Autobiography · Mental Health

Lights

Weißt du, der Raum ist unendlich…” © Daniel Grünfeld, 2013. CC BY-NC 2.0.

The morning after I got my glasses I went for a run. Still dark out, street lamps glowed gentle instead of starring across my field of vision. I listened to my music loud and ran hard, completely lost in my own rhythm. Flow state. Breath fogging up the corners of my glasses every so often and sweat forming behind my ears. Zedd’s vocalist crooned at me, “Something tells me I know nothing at all,” and I believed her.

I climbed the next hill and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the first tree. Drops of water clinging to the tips of every branch, illuminated by the traffic lights. Each twig sparkling. Vibrant. Magical. As close to a religious experience as I’ve ever had. A cross between being high on drugs and being completely in love. Enamored with beauty.

It occurred to me that my blurred vision looked a lot how depression feels. All soft around the edges, out of focus, detached. Like I was never really looking at anything, just the general shape of it. How lucky that vision is something that can be helped with two pieces of plastic and frames. How all I had to do was put them on and see everything different.

But maybe everything doesn’t have to be so simple. Maybe we wouldn’t appreciate it if it were. Maybe other things need to take a little bit more work. Glasses are really just a Band-Aid solution for something broken, aren’t they? And that’s not what I’m looking for out of life.

So I find ways to keep building up my foundation. To keep finding little hints of beauty outside of things that I see. That feeling I get when I realize I haven’t curled up on the floor sobbing in days, maybe weeks. The moments when I’m able to say, “Isn’t it interesting I think that?” when I’m anxious instead of following the thought down its rabbit hole of panic.

Over the phone an old friend asks me hesitantly how I’ve been. That tone people get then they think they’ve just asked a really stupid question. I laugh and tell him, “You know. Not bad. I started taking Prozac a few weeks back and… You know, it’s not like I’m happy, but I don’t want to not exist. And that’s pretty awesome.”

On my run I think about that question. Think about that answer. Think about liking the idea of existing in the world. Staring at that tree, watching sparkle and light dance on what used to look like one flat, unremarkable thing.

14 thoughts on “Lights

  1. I’ve felt those god-like moments here and there, on a walk or a run, always outdoors. Like maybe it is allowing things to come into focus exactly as they are. I appreciate what you say about not always wanting a quick, easy fix to what feels broken. Such a lovely post, I’ll savor it for awhile.

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  2. Take those moments. I find a lot of my soul searching moments are when I am in nature and away from all the things and interruptions that bog me down. Probably not exactly what you were getting at. It reminded me of my early morning walks I used to do, and maybe it is time to get back to them. Have a blessed day!

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  3. You created some beautiful imagery in your story! I have 20/20, but I never stop looking at things with my eyes squinted. In the same way that you would look at an impressionist painting. I think it’s the artist that lives in my heart. I hope I never stop squinting, and that you never stop seeing all of the beauty that surrounds you.

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