The Truth of Drowning
The Pain, The Fear, The Dark

Sarah Pierson

© Copyright 2020 by Pierson

Stormy sea.

As I lie on my bedroom floor, looking up at the ceiling I am suddenly aware of how cold 

the floor is.  Is it always this cold?  Does my ceiling move, or is it just dizzying to stare at it so 

long?  Maybe I just shouldnít let myself cry so hard to the point where I think laying on the floor 

is a good idea.  Another tear parts my eye and rolls down my temple.  I feel it detach from my 

cheek and hear it splash on the floor.  Breathing deeply I begin to lift my hand to wipe the tearís 

tread mark.  Why is my hand so heavy?  I sniffle and wipe my nose with my sleeve before 

returning it to the floor.  I hear the door begin to creak open slowly. I turn my head to see who it 

is.  Itís him, the man who seems to care so much about me.

He speaks.  ďHow you doing love?Ē

Right, like I could honestly answer that. So I lie sarcastically. ďGreat.Ē

Hearing the tone of my voice he tries to comfort me.  ďYour doing great.  Iím here if you need

me.  I love you.Ē  

I donít answer.  What is there to say?  So he leaves, shutting the door behind him.  How am I 

supposed to have him understand how I feel?  No one prepares you for this. No one tells you 

how crippling it is.

I decide to drag my body off of the floor and onto my bed.  I breathe a sigh of comfort.  I think to myself: ďThis is so much

better than the floor.  Why didnít I lay here in the first place?Ē  

Iím an idiot.

start to think of all the things I wanted to do and be, before it stole them away from me.  

Before it changed the person I was.  I used to be the person who made to do lists everyday. And 

when I completed a task, I would cross it off happily. I used to be neat and tidy, my house was 

immaculate!  Now I get claustrophobic and clam up at the mere sight of a mess.  I used to have a 

more positive outlook. I was a bubbly person, but Iím not anymore.  I used to not sleep so much. 

I could function just fine on 6 hours of sleep.  But I am not this person anymore. And I want to 

be.  I never wanted to be the mom who couldnít handle her life.  Who feels incapable of 

gathering a bowl of cereal.  When did making supper become such an impossible thing to do?  

All I want to do is lock myself in a room, curl up in a ball and be dead to the world.  I canít 

function and it eats me alive.  I want to stop feeling afraid that I am a burden.  That I am pushing 

away everyone who cares about me. That my kids will grow up to resent me and my husband 

will leave me because Iím not everything I feel he wants me to be.  The pain of this twisted 

realization stabs me like a knife.  My stomach curdles knowing that the part of me that wants me 

to change this reality canít stave off the ever growing fatigue.  Why is it the more I 

think about it, the sleepier I get?  I canít change anything while sleeping.  Yet it manifests in me 

like a fever.  Burning hotter and hotter.  My brain begins to lie.  Maybe a little sleep wouldnít 

hurtÖ If I could just rest my eyesÖ Then I could think clearer, maybe tackle the world.  Still 

knowing it isnít true, Iím too exhausted to keep fighting and I slip into a deep sleep.

When I finally awake I look at the time and see that hours have passed.  The day is gone.  

One minute it was 10 oíclock in the morning and now itís past supper time.  I can feel the thirst 

of missed water from the dryness of my tongue.  Hunger sets in but the pang is not hard enough.  

The guilt returns.  Who was I kidding?  The demon that tears me down never left.  Now that Iím 

awake she hits me full force like I never had a chance. How could you sleep so long?  How is it 

fair to make your husband stay with the kids all day?  Your such a failure and pathetic excuse for 

a human being.  

I try to shake it off and ignore the voice in my head.  Maybe if I can just get out of bed 

and pretend the nagging voice isnít there I will feel better.  Get some food, a glass of water.  I 

just need to get my feet on the floor.  Success.  Now sitting upright I push myself off with my 

hands and head for the door.  Breathing deeply, I turn the handle and open cautiously.  The doubt 

returns.  What if I canít do this?  Maybe I should just lay back down.  No,  I want to see my 

family.  I still love them. 

As I approach the living room I see my husband cuddled up with the kids watching a 

movie.  I feel a warmth tickle within me.  The floorboard creaks and it catches the attention of

my son.  He shouts with glee. ďMommy!Ē  His smile is as big as the grinch.  My husband and

daughter turn their heads and I watch their smiles grow.  My daughter reaches her arms out 

toward me and as I go to pick her up my husband leans in for a kiss.  He gives me a loving

heartfelt look and I immediately feel the demon subside.  My daughter cuddles in and my son

jumps off the couch to hug me. 

I feel hope, I feel love.  I see the light.

My name is Sarah Pierson.  Iíve been married for 6 1/2 years, and have two children.  After I had my first child I was diagnosed with post-partum depression and came to learn that it would never go away.  Apparently Iíd had it as a teenager but it never manifested till after I gave birth to my son.  I wrote this short story to give a glimpse of what it is like to suffer with it. The daily struggle and rollercoaster it is.  Iím hoping that even if I donít win this contest it will get published on your website so other mothers and women who suffer from depression can know they are not alone.  Itís something Iíve been meaning to do for awhile and I've just never had the time to do it.  Ive never been published.  I won a poem contest once when i was sixteen almost 12 years ago.  It has always been a dream of mine to become a professional writer. So this is my start.  For it seems to be easier for me to write non-fiction than fiction.

Contact Sarah

(Unless you type the author's name
in the subject line of the message
we won't know where to send it.)

Book Case

Home Page

The Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher