The Evil Inside Me.

Via Erica Leibrandt
on Dec 12, 2013
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251/365 - Manic Depressive

When I woke up this morning, it was 6:29 am, one minute before my alarm was set to ring. I groaned and slapped it off.

I could already feel it—the evil thing.

Today is the kind of day where everything is dead inside. Even the sight of my sleeping son failed to give me a static shock of happy. I just stared at him like he was a stranger.

I dragged myself downstairs, going through the motions, hoping that something inside would shift or bloom.

The pancake batter looked like cement. My cup of tea was an affront, acidic yet too sweet. I dumped it after one sip, and watched it swirl down the drain.

I got my son out the door for the bus and trudged back upstairs. The days chores loomed like a dark and unstable tower over the landscape of my mind. Everything was in shadow, shadows defined by darker shadows, darker shadows disappearing into obscure edges that had no end.

How well I know this feeling.

Naming it doesn’t help. It is an evil that resides within me that, at it’s most potent, easily crushes the flimsy defenses I try to throw up against it.

I can’t eat it away, drink it away, drug it away, meditate it away, sleep it away, walk it away, talk it away. It just lays rumbling, breathing its acrid breath and enveloping me in its sour vapors.

It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Doesn’t matter how it came to this. Doesn’t matter that I know it will evaporate, in a day, maybe two. It doesn’t matter if I count my blessings, say my prayers, or whisper the syllables that form the word gratitude to convince myself what is real.

I must simply accept it’s weight. If I let it press me down, and mold me in it’s shape, if I look through it’s hard eyes and feel with it’s hateful heart, perhaps it will be satisfied enough to move on.

But it is so hungry for more.

Who will notice that my skin is the skin of this monster? That as I move and breath, I appear to be me, but I am, in fact, a puppet, driven by a mad puppeteer. Who will help me break my puppet strings, those strong invisible threads like fishing line, which like such stuff, end in deadly hooks speared through my extremities; my hands, my cheek, my lip?

I am the only one who can slice those lines. The only one who can make the puppet stop dancing—because the puppeteer is me.

I will rest, I will stumble, I will weep.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be free.


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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: elephant archives


About Erica Leibrandt

Erica Leibrandt is a licensed mental health clinician, certified yoga instructor, and mother to six heathens who masquerade as innocent children. If she occasionally finds herself with a fried egg on her plate or dancing until dawn, she asks that you not judge her. Life is short, she knows the chicken that laid the egg, and we can never dance too much. Connect with Erica on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr.


12 Responses to “The Evil Inside Me.”

  1. yuri says:

    Hi . I surprised that what you wrote is exactly same thing with what I’ve felt.

  2. domini says:

    this sounds a lot like the stress coming off of deep grief…

    where the happy, in flow, you, is replaced by the human suffering in the void.

    In any case, you're not the only " occasional zombie-movementor" out there, and thank you for speaking your voice out of the hollow chasm that sometimes replaces … oh, everything else that defines us.

  3. Joel D says:

    Thank You.

  4. lou says:

    amazingly accurate description – this is a brilliant piece xx

  5. Erica says:

    Domini, I did write this one day after the 9th anniv of my son's death, so you're absolutely right about the grief piece, but I have also struggled with this feeling since I was a kid. It was hard to write because even typing hurt, so I was proud that I got anything out. That's why it is short, though, I just ran out of steam entirely. I am wearing your pants right this minute BTW 🙂

  6. encounterillumination says:

    Your words: a visual, stunning landscape. Thank you for your honesty, creativity and authenticity.

  7. SDC says:

    I guess we all pretty much go there. We just don't know how to verbalize it the way you do. IS it in all of us, either unrecognized or unacknowledged? Genetic? Nature? Nurture? Whatever, it's only to be lived through – there seems to be no going around.

  8. feelinghuman says:

    Hi Erica, thanks you for this lovely and bold post. I cannot recommend Tsultrim Alione's "Feeding Your Demons" enough. It is a Western adaptation of an ancient Tibetan practice. Created by a woman and adapted by a woman – very powerful. Alione wrote a book about it and there much information on the web including a video on YouTube. Cheers to stability in even the darkest of pathways!

  9. Erica this is painful and gorgeous at the same time. It is exhausting—knowing that it's "so hungry for more" no matter the circumstances. But this…

    "I will rest, I will stumble, I will weep.
    Maybe tomorrow I’ll be free."

    …this is hope. YOU are hope.
    Thank you for mustering the strength to put this out there. You're offering light even when you feel chillingly dark. <3

  10. maya yonika says:

    I'm not such a fan of 'self promotion' however I came upon this blog and after reading thought..well, i once knew this place as well and found my way out. If you are interested, check out my book, 'No Mud, No Lotus' on

  11. Erica says:

    Good title! I will 🙂

  12. Sheri says:

    I am praying for strength, peace and nurturing love for you….have been where you are and am sad for your real pain. If nothing else, know you are not alone….hugs