By Kimberly Zapata
There is a place I know so well — where the world comes alive and the social thrive. Where chatter falls and laughter rings. Where hugs are shared and love sings. But at this party, I am lost.
In this space, my smile comes at a cost.
Make no mistake, I put on a good show. I laugh and dance and hold my head high. I carry on conversations without batting an eye. But I am not OK, damn it. I am not OK. Because in this space, I am broken.
In this crowded place, my self-doubt remains unspoken.
My long painted lashes hide my tears. My bold personality hides my fears. I run to the bathroom. I hide at the bar, but beer cannot save me, and makeup cannot hide my scars. Because it is in this space terror takes hold.
In this crowded place, my anxiety is untethered and uncontrolled.
I am a mannequin on a display. I’m a puppet on a string. The walls are cracked, the floor is glass, and I can feel myself falling in. Because I cannot be heard amidst the chaos. My voice is buried beneath the beat, but dear Lord know that I am screaming.
Know that my entire being is teeming.
With despair and dread.
Because, yet again, I am being consumed by my depression.
Yet again, everything I know is being called into question.
Because in this space, I am empty. In this space, I am numb. In this space, I am dazed and detached, and in this place — this crowded fucking place — I am all alone.
A version of this piece originally appeared on Sammiches & Psych Meds.