May 19 2013
I have had this post swirling since I realized my blog was broken again. I have written and re-written it in my head a million times. Writing for me is not about the audience but about loving to write and using it as a means to release things built up inside of me. Unfortunately there are times I just don’t know what to write or there is just TOO much to write so I walk away and my blog breaks. Then when I have something I just HAVE to get out, I have to wait for it to be fixed. Then I decide I am not ready to write it so I wait and wait. Today, I’m not waiting anymore.
Over the past 4+ years the sky has fallen on us more times than I can even count. I often to be honest feel completely cursed. My grandma says it is God building character and teaching me lessons. As a human being with an honest to God breaking point I feel I can NOT stand to learn one more lesson. Then the sky falls again and I start to question if it’s yet another lesson I need to learn when it seems I have enough character I could win an Oscar. From the time I was 16 I have suffered from chronic and often debilitating Depression. Outside of my family, I hide it well. I plaster a smile on my face and go through the motions, but it’s not a real smile. There are tears behind it, and right now they refuse to fall. What does that say when you fall so deeply in to a depressive state that you physically can’t cry? That you can’t laugh a real laugh but instead have to force it and pray it is not really as fake sounding as it is feeling.
I have tried a lot of different things. I have taken almost every medication on the market. We even at one point tried medications for Bi-Polar Disorder and boy can I feel for Bi-Polar people now because that is a really vicious cycle. The meds make you feel horrific. I can fully understand why you would want to stop taking them.
There was not a cathartic event that propelled me in to a lifelong battle with Depression. I really wish their was because then I would figure out a way to have that memory completely removed like they do in the Harry Potter movies and I’d be healed. The truth is, it’s just genetics and a string of bad luck and some bad decisions over the years. Depression runs in my family so in all likelihood I could have been graced with its presence no matter what circumstances life threw at me and I know that, but that doesn’t make it easier when life continues to beat you against the proverbial rocks.
All that being said, outside of when I first found myself in the midst of a deep Depression and terrified not knowing what was wrong with me, I can honestly say I am in the worst place I have been in a very, very, very, long time and I am not finding a way to pull myself out so easily this time.
I can’t tell you what triggered it. It could be the PTSD, it could be the slew of things thrown at myself and my family since the fire, or it could be the fact I now have lung disease and have to live with the limitations it imposes for the rest of my life. I honestly can’t tell you if it is one thing or a mix of things, but I can tell you it could also be none of those things and could just be nothing at all. That’s what I feel now, nothing.
So, in one more attempt to purge myself of this feeling, in the hopes that writing it out will make me “snap out of it” and also in the hopes that there could be someone else out there like me, struggling and not sure where to go or what to do or what it is and I can maybe reach them and let them know they’re not alone. I am going to try to tell you what it feels like to sink like a stone in to a blackened nothingness.
The easiest way I can think to explain it to you is to go through the thoughts in my head daily. It starts with waking up in the morning and realizing I was not magically cured in the night. I have a headache most every day, some days blinding and some days just dull and annoying. I open my eyes to the piles of laundry I have left stacked up, washed so my family has clean clothes, but carelessly thrown in to baskets as tall or taller than me over the past months. I open my eyes to the layer of dust gathering on everything that I don’t care enough to clean. I use the restroom I really should clean that day and promise myself I will get to it just as soon as I get my youngest off to school. I walk past the vanity covered in my makeup brushes and remind myself I really should shower today and put some makeup on and maybe even get crazy and do something with my hair and put on clothes without elastic waist bands, maybe I will take a real walk on the wild side and venture out to the store or visit a friend, something. Then I get my youngest off to school because despite the Depression the one thing that doesn’t change is my deep, deep, deep love and devotion to the little people I love so much and their well being, even if it’s all I do that day despite the thoughts that I should do so many more things, I will make sure they know they are loved and have a great day. Most days that is my win. That is all I accomplish. The shower goes out the window as I return from taking my youngest to school, the laundry remains unfolded, the house remains messy and frankly embarrassing. But I