by Samuel Cardinale
A friend once told me that I wear my depression like
What kind of
on a swiss army knife?
Well, in that
the depression should be
able to screw in the screws of an Ikea bookcase.
Or maybe it should be able to open a bottle of Coke?
The depression is not an appendage!
It's a big, fat pain in the ass is what it is, and it
follows me everywhere we go:
it follows me to the movies,
it follows me to the drive-in at McDonald's,
it follows me to the Dr's office.
Even when I'm chasing the Lithium and Lexipro with some
No, folks—I don't
I just try to lick the silver
that my parents failed to
provide me with, at birth.
I love my sanity. I
But the truth is, that it
clearly does not love me.
Actually, we're in a love/hate
relationship with each other.
I've tried to
I've tried to outrun it—
but it loves me SO MUCH, so DESPERATELY,
that it can now be classified as my stalker.
It's amazing—when I was first diagnosed with
I was in complete and utter
Simply because clinical
depression meant crazy with a capital “C.”
Even though I'd been in therapy for years at this point,
taking meds made it officially "official;" and
it forced me to take a very long and soul-baring look
in the mirror.
What did depression
mean for me?
Was I in fact,
or was I just in need of
a mental and spiritual adjustment?
often wondered if sanity is a permanent kind of existence—or
if it is,
a state of being that is characterized
a much more transient set of natural laws.
is in a never-ending state of flux?
Would I eventually morph into my mother?
Joan Crawford-like maniac
in a series of really bad 70s-era housecoats?
A cigarette dangling perpetually
from a cracked
and lipsticked set of lips.
Was I doomed to meet her fate?
I not be able to conquer my illness?
After all, she was an undiagnosed manic-depressive.
But of course, back then,
people who experienced sudden
and extreme shifts in mood
were usually labeled as "difficult,"
or, at the very least, "Big bitches."
all as simple as that?
Is that what my mom was?
I remember taking guitar lessons when I was seven or
eight years old.
She had bought me a brand-new guitar
ended up high above her head and shoulders
a rage-filled tirade.
I also remember that it came crashing down
the hardwood floor and
it shattered into a huge mess of splintered wood.
She could've taught Pete Townshend a thing or two—(or three),
about how to demolish a guitar
in 10 seconds flat on stage.
one to wonder—
Will I, too, have similar tirades
and lift guitars over MY head, and over MY shoulders?
I, too, forever brand upon the brains of my children
of a seven-room apartment being totally leveled—
because my spouse failed to buy all of the items on a grocery list?
Apparently, eggs and honeydew melon missed on a grocery
is a trigger for some people.
Sam Cardinale is a writer and visual artist from the
Hudson County area. He started putting his thoughts down on paper at a very early age;
and that desire to express himself has been with him ever since. This is his
first foray into the online literary world.