Somewhere Between Sad Songs and Butterscotch

Today, instead of committing suicide, I sat on the island in the middle of my kitchen while crying and eating butterscotch.

I didn’t have any particular reason to be so depressed. Nothing serious had happened, and no mounting dread loomed over me, but nevertheless, all I could think about upon waking up this morning was ending this fragile thing we call life. To put it lightly, I was a mess. Thoughts and plans all ending with my lifeless corpse rushed through my head as I struggled to go about my daily routine. As I walked into my kitchen to eat a breakfast I was sure would make me nauseous, my eyes darted around the room, looking to break something in order to ease the tension that coursed through my body. I tore open cabinets and cupboards in a fit of unplaced anger, and by chance, my frantic eyes found a bag of butterscotch chips. Without thinking, I ripped open the bag, and popped a few in my mouth. The effect may not have been as instantaneous as my memory leads me to believe, but as the sweet candy melted away on my tongue, so too did the anger. I reached for another handful as tears welled up in my eyes. Those tears were the start of an ugly cry. A messy, disgusting, unattractive cry that came from a deep-rooted place. For a while I just sat there, legs crossed on the granite countertop, as I popped handfuls of butterscotch into my mouth in between sobs. I grew tired of listening to the sounds of my own pain, and decided to play sad music so I could be surrounded by the pain of someone else. In the midst of my meltdown I had sent texts to friends asking them if I could call them in case I was tempted to take drastic irreversible action. Upon receiving that text my favorite person on the planet called me immediately, and had me cringing through the most adorkable phone call I had ever had the pleasure to be a part of. As those I had texted started talking to me I was shocked and horrified to learn that most of them didn’t like butterscotch. You all will be happy to know that I no longer associate with them. Some of my more balanced feelings were starting to return as my friends talked life back into me. I was feeling hungry for once so I made cinnamon toast, a good song came on so I sang along, and the sun was shining so I enjoyed some much-needed warmth. The sadness and pain were still very real, but I no longer felt buried by them. I was smiling.

I recount all this not because I think the story is particularly special, but because I think it is reminiscent of something many of us forget the longer we struggle with depression. Notice and appreciate the seemingly mundane. Too often we get consumed with prolonging the highs and escaping the lows to notice that it’s not so bad to be caught in the middle. As I sat there eating candy and soaking in sad songs by sad people, I found my middle ground. It may have been a fluke, but there was something comforting in knowing that I could find peace not far from that low point I had woken up in. It was like realizing I didn’t need to reach the peak of my personal mountain to be happy, but that I could stop, relax, and be content only halfway up.

 

For those of you who may be curious this is the playlist I was listening to: https://open.spotify.com/user/gnashmusic/playlist/5A3QvUksp7HasEk0T1bTLI?si=jvls_C35Q12zvIeGD2YmGA
Photography by the adorkable Zoey Johnson

 

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