Almost too tired to write this. Could sleep all day and all night. I staved it off through winter with excitement and activity. It hits me now at the tail end. I did see the signs. I am like a car that was running on fumes and now the gas is gone.
This is the time when I smile a lot and if people only knew the effort that takes. This is the time when I don’t bound out of bed. I wake up with an anvil of anxiety on my chest and use most of my energy to just get out of bed and get dressed. Don’t care about makeup. Don’t care about clothes. Don’t care about food. Don’t care about a shower. It is simply enough that I get up and make it through the day. This is depression.
If people don’t understand that it is real – it’s own living and breathing thing – then I can’t help them. I don’t have the energy right now.
It is a chemical thing and it simply is always there like a virus laying in wait. I have made more peace with it. I accept that it will come and each time is easier. Not because IT is lessening. Simply because I accept IT. If I let it invade without much of a fight it seems to wash in and wash out more peacefully. If I honor it as its own living, breathing thing it doesn’t decimate everything I have built up during the times I was free from it.
It is called many things by many different cultures. For me it is simply depression. Something I live with and something I will die with.
I tend to move towards the people that I know understand it. The ones that don’t try to convince me that if I would just take this herb or exercise more or, or, or, or. The ones that let me just sit with no other expectation than just to sit and be quiet. The storm of activity that rages on the outside when I am not depressed rages inwardly now. It is the little dark, cloud that follows me everywhere I go. Thankfully I know it will move on when it is finished pouring on my head.
My little depression helper dog, Layla, is staying with me and I wonder if my ex saw this coming. Whatever our relationship used to be that didn’t work, it seems to work now and I keep the best parts. The parts of acceptance of my limitations..the knowing of my behavior after 23 years. Living with him was very, very, very hard. It made my depression almost impossible to bear. Being his friend is easier. Being my friend is easier on him too. He gave me his favorite dog to get through this time that he saw coming before I did. This dog that has laid with me in bed for days and didn’t expect anything from me other than to just be on the bed.
I will have to figure out the places that are okay to for me to be while I move through this short but overwhelming time. And I will have to let go of some of the others. The ones where it is simply too far to drive or too much effort to be involved. And as always, some of the people that thought I was this bright spark of energy will wonder what in the hell happened to me.
This is a disability and I have learned better ways of dealing with it. It is my chemical dark night of the soul. I will talk about it in therapy and keep the activities that I can stand for now and let go of the others. I will be a lump on the friends couches that are just happy to have me be a lump. The friends that live with this also.
You don’t need anything when you are depressed. Need takes too much energy. I will find some good books which help keep the anxiety at bay. I will take my medication every day during this time. I will excuse myself from conversations with people that try to tell me it isn’t real, if only I would do this or that, medication isn’t the answer, blah, blah, blah. I will respect more than ever the people that show up over and over again at the hospital instead of feeling sad for them that they keep showing up. People that live with depression should get awarded medals. An A for effort because effort simply takes too much effort.
I wrote this during a bad bout with seasonal affective disorder a few years ago. It starts in early October and lasts until Spring. I then live my life as if I have been shot out of a cannon. I have improved. Medication helps. Surrounding yourself with people that understand and don’t take offense when you disappear for a while helps. Therapy helps. Do what you can to make it through. You are not alone. I am in the trenches with you.