Lipstick Days.



I found it rolling around in my makeup drawer, clearly forgotten – at least two years old.  I turned it over and read the label at the bottom.  “Smitten” was the color.

I don’t wear lipstick.  I never really have.  I could never handle the pressure of having to reapply, and to this day have not found a color that looks better than the color of my own real lips.  It felt foreign to open it up… slowly run it across my lips… I even smelled it.

I heard my son begin to cry in the baby monitor, and cursed myself for the very little amount of writing, or cleaning, or personal grooming, or anything I got done during this hour to myself.  I paused for a second and looked at myself in the mirror.  My lips were smitten but my eyes were dull.  I pulled my hair back into a ponytail, keenly aware that I had no place to go and nothing to look forward to besides the next room to get the baby and to pick up my other son from school.  If I was lucky, I could also fit in a visit to the grocery store.

This bout of depression is particularly murky.  I’m not “sad” or “blue”.  I just feel settled into the idea that nothing feels good.  I feel far away from my kids… my husband… my wants… my dreams.  Sometimes I’m angry and resentful… but most of the time I just don’t care.

It’s been a couple weeks in this place.  I know what triggered it, but can’t seem to climb out of it.

I barely had the energy to command my hand to put that tube of lipstick to my face… but I needed it.  It felt slightly weird… and colorful… and frivolous.  It helped for a little while.

The next day I wore a skirt and I went to visit a friend.  That felt good for a little while too.

I know I have good things in my life – my brain knows this.  I know I have a million things to get done.  I know at some point I’ll feel better.

But right now, I can’t see my way to fixing my insides…

a few things on the outside are about all I can muster.

But it’s something…

it’s an attempt…

and I’m talking…

and I’m open to a few more lipstick days to come…

while I’m waiting to come out the other side.




You might also like

Comments (10)

  • It’s in the not caring that I completely lose myself. It’s in that space that I am so disconnected with everything that I can’t even see how I was connected in the first place. It comes and goes…ebbs and flows, but eventually I come back to the connection and start caring again. It will come.

  • Mel Gallant 9 years ago Reply

    It’s interesting how intellectually we know what is good in our life, we know what isn’t (and why, and sometimes we even know the steps needed to fix what isn’t), but it doesn’t change how we feel.

    Here’s to more lipstick days ahead. 🙂

  • Alison 9 years ago Reply

    Sending you love and light from across the oceans.
    More lipstick days to come. xo

  • Jennifer 9 years ago Reply

    I’m so sorry. I’ve been there and I know that there aren’t any real words that can make it better. You already know that it has to come from deep inside you. Just wanted to let you know that I love you, I’m here for you and that it will get better. I promise.

  • Cindy 9 years ago Reply

    Sometimes it’s all we can do to put on some lipstick or a skirt. That one thing is a step in the right direction.

  • Arnebya 9 years ago Reply

    This: “particularly murky. I’m not “sad” or “blue”. I just feel settled into the idea that nothing feels good. I feel far away from my kids… my husband… my wants… my dreams. Sometimes I’m angry and resentful… but most of the time I just don’t care” could be beside me were someone to create a dictionary of women who feel “Not Quite”. Beside my face would be your words because they so succinctly capture all that I am feeling right now, have been, for weeks. And then I sigh because my girls have pilfered and fucked up all of my lipsticks (that I’d stopped wearing and that were probably dried out anyway.)

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    “Not quite” – that’s the perfect way to describe it.

  • Jen 9 years ago Reply

    sending good thoughts your way.

  • Imperfect Jessica 9 years ago Reply

    Right there with ya. All I know is to hold on to the good moments and know that the sunshine in your soul will come.

  • I started out the year feeling like this. I know what triggered it, too – a bout with the flu and an entire winter break spent indoors, bedridden, sick, and utterly unproductive. I’ve managed to climb out of it, at least as much as I will until springtime – January and February (and often March) are hard months for me. But I can relate to so much of what you’ve said here. It’s not a deep depression, and for that I’m grateful. It’s just like you said – I’m just waiting to come out on the other side.

    And I wrote about depression tonight, too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.