4 AM has been creeping up on me. 4 AM-- too bright to pretend it is nighttime, but my body is too tired to get up.
4 AM is when my brain kicks into overdrive: planning, pondering, wondering, worrying. 4 AM is when I'm reminded that my depression is right there, over my right shoulder, waiting for that weak moment, waiting for the opportunity to squeeze through a crack in the wall of my self-esteem.
At 4 AM, I can hear the house breathing. My inner dialogue sounds like screaming in the silence. It is hard to ignore. It is hard to rebut. It deafens me to the things I know are true and makes me question my worth as a mother, a wife, a person. Am I a good person? Is the world better because I am here? Will my children still love me when they are grown? Do I add more than I take away?
At 4 AM there is no one to remind me that I matter -- I am alone with my thoughts.
As the dawn brightens, my house grows restless with the sounds of my family waking. That voice grows distant, quieter -- yelling from the bottom of a well. With the coming day, I feel stronger and can push it away. Yesterday, it didn't win. Today it doesn't win, either.
Tomorrow brings another 4 AM.