Since I Left Me
by Kelly Adams
Wake up. WAKE UP. It’s time to get out of bed, throw on something respectable, go out and live your life. CARPE DIEM. You gotta work, bitch.
I’ve spent the past two years in bed. Bed, commute, work, sleep. My bed, my nest. And so, the cycle continues. Day after day after week after month, and suddenly I wake up and two years have passed. Two years since I left me. Since I left me.
‘It’s not going to be like this forever,’ everyone says. ‘Things will get better,’ everyone says. ‘This is your dark night of the soul,’ everyone says.
I leave work, numb from a forgettable day. I make my way to the station, ready to take the train back to my forgettable life.
‘It’s not going to be like this forever,’ I whisper to myself.
I zone out on my journey while watching respectable workers transition into zombies. Scrolling, scrolling, never look up.
‘Dance’ I hear, but no one is talking. Scrolling, scrolling, never look up. ‘When you get home, you need to dance.’ It’s my voice, in my head.
I haven’t danced in two years, in those two years since I left me.
I get home, dump my stuff and fix my dinner. ‘DANCE.’
I wash my face. Cleanse, cleanse again, tone, moisturise. ‘DANCE.’
Finally, I get into bed, ready to sleep or watch a movie or a season of some banal series. ‘Just try.’
I can try, I’m sure of it, but I’m not leaving my bed.
I reach over to my strategically placed laptop and scroll through my playlists with a hook-like finger. Forgotten playlists from a forgotten life. I find a song I love and put it on.
I take a deep breath.
Breathing in the music. Breathing in the beat. I feel it in my body, its energy, my energy. The voice in my head starts singing along. That’s me, I am singing along.
I nod my head in time to the music, move my body from the comfort of my bed. It’s like I am hearing music for the first time.
Drunk with nostalgia, I get up and start moving my body around my room. This room of depression.
‘DANCE.’ I feel stupid. Dancing alone in my bedroom, taking orders from the voice in my head.
‘It’s not going to be like this forever, things will get better,’ I say out loud, feeling my body and letting go of my mind.
I move like someone I don’t know, hips swaying, arms all over the place, grasping every bit of magic that is in the air.
I’m so overcome with emotion I break down and cry. But I don’t stop dancing, I can’t stop dancing. I feel alive for the first time in two years. I am not letting go of this.
It’s been some time since I found me. Since I found me. And I’m not letting go.
Kelly Adams | @kelly_adams | Instagram: @kellyada
Kelly Adams is a writer, blogger and freelance communications consultant living in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is passionate about the progression of women and diversity, as well as the destigmatisation of mental health conditions within society.