When I’m the sort of sad that rings in my ears and presses down on my shoulders until I’m buried deep in the earth, the walls start to melt, the ceiling starts to spin, the shadows start to dance, the wind starts to whisper.

My psychiatrist says I’m not crazy. She’s also the one who gives me the pills that still the shadows, fade the voices, and lift the sadness from my shoulders so I’m wading knee-deep instead of drowning, still slow but looking almost normal.

My therapist says I have a sickness and they’re not sure what it is, but certainly part of it is depression. My papers for my first hospital stay read “major depression w/o psychosis” and the most recent say “bipolar disorder w/ psychosis.” The one in between is different, too, but I don’t remember what that one says.

I leak sadness into the people around me. He holds me and says he feels like I am his responsibility. I don’t want to be a burden, but he makes it hard to leave. ♦