A small story:

"How are you?" a friend texted. I knew she meant this in a "2020 Murder hornets" way but I texted her back a quick shot of myself on my back on my yoga mat, beet-red and sweaty.

" @ODD Sweat class just ended," I explained, redundantly.
"I wish I liked exercising the way you do," she wrote back and we had a quick chat where we determined we were each fine, had voted, would see each other in some form, soon. I did all this without moving off the mat, on account of how I was dead. I lay there and thought.
"Quinn loves working out" is a reasonable conclusion to draw, what with me seemingly doing it constantly and spending most of my time in moisture-wicking wear. Let's get the easier one out of the way; workout wear is basically pajamas and that delights me.
Intellectually, I would like to get up every day and dress like what people used to wear to tell the world, "Hello, I can pay my bills and I do not live near the overpass." But that kind of clothing, like everything else, is up for review this year.
Now, about the exercise itself. I do not love it. In fact, that Sweat class I just took? At about the forty-five minute mark I checked the clock and seven minutes had passed. Some classes are a slog. Hell, some months are a slog.

"But, you work out."

Every day.
Sometimes twice.

I remember walking down the stairs in my childhood house and, out of nowhere, a thought hit me:

I was alive. Some day, I would not be. The heart I would have sworn I could now see pressing against my skin would just...stop.
The sense of something I couldn't name was so overwhelming that I raced two stories down to the kitchen and found the stash of cookies I wasn't supposed to know about and ate half of them. Later, when quizzed about the infraction, I could honestly say I had no idea why I did it.
Took me a decade to learn what I had was an anxiety attack. Sure, that makes me sound pretty stupid for not knowing but you have to understand that when it happened, I was five. My father hadn't yet died, my mother hadn't had leukemia; this was, and remains, a wiring issue.
And also the depression, she adds nonchalantly. I have a theory that when we were proto-hominids on the Veldt, scrabbling around with precious few defensive tools (thin skin, crap nails, rounded teeth), it benefitted each small community to have one member who was hypervigilant.
Sure, maybe no one wanted to hang with us and a lot of our proto-language was centered on escape plans in the case of auroch attack but, damn it, we kept you summer children alive. And as long as we were busy, we were tiresome but harmless.

We still have those Veldt brains.
Don't know if you've noticed, but we're not hunter-gathering in small extended-family packs anymore.

I mean, yet.

I honestly don't put it past 2020.

Today I came to the sobering conclusion that depression and anxiety are the longest relationship of my life.
I think of them as relationships- as odious arranged marriages. Both of them want to live, to thrive, to have their Maslow met. I would prefer they leave but I also understand that is not happening.

Until death do us part.

My job is to make my brain as inhospitable as I can.
Decades together have taught me they want:

1. Sugar,
2. Inertia,
3. Silence

If I cede ground on these, I might as well just print a huge WELCOME TO MY BRAIN DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY and glue it to my meninges.
“I should have pie for breakfast.”

That’s...a choice.

“I should eat the rest of the pie and skip class.”

Hi, boys.

Every day, I must reestablish the barriers. Every day, I’d really rather not; carbs, indolence and not telling anyone how I feel sounds wonderful.
But then, I die. Maybe not right away. Hell, maybe I live out my predetermined lifespan, but I do it in a constant state of dread, I do it marveling at the Plexiglass between me and everyone I love.

“No one knows me,” I’d think, ignoring the part where I built it like that.
Then, pie and a nap.
Better I do what I’m supposed to do, bitching mightily every step of the way. The workout must be hard, the diet shouldn’t a meditation on starches and corn syrup, and I must reach out, even though as Queen of the Introverts, that sounds terrible.
Candidly, it all sounds terrible.

Not doing it sounds far worse.

I take an antidepressant; that the dosage hasn’t changed in the past three years I credit to working out, very hard, every day.

And now it’s time for Core. It’s terrible and I don’t want to late.
You can follow @quinncy.
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