Once upon a time in a land inhabited by fairy godmothers and creative geniuses and bubbles and bright, bright futures, entered a shadow. It wasn’t a dark shadow; it was really just more of a greyish mist—hardly intimidating. It was silent and seemingly harmless. It never interfered much, just hung about on the sidelines, happy to simply have been considered worthy enough of being allowed in the company of all the magical creatures; watching and smiling and laughing at their silly shenanigans. All too intimidated to even look any of the creatures in the eye, that mass of transparent greyish-blue was never properly noticed by the others; they felt its presence but could never be entirely sure of its existence because it was so very foreign and seeing it wasn’t easy. The shadow hung about and slowly grew, gradual enough to be ignored or denied. Unable to take the loneliness anymore it sent out a thin tendril of mist, hesitant and curious. It felt good. And so it grew, bigger and bigger, still as transparent and seemingly harmless. But bigger. And the mist clung to the land, seeped into its creatures until the colours were muted and all was a transparent greyish-blue.
And just like that, I was done.
I didn’t know what to name it then, and I still wasn’t sure it wasn’t all just in my head. It just…it didn’t feel real. Because, well, this was me. It couldn’t be real. Could it? So I pushed it aside and went on as normal. But the mist was still there, tainting all that it touched. It wasn’t solid enough to be confidently termed “real”. Ignoring it was still possible.
Because it couldn’t be real.
I had never gone through any life-altering, traumatic event. I had a sheltered childhood for the most part and a normal life. It couldn’t be real.
I was afraid to name it. Naming it…validated it. And I didn’t want it to be true. Still believed it wasn’t. Told myself I was simply being dramatic and making things up so I could have some “character”, so I wasn’t just another face in the crowd. So I could have a story.
On the nth day that I had woken up…uhh–sad? Wrong? Empty?–language isn’t enough to describe it appropriately—I couldn’t ignore it. The mist was heavier. But now it was a comforting heavy. A heavy I had grown used to. Didn’t want to, but had because of some twisted survival technique. I wanted out but didn’t at the same time. I had grown used to it, so maybe I could just live with it.
The mist made things duller. Red became faded-brick, green became a sickly shade of vomit. Blue was a muted, barely-even-there thing. It made other things in my life seem duller. I wasn’t me. The mist was slowly spreading all over, like a warm, safe cocoon, shielding me from everything else. Making me indifferent to everything else. I was rarely ever passionate before to begin with and the mist just further distanced me from everything.
I wouldn’t come out of my room. After school I would head straight to my room and lock it and sit or lie on the bed or sometimes on the floor, soaking in the cool. I didn’t want to be seen until I was fixed. Until the ‘sun came out’ as they say, burning through the mist so I could see properly again. It didn’t do good to the people who knew me to see it. The mist leaked out of me, I could feel it floating out of my ears, slowly encircling whoever was nearest until I scooped it all back in again.
I call it the mist because saying the actual word doesn’t make me seem like me. Because it couldn’t happen to me. It just seems too big to happen to me.
I’m sorry if this whole thing seems like some pretentious, dramatic little thing.
Because like I said, the mist is barely even there. It recedes and currently has and I can see and touch and feel and it’s nice. The mist is a harmless little thing watching from the sidelines and laughing at the games the magical creatures play–once again all too intimidated to even look them in the eye.