Munira Hussein

Departures Arrivals

My depressive episode left this morning. I saw the silhouette of her departure, standing in the doorway of the mess she left behind, waving gently like a child in a horror movie. I smiled at her, the rigid muscles of my face creaking, ashes falling onto the dusty floor beneath my bare feet.

I had gone to bed last night, hoping to not wake up, so when the birds pecking at my windows alerted me to my still here-ness at 7 am, I put a pillow over my head and sunk into a hopefulness for disappearance. At around 11 am, I accepted my fate, that I as still sentenced to Life. I got out bed, my body exhausted from lying in it for longer than normal. You must understand, I get by on four hours of sleep, not for lack of time to sleep but for lack of sleep. There are various hypotheses or facts as to why this is so, but that’s locked up in a tattered pandora’s box.

I knew I was back when I felt the urge to take a shower and draw the curtains. Excited about my return, I heeded to this much needed call, the brewing coffee infusing more life into what was now midday. How long had it been since I played music? Oh and the birds, I hadn’t put out rice for them for a while. And the shoes by the door, that is so uncharacteristic of me, and the dishes piled in the sink, and the trash reeking over with beer cans and food that somehow went bad in the fridge. Suddenly, it felt like there was a lot to do, and I was up to it. The excitement of life returning!

I drape a faded pink towel around myself and wait for the water to heat up, thinking maybe I am up to calling the stima guy now, to come fix the shower. A sense of return washes over me and I wonder if I loved me enough in my sadness. I did not, not this time.

Over the years, I have learnt to prepare for the return of my darkness and allow her in without resistance. What resistance does is, it chokes us and leads us to sharp objects that drain our blood. Acceptance however, makes her feel welcome, acknowledged, loved, and healed. I had been so trapped up in the events of life that I had been caught off guard by her return. She came nonetheless, and was a storm like she always is if her bed had not been made. She wrecked all the pillars of what was shaping up to be a life for us, tore at the cans of the paint that was to make a beautiful structure, cried on the pages of the journal that reminded us to love ourselves and when she had made her presence felt, she departed calmly.

So, I sit at my desk for the first time in days, writing this memory, that the darkness isn’t here anymore. That when I go to bed tonight, I will want to wake up tomorrow. That maybe my life isn’t as meaningless as I had thought, that I am not wandering aimlessly through the maze but walking to an exit that means something.

I am learning how to love me like I love other people. Extend the same compassion and understanding, because for me, it’s never been love others as you love thyself. It is myself that I didn’t love enough.

I am loving me anew, darkness arrival and darkness departure.


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