really don’t care anymore. It was just too much effort to even think about it, let alone actually do it. I sit in my recliner and wish I could find the energy and more importantly the desire to do something, anything with my day. Step outside, open my blinds, open my windows, let the light in. Some days I will turn the TV on and tune it out so it doesn’t look like I am literally just sitting here doing nothing. Some days I will play a computer game. Some days I will read blogs or Caringbridge sites, or people’s statuses on Facebook who are fighting for their lives or their children’s lives and I will pray I feel something. ANYTHING. I pray I can shame myself in to snapping out of it by realizing people I know and love have it so much worse. A woman I went to school with is literally battling to regain her life after a horrific accident. She has had to learn to speak again, walk again, feed herself again, etc… I read her page every day because she is amazing and I really think I should be so thankful I am not in her position, it could be so much worse. Then I think, if I was in her position I would probably be a vegetable because I don’t have that fight in me. She is awesome and I love her and her family and I am so thankful she is getting so much better and I realize she has this ridiculously unfair fight still ahead of her and she will overcome it. I won’t say I don’t care or I don’t find compassion for her, for others battling to save their children or their own lives, but I view it with a sort of detachment. A part of me weeps for them and shares in their triumphs and realizes it could be so much worse for me, for my kids, but really, I am so detached that I can’t go farther than that. I can’t shame myself in to getting up and doing one single thing. Because I am suffering too, I am struggling too. It’s a different struggle and I know that in my head and heart, but I just can’t see their pain and suffering and fighting through my own blackness.
I talk to the people in my life that I know understand me and they tell me to take one small step at a time and I promise I will, but I don’t. By the time I realize I haven’t taken that step it’s too late, the kids are home. Instead of taking that small step, I have taken a nap, or literally wished hours of my life away sitting in my chair doing absolutely nothing. If I read I can’t tell you what. If the TV was on, I can’t tell you what I saw. If I spoke to someone I probably can’t tell you what they said to me. I am detached, I am not there, not present. I am physically alive, but inside there is nothing. My kids come home and I spend time with them and my husband comes home and we have dinner that I most likely didn’t cook and won’t clean up because I just don’t have the energy. Then I go to bed and it all starts right over again the next day despite my prayers before bed, that tomorrow I will feel something. Anything at all, that I will truly take that one step and do something, even if it’s something small.
The worst part of this cycle? It eventually stops and I am ashamed and the feelings come back with a force like a Tsunami and then I can feel again, and I can cry and BOY do I do just that and I begin to repair that which I broke in my blackness. Except this time? It’s not going away. I can’t make it. I can’t take that step. Nothing is helping and I want to cry, but those tears just won’t come. It’s a really horrible feeling to pray for tears to fall just to know you are alive and healing, but oh how I long for those tears.
So, if you feel like this, you are not alone. I am considering EMDR therapy. I don’t know if it will help me, but at this point I have nothing to lose. If my posts are a little darker or a little less frequent I hope you can hang with me. What I can tell you is, I showered today. I am also cleaning my room thoroughly today. and then hopefully my kitchen, dining room, and living room. But for today I showered and I am cleaning my room so I am taking and have taken a small step so I pray with everything in me that it means the darkness is lifting and it is not just a good day in a line of really bad ones to come.
What I can tell you without doubt is, Depression is real. It is an illness, not a choice. You can’t will your way out of it and you can’t just choose to stop being Depressed. It takes intervention and sometimes even with that intervention it takes a long, long, long, time to crawl out of a depressive state. So if you are Depressed, know you need help from professionals and that it will take time and that, is OK. Know that it will damage relationships but that those worth having are beyond damage. Know that you are not alone and that it will not last forever, one day you will feel and it will suck but it will be a sign that you are healing. Feeling is a good thing even when it’s horrible. It does end at some point, but not without taking you down first to a depth you never thought you could sink to and then it will take you a little further. Cling to the fact it doesn’t last forever and if you feel like giving up, get help immediately because I am here to tell you after almost 10 years of this cycle, it will end and I promise you it is not worth giving up on.