I don’t like to write about being depressed. I feel like people will just be thinking “Yeah yeah, heard it before, doesn’t she have anything else to write about?” Uhm, right now? No.
My best friend will remind me that this happens to me at the beginning of every summer. My meds collide with the intense coastal heat and my body just kind of shuts down. Right now walking a few steps across the floor can be excruciating. My feet don’t want to move and parts of my body really hurt, in a “it hurts to even sit in this chair” kind of way. My body is not currently my friend, but I am trying to love my way back to it and ease into it gently.
I remember hearing people talking about depression and all they understood was that a depressed person felt sad. Clinical depression is so very much more than this. It is physical, biochemical, it affects the brain in myriad ways, the physical body doesn’t work right and the tiniest thing can send one into a flood of tears that won’t stop, for hours, for days. It makes me feel weak and ashamed but that isn’t helpful. Everything is terrifying and well meaning folk — I have done it myself — try to cheer the person up sure that just the right, cheerful platitude will make all the difference. It doesn’t. It can and usually does make you feel worse than before.
I slept off and on most of the day yesterday. I take care of all of my animals and that’s all I’ve gotten done but it’s the most important thing. Last night I howled in pain. It was as though a semi was heading right for me and I couldn’t stop it, I could only howl in pain on impact. I curled up in a ball and wept.
Why do I write about this? I can tell you that today I am writing this for myself. And if it helps anyone else that would be wonderful but right now I am just barely holding on and I am crying again as I write this and I think if I can just track it, take one baby step at a time and write it down and see that no matter how badly I feel I am still here then I can hold on another minute, a half hour, an hour, a day. And I know from experience that the days will pass and I will feel better.
I think this week’s downturn was my appt. with my new therapist. I like her a lot but we didn’t get down to the real therapy — we will next week — because the first appointment is an intake appt. and after a half hour of filling out paperwork she interviewed me asking me questions about everything from when I was real little and being abused by not 1 but 2 men. I had to go through it all, and everything up to the present. All the pain, all the sorrow, all the different therapies and drugs, and on and on. I left just literally as if I were road kill left behind that semi. When you are 61 and the abuse started at 4 and you had to go over everything from there to here, well, it’s a lot and most of it I don’t think about anymore. I have to deal with the physical and emotional effects as well as the several diagnoses that bloomed out of it all, but to go back over every gruesome detail was awful. The next day I had an appt. with the psychiatric nurse practitioner to go over my meds. I have been flattened ever since.
Today it is as if the inside of my house is one of those rock climbing set ups and I have to find hand holds and foot holds to move around at all and sometimes I slip and it looks like a long way down. I hold on sometimes frantically afraid to move, to go forward or back, and I cling fast and I cry.
This is worse than it has been for some time. I go back to her on Wednesday and am praying for a miracle. And I am asking you for prayers and good thoughts and good wishes. This just isn’t the kind of post I like to write but today I am writing it in an effort to hold on. There I go, crying again. This is just plain burdensome. I want to do it all with more grace than this. I am praying for a space of grace.
I apologize for this post and hope you will understand. I am holding on and pray that I will soon find my way out of this dark forest. There are ghosts and evil spirits from my past in here and I can’t get away quickly enough…