I found it rolling around in my makeup drawer, clearly forgotten – at least two years old. I turned it over and read the label at the bottom. “Smitten” was the color.
I don’t wear lipstick. I never really have. I could never handle the pressure of having to reapply, and to this day have not found a color that looks better than the color of my own real lips. It felt foreign to open it up… slowly run it across my lips… I even smelled it.
I heard my son begin to cry in the baby monitor, and cursed myself for the very little amount of writing, or cleaning, or personal grooming, or anything I got done during this hour to myself. I paused for a second and looked at myself in the mirror. My lips were smitten but my eyes were dull. I pulled my hair back into a ponytail, keenly aware that I had no place to go and nothing to look forward to besides the next room to get the baby and to pick up my other son from school. If I was lucky, I could also fit in a visit to the grocery store.
This bout of depression is particularly murky. I’m not “sad” or “blue”. I just feel settled into the idea that nothing feels good. I feel far away from my kids… my husband… my wants… my dreams. Sometimes I’m angry and resentful… but most of the time I just don’t care.
It’s been a couple weeks in this place. I know what triggered it, but can’t seem to climb out of it.
I barely had the energy to command my hand to put that tube of lipstick to my face… but I needed it. It felt slightly weird… and colorful… and frivolous. It helped for a little while.
The next day I wore a skirt and I went to visit a friend. That felt good for a little while too.
I know I have good things in my life – my brain knows this. I know I have a million things to get done. I know at some point I’ll feel better.
But right now, I can’t see my way to fixing my insides…
a few things on the outside are about all I can muster.
But it’s something…
it’s an attempt…
and I’m talking…
and I’m open to a few more lipstick days to come.