Depression: My Ten Letter Four Letter Word
A couple of months ago, I wrote something that I hesitated to post.
After my husband read it, he said, "Maybe you need to wait to post something like this until you're out of it."
And so I've rallied, been out of what I describe next for many weeks, and then, last night, I felt myself being pulled down into something scarily familiar.
And this morning I'm saying, "Peace, and no thanks."
For as long as I can really remember, I've called bullshit on the term 'depression'.
I've tried to become a take charge, take responsibility kind of gal, and the word 'depression' has always really sounded to me like 'crutch', 'excuse', 'lazy'.
For a few months now, I've been in and out of feeling a scary mix of crazy and nothing.
Crazy and nothing feel really confusing together.
My kids seem happy - I'm smiling at them enough and tending to their needs with as much lightness as I can muster. I adore my husband, and yet expect him to fulfill every single need I have in the Whole Entire World.
I have this beautiful life - I can see that it's beautiful - and yet I can't feel it.
This has me panicked, as I'm a capital-F-Feeler.
I sat at a meeting two nights ago with my sponsor and when she asked me how I was I started crying. I didn't really know why. Tim had said something innocuous that morning and I'd gone ahead and ruined our day over it. I'm in a constant internal state of panic over whether my kids are okay. "I know that I think I'm a good mother, that I have the potential to be a good mother. But am I actually a good mother? It's one thing to think it and another to really be it."
I told her that I wasn't really feeling anything, that 'numb' and 'empty' were the primary descriptors.
Which has me concerned.
My typical up-and-down pattern, the rocketing highs and the sinking lows, has become familiar to me and those in my inner circle. The jubilant, exploding phone calls with the latest idea, the clarity of walking the right way. The tears when my kids look at me like that, the love that bursts from my eyes.
And then the other side of things, the desperate attempts to purify myself - no alcohol, cheese, meat, coffee - and then the inevitable desire for the very things I've scorned. The struggle with wanting, which turns to obsession, which turns to fear, a seemingly endless loop of not-good-enough-no-willpower-ruining-your-life-and-the-lives-of-those-you-love.
I've thought for about a year that I've had a handle on the cycle, and now I'm not so sure.
Because the cycle doesn't usually include the kind of numbness I'm feeling lately. Rather, the cycle is full of feeling and full of color, even when it's down it's alive.
I keep thinking that if I just take a deeper breath, close my eyes for a moment longer, that maybe I'll open them and see clearly, which will help me feel clearly, too.
But so far that isn't working. And I'm instead just wanting to be by myself when in reality I have two kids home for the summer. I'm wanting to be by myself when I have a husband who wants to know where his wife is today.
I'm so reluctant to believe in depression. I want to be able to fix myself, by myself, for myself.
With deep cleansing breaths and shoulders pulled back, walking squarely into today,