We are all shells here.

It was small, a little paragraph. Someone might read the first sentence and not think much of it.

It describes the interactions this person who is stuck in a deep, muddy hole. They are having difficulty getting out. Possible rescuers come, who simply stand there and instruct the victim, telling them to just keep trying. But the victim slips and falls, and the rescuer yells at them, calling them pathetic, a quitter, and then walks away. After a few visits, the victim is left unattended to, all alone in this dark hole. They try and try to get out on their own, but repeatedly they fall back to the bottom. Soon, they just sit there, letting the mud pull them further down. After all, what is the point of going on, trying to get out? By the end of the paragraph, you learn that this is a representation of depression. You take from that what you will.

It hit me hard. I was going through my own rough entanglement with depression, the first of several stints. High school, the breeding ground for fucked up hormonal outputs. My home life was trash, and the lack of there actually being one did not help. I poured myself into school and after school activities.

I was running away.

I don’t think I ever stopped running.

Not even when I opened up. Not even when my condition was made aware to me. That was 3 years ago, when I transferred to UB. My past was more or less shoved into a box under my bed, into the darkest corner. It was meant to be avoided, in order to find happiness. To define structure.

“Remember that your interactions with your fellow collaborators will affect your future. Your enemy now will be your boss later. Choose your words carefully.”

I did try new things, as per college life requirements. I changed my style. I drank a little much sometimes. I made out with friends I knew well, and acquaintances who barely knew me. I did ridiculous and foolish things, and still managed to get up in the morning to pay my bills.

But I was a hollowed out tree trunk. My life made me a shell, nothing of substance. I gossiped. I partied. I stopped writing. Silence. And so my anxiety and depression sank me back into the deep, muddy hole. I was in a sea of tree trunks with nowhere to go.

Cleveland was the last straw. I spent a lot of time looking for a way out down there. Radical paths. Trying to avoid suspicion. Though. Some part of me knew that no one there would have held me back from that jump.

Thankfully, I returned back to my true home – to my pen, my writing, my muse, where I keep my sanity.

Loneliness still plagues me when the moon silently approaches, and when the sun shines so bright that I am blinded by its typical beauty. Few comment on my photos, like my Facebook posts, answer back my phone calls. Sometimes I still wonder – would they noticed if I just picked up? Walked out of their lives for good?

I still wonder, as I attempt to choose between my love for the arts and design as extensions of my being, and my dependence on writing for salvation and survival.

I still….


Today, I get up for myself. I enjoy myself.

It will all work itself out eventually. It always does.*


Published by

Brenna Renée Prather

Costume Designer. Writer. Artist.

5 thoughts on “We are all shells here.”

  1. First off, I think college is a terrible time for depression. I was a mess the entire four years. Second, I think FB can be really hard on depressed people. Try to not take it personally if you choose to stay on there. hugs, lily

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! College has had its difficulties for me, but I think it has overall helped mold me into a happier and more open person. I don’t know if I’d ever leave Facebook. I might pick up and leave the town I am without much notice. I think I was just more or less just writing down some ponderings I have regularly, whether it’s real or just the depression talking.
      Best Wishes,
      Brenna Renée Prather


  2. This is really beautifully written. I will be going to college with anxiety so I’m a little bit worried it might make it worse on me. But I am determined to make it through. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    xo S

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Congrats on getting into college and best of luck in your endeavors there! Sending you relaxing vibes. Word of advice – Know where your school’s counseling services are and how to contact them. Going to mine helped me a lot. You might not need them right away (or at all), but hey, can’t hurt to know! Also, having a good support system in place, even if it’s just one friend, is necessary.
      Best Wishes,
      Brenna Renée Prather

      Liked by 1 person

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