3:59 in the early morning trying to explain my depression like,
in between bouts of: “Have you tried running everyday?”
“Tell me about it.”
As if I haven’t, as if this was a challenge he was certain I would fail.
6 months does not tell the story of the multitude of tries I spent
biking to the gym, running at the gym, running circles at my old school track
trying to forget about going home,
euphoric nights spent at the treadmill because I thought self-improvement was the answer
to my otherwise, dying brain.

That eating quinoa and pinning “healthy vegan recipes” on my pinterest accounts
and then going home from a 9 to 5 job and singingĀ in a sunlit kitchen while cooking delicacies
will somehow
prevent the lump in my throat from forming at 9:30 in the morning,
afraid that the man who calls himself my boss suddenly transforms into
another man who called himself my friend and then took me without my say
as soon as the wrong song comes on the radio and triggers me –
until I am left with the memories I tried so hard to bury inside
and I lose track of time.

Is exercise and a healthy diet the magical cure that will wipe my slate clean off trauma?

I clung to that idea a long time ago, nurtured it so obsessively
that it ran rampant in my brain and cultivated blind faith.
I am getting better, each incline higher on the treadmill.
I am getting better, each kg added to the weight.
I am getting better, each less serving of salt in every meal.

And then it happens –
a dark monster clad in black tar nicotine that stains everything it touches –
it curdles your meals, brittles your bones
and creates a haven in your only prison – your bed, your mind, my dear.

This is something you can’t comprehend unless you’ve experienced it:
When you start seeing what they think is a permanent solution to a temporary problem
As your one, and only moment of agency –
as the one night when your body decided to take action against your villainous,
ever agonizing mind,
when you’ve finally turned off the endless background noise of a world you have never fully understood,
and welcomed the purifying powers of silence,
and let it lay down on the palm of your hands
that are at long last, still,
un-shaking, un-nervous,

at peace.