assaulted by self doubt and fear. But that is what makes a person strong. It makes you humble and hardworking. You ARE a beautiful person dear. And you will come out of this sooner than you expect

    Liked by 1 person

  7. May I ask you something?… Do you have a disorder or just suffer depression? (I dunno, maybe bipolar disorder) I make the question because your writing inspires me a lot. I have borderline disorder personality and I found hope always I read you. I want to thank you.


  8. Once again, you have managed to so gracefully and honestly articulate the struggles of depression. The struggles that so many of us are so afraid to admit or openly talk about. And I thank you for that, time and time again. By no means are you alone in your battle. There is always someone who can empathize with you or who wants to be there for you and hold your hand along the way. This post reminded me of a TED Talk video entitled “Why We Need to Talk About Depression” by Kevin Breel. One specific line from the video jumped out in my mind as I read your post: “As much as I hate…some of the places, depression has dragged me down to, in a lot of ways I’m grateful for it…And yeah it’s dragged me through the dark, but only to remind me there is light.” It may feel like there is only darkness right now, but I promise you there is a light and this will not last forever.



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