As she sat there, talking, my mind drifted off on its own. A certain clarity came to me and I realized that the ice cream didn’t have the same flavor that I had always enjoyed. It made me deeply sad to realize this, and the sadness spread into my core, triggering a wave of depression.
As I stood there, I felt a swelling in my heart. I knew I was going to cry, but I didn’t want to. She noticed a change in my demeanor and lead me to the bedroom to lay on the bed. I laid on my side, my back to her as she cuddled me.
As I was trying to hold back the tears, it became increasingly hard for me to breathe and I felt this internal ache that pulled at my heart, making breathing almost painful. I started to cry, dry sobs at first because I was fighting the urge to let it all go. But the pain increased and I couldn’t keep it down much longer. I sobbed and sobbed. The pain increased with each deep cry. I was crying with a pain I can only describe as feeling like my heart and soul were being torn from my body. I wanted to pass out.
The hopelessness I experienced in that moment felt too much for my body to bear. I don’t remember how long I cried but it felt like forever. When I finally started to calm down, I touched her arm. She was quietly crying, slow tears of someone who can only helplessly watch as their loved one loses it. She knew how painful it was for me. I had grimaced in pain as I sobbed and cried out, “It just hurts, it hurts.” I also know it was painful for her to see me like that, to hear my wrenching wails.
When I touched her arm, I wanted to let her know that I was thankful that she held me, thankful that she was there, thankful because I knew it was hard for her too. But all I could muster out was a small “thank you” out loud. After some silence in trying to recover, I worked up enough energy to tell her about the ice cream. At first she laughed, thinking I was joking, but then I explained that I hadn’t actually enjoyed it as I used to, that it had lost it’s appeal. Several tears escaped me and she told me that I would enjoy it once again. That there’s hope. I told her that it scares me.
That is where I am right now. I’m trying to enjoy things that I ordinarily would. But right now, it’s such hard work. I’m waiting, fighting for the day, sometime in the future, when I will enjoy these things with ease. When living won’t mean trying to survive myself.