Depression is a heavy thing to face up to. Already, I’m sure a lot of people are averting their eyes and clicking through after reading that first word. People don’t really talk about it much, and when they do, they’re embarrassed. Count me among them; I don’t like talking about it either. It’s uncomfortable.
I’m suffering from depression.
It creeps up on me every year, usually sometime around the end of summer. There are probably a lot of reasons: less time outdoors in the sun, working the garden, at the pool or lake or park or campground; the end of canning season, which is a huge amount of work and accomplishment; kids go back to school and I find myself missing them during the day and burdened with extra responsibilities (making lunches! signing off on agendas! remembering library books and permission forms!); and my fitness level decreases. Normally all this leaves me feeling a bit low, which is usually alleviated by things like regular yoga, slowing down and being gentle with myself and planning a sun vacation for the new year. But this year I added to that a struggle to adjust to new food intolerances, an increased onset of triggerless anxiety and the death of a longtime friend, and everything went into a tailspin. First all my feelings turned to sad and then they turned to nothing. Just nothing all the time. The absence doesn’t go by unnoticed by me – I’m constantly reminding myself that I should be feeling X or Y about this or that but there’s nothing there. Somewhere along the way I stopped getting out of bed some days, lost almost a fifth of my body weight and realized this was more than just failure to cope.
I should probably see a doctor. I keep telling people I want to. I think I hate feeling this way, or I would hate feeling this way if I could. But I can’t pick up the phone because I don’t care enough to. Which is stupid. I could do it right now. My phone is literally sitting beside me right now.
I see it for what it is. I’m pretty sure other people do too. I hope to god my kids don’t, at least, that they don’t notice sometimes their mom wishes they didn’t care about her so much so they wouldn’t be bothered if she just went to live off by herself forever. That’s a horrible realization to face up to. For a long time I hoped it would just stop one day. Fake it til you make it, right?
The worst part came when I stoped caring one way or another. I’d be happy never getting out of bed again. All the stuff I’m missing doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t go to yoga. I don’t see much of friends. I don’t read or watch TV. I especially don’t write. How can I immerse myself into the emotions of characters when I don’t have any of my own? And I’m definitely not being gentle with myself. The little voice in my head that tells me there’s no point in doing anything about it rules the mental airwaves right now.
I hate that bitch.
I know I’m not alone in this. I also know that, like before, I’m going to pull through, it’s just such a miserable slog to get there. In the meantime I have to ask everyone in my life for forgiveness and patience and understanding that maybe tomorrow will be different. And that it’s because of them that I haven’t already cashed it all in and run away to a yurt in the mountains.
Tomorrow could be better. And if not tomorrow, the day after that.