By Zoe Jessica Dawson
I haven’t been in school much this week. I’ve been going through some stuff, and the noise of the studio feels twice as loud. I’ve looked for quiet, but when it’s silent my thoughts bounce around like an echo chamber. Curtains and carpets muffle sound, and right now I feel fully furnished… Everything is dulled, like everyone’s voices have written themselves blunt. Like the sound of a piano with its soft pedal down – depressed – is what pianists call it when the mute pedal is played.
The studio, with all its noise filtered through the cotton wool that is filling the space between my ears and brain, does not feel so much like home. Or maybe it does, but like a home that’s flooded so deep I have to swim around the sofas.
Marc told me that it was okay. That he didn’t need to forgive me for not being.
‘Bounce back when you’re ready to bounce back’ is what he said. ‘Cause being a human and an elastic band aren’t always as different as our DNA might suggest. Continue to stretch and we’ll snap.
So, on the edge of my breaking point, I put my hands up and stepped back. I came home to my parents instead of trying to be ok with living alone in Brixton, and I took some time off school. I am using the time to grow some space to breathe.
Right now, I should be sat on the grubby red sofa in the studio curled up and ready to watch everyone’s case study videos. Instead, I am sat in the cafe at the National Gallery, writing. I just sent a text to my best friend saying I finally feel like myself again.
Depression is the worst. Talking about it helps. Gratitude helps. Taking space helps. Supportive mentors, families and friends help. SCA is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but SCA also helps.