Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Fog rolls in

I wasn't sure I was going to get around to blogging this weekend. You see the fog rolled in and it made everything foggy and so very hard to see or think or do anything beyond sleeping and moving off the sofa.

My old friend depression decided to pop in for a weekend visit you see. I can't claim to be an expert on depression other than my experience (all to vivid experience) of living with it all around me. I have lost 2 family members to suicide and know of at least one other family member who has attempted it (I found them and thwarted their attempt). I am sure if I played true confessions with some other family members I would find more than a few more who have stepped out on that particular ledge a time or two (myself included) but for whatever reason did not step off (at least successfully- although its odd to tie the word success to suicide).

All I know is that for me, depression is always there. I have described it before as the ocean's undercurrent that is constantly threatening to pull me under. I spend the majority of my time swimming like hell to keep myself on top of the wave, riding it but fearing every second that if I slip even a little bit I will be sucked under and maybe this time....for good. It is exhausting and one can never tell what might set it off.

I hate it. I hate it with a passion. I think of myself as a strong person and I don't like the feeling of being out of control but when the cloak of depression creeps up on me its like I was slipped a drug. Sometimes I can catch the moment it slips over me and I can almost feel the cold needle piercing my flesh as the cold drug of depression begins flooding my body making the whole world fuzzy and turning my brain into worthless mush. If I am lucky during this time I can at least function on auto-pilot. Like yesterday I somehow managed to complete my basic tasks of the day such as laundry, doing dishes, a bit of cleaning ....but yoga had to be cut as a 14 hour nap was far more important. Even with that I still found myself a zombie at 9 and was passed out cold at 9:30pm. Damn, do I know how to rock a Saturday night or what?

So how does a strong person deal with such a disease? One that turns you into a cowering, whimpering emotional mess? And how do you keep the window to your soul open to a new person in your life without giving him the impression that you are some broken china doll who needs to be handled with kid gloves?

Well I used to hide.....hide deep in my corner and under my covers where no one could ever ever see me. If no one saw me then I could go on business as usual and only I knew how much the cauldron of my emotions are bubbling. But then I started doing this blogging thing and as scary as it is to share things with you (cuz then ohimgod you will know!!) it helps. When I write about things like this I don't have you guys in mind. This is me being selfish and writing to myself. Since I can't actually sit my broken little doll self down and chat with her at least here I think she gets to talk a little bit which is good because for the most part she doesn't have a voice. I keep her gagged and bound because if someone sees her they might not think I am as together as I need people to think I am.....there is that block again. Where else does this show up in my life? How about everywhere....

What set it off this time is trivial. Well, not exactly trivial but not anything that millions of people aren't dealing with everyday. Its just Friday was my day to not exactly handle it very well. I spent the whole day in tears (plus side of working alone- I can sob all day and no one asks me "what's wrong") and by the end of the day I was emotionally done. In fact I skipped out early and flew home as fast as I could to hide and frankly I have not left the house since. I do give myself snaps for resisting another urge that is hard wired into me. Chris and I had plans to do a dinner/movie night and I was sooooo excited. Now what my usual programming would scream at me to do when I feel the current pulling at me is to violently push everyone away so I can then be the perfect martyr and sit back all alone and lament about how nobody loves me. So the fact I did not cancel on Chris is huge- I was close though, can't lie. So he came over and it was good. I had made a "comfort pit" for myself. I threw every pillow in my house on the floor and pulled out all my special blankies....the one my mom made for me when I was 10. The one my niece made for me. And the Bubba blanket made from Troy's t-shirts with the border made from my sisters robe. I wore a nightshirt my grandma had bought for me when I was like 8 and I had my boy who kissed me and cuddled me and make it ok- for a little while.

His wonderful cooking (swoon) and holding me close while we watched one of my fave movies was perfect and just what I needed and the whole night kinda induced a haze that I was just totally wrapped up in. I never want him to leave but I have to admit I was so tired I literally could not keep my eyes open and after he left I am sure I was dead asleep before he even left my complex.

Here is my dilemma and it is totally mine because I know he, or you guys don't care....but how do I convince you all that I am ok even when I am not? After living with this for so long and especially this last 2 years I have become aware of the signs and danger zones.Part of me still wants to hide away just because when I have slipped- which I do and will continue to do in the future- it is so scary to talk to me. I know how dark and morose and just awful I sound and if it were me talking to someone I care about I would be panicked. I can't say I am ok during these "spells" but the truth is you can love and support me but ultimately you can't help. I can't be fixed or rescued and sometimes I am beyond your ability to even reach me. You couldn't, not with a boat or a plane or running as fast as you can. Sometimes I just need to drift and only I can start paddling back to shore and back to the people I know who are waiting there for me.

It's so huge I can even admit I have people on the shore, on dry land, who love me because that is what depression loves to steal away from you. The connections you have to others. The things that you live for and love in life are depression's greatest enemies. So you see? I have made such progress even knowing while I am in the fog that if I just walk long enough in a straight line that I will find you and then you can help me. You help by being there all along for me to find.

So its not ok...I won't go as far as to say that. Its cold and scary and I hate it but its another part of my life. I try to be honest here- as much as I have the ability to recognize the honesty of a situation myself. I would not be honest if I hid this from you and I would be cheating my broken doll self of her voice if I did not allow her to speak here.

What it is- is my life. God knows its not pretty and the road ahead has many many rough patches ahead and I'll be back here to this foggy wet place more times in my life than anyone would ever want but I have a pocket full of breadcrumbs and I will find my way out.....

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