Lost Words

Losing my words was a slow, and unmarked process. There weren’t long pages of diary notes, where I wrote myself dry; nor was there one major work of fiction, where I poured every ounce of my being, into the words that left my soul. Instead, when I climbed out through the last of my heaviest depressive phase, I found that there were no more feelings. I no longer depended on friends to distract me from the processes that went on within my own mind. I moved away from secretly expecting the people I cared about, to offer me the same kind of giddy, unequivocal affection and love–although, it must be said, my kind of love was not the healthiest, so perhaps it was good that I no longer held those expectations.

In the place of my lost words, I gained a nothingness I still struggle to explain. There is a nothingness I still struggle to explain. It was unlike the numbness that had swallowed me, until I almost hurt myself to feel again. This nothingness held all the words I no longer felt enthusiastic enough to write. It contained the thoughts I found too self-pitying, or too morose to take note of. This nothingness was filled with dreams I never knew I had, that had withered away, and it showed me all the feelings I once took for granted, when I thought I loved too much.

After I discovered the nothingness, I tried to speak again. Strangely enough, my voice had finally returned to me, but there were no words to use it with. Somehow, I had divorced myself from my emotions, and my words. On any other occasion, perhaps, in any other year, this would have been a joyous discovery, but knowing that I could finally speak without as much self-consciousness, and laugh with total abandon was an altogether alarming knowledge. I felt betrayed by the newly abrupt, and serrated Rhythm that had replaced my lyricism. My poetry was sharp, and blunt. It hit me in the face, and made me wince when I recalled it, and all I really wanted, was the girl who could write stanza, upon stanza of poetry, in ode to love, and life, and loss. Still, that discovery, was not as disconcerting as my inability to speak, although I’d regained my voice; for in place of my newly gained voice, I’d earned a tongue that stumbled over words that were once a reminder of the music I loved to play. I choked on chapters the way I’d once hurt my brain with musical notes I could not play quite right. In short, the depression’s fog had settled on, and poisoned parts of myself, I never knew I could lose; that is to say, I lost interest in everything that had been so important to me. My writing. My music. My reading. My poetry. My unguarded ability to love.

Through all of this, what finally struck the death blow, was not the depression that had created a shell of myself. Neither was it the regression to a place where speaking was hard because I could not remember the feel of words on my tongue, despite the lack of the fear that had once haunted my speech; rather, it was “Correction.” That one short story that I forced myself to complete, so it would not fall prey to the works-in-progress pile that distresses so many writers. Writing “Correction.” had taken a very influential piece of my writing away, because I had finally wielded my words the way I wanted to. There were no allusions, no euphemisms, no eloquent lines marked by lyricism, and musicality. All that existed in its cathartic creation, was a plain image of a girl that could be me, in a world that could have been mine, with a story that was unlike mine in so many ways, but a truth that was mine.

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