I am not my depression.
I am not cuts etched into faded scars,
Empty pill bottles sleeping next to an empty person,
The tears that pool on the lens of my glasses, drying.
I am not band-aids used as sleeping aids
Or the imprint in my bed of where I've lain for the last three months.
I am not red eyes, blotchy skin, or lonely hands.
I am the cliff on the beach that is berated by tidal wave after tidal wave,
Crooked and craggy but still standing.
I am a bird that has broken its wing but flies to see another cracking bone and limping season.
I am a nose that has been repeatedly broken -
Ugly, twisted, but still functional.
Or, at least that's what I tell myself,
But I am more.
I see myself reflected in your eyes.
My cuts are not the scrapes etched into once beautiful, smooth ice by angry skaters;
My cuts are the concentric circles showing the age and wisdom of my seventeen year old wood.
My bruises are violent and angry, but also gentle and mending;
They are blood vessels who take breaks from their stressful lives before returning to circulate the love that fills my veins.
I may have dry lips and a wet face, but I am more than the eternal sadness that seizes my body.
I am more than the battles I fight; I am the soldiers in the trenches, the anxious children at home, and the peace treaty.
I am days, months, years, accumulated in one physical form, a written record in the form of meat and blood, tatty but elegantly preserved,
Because the annotations that mark my calendar do not deface me but add to my wholeness -
My wholeness, which is defined by the dips in my wrists and the bones that hold them together.
I am not my depression; I am that and so much more.