I’ve held off on posting for a while, wanting to get into a better place. Then I read Jenny‘s last 2 posts, and realized that what I really needed to do was be honest. With myself and with you.
The truth is that there are times that the pit of depression opens up and swallows me whole. Holidays can be rough, and I’m pretty worthless in the spring (starts about mid-March with dead boyfriend’s birthday, goes thru my birthday, anniversary of daughter’s death, and usually ends late May with her birthday), but it can strike out of the blue any time, any day. Most of the time I can fake it enough to appear ok and get through my day, but I’m really just hiding how I really feel. If I’m home I let the feelings come as they will, but I have cancelled plans with friends when it’s bad. Some days the only thing that gets me out of bed is the fact that the animals need to be fed, and once I’m up I stay up. The back pain that I’ve been living with for the last 11 months isn’t helping, but I don’t think that it has made things worse.
The one thing I am really tired of is folks telling me how strong I am. Just because I don’t cry in public doesn’t mean I’m strong. Curling up in a ball just isn’t a viable option most of the time. Even before the depression I tended to put my head down and bull my way through things. That has gotten me through 28 moves as a kid and adult, being the new kid at school 10 times before I went to college, several jobs, and raising 3 kids for almost 30 years and sheep for 12.
I didn’t really understand depression until 5 years ago. Kid the Younger has dealt with it for too many years, and I was as supportive as I could be but I didn’t “get it”. My favorite uncle suffered with his, to the point that 15 years ago he called his neighbor and asked him to go pick up my aunt at work but not let her in the house, and then called 911 before he took his own life. All because he was afraid of becoming addicted to anti-depressants. Five years ago I had some muscle spasms in my lower back. As part of the treatment, my then doctor prescribed Cymbalta (it apparently can help with pain relief). Not a great drug for me, since it made me suicidal and totally took away my balance. I fell twice, and was on the ground before I even felt that I was falling. Luckily I didn’t break anything, but as soon as I realized what it was doing to me I went off it. Then all the crap happened, and I got sucked in to the abyss.
I’m lucky in a lot of ways. I don’t self-hurt, and even when I’m suicidal I am aware enough to know that the feeling will pass. I have friends that I know would be willing to listen if I wanted to talk, and I even have a couple that get it, that miss my kid as much as I do. I know that “normal” is a lie, that most of us deal with issues that we think are ours alone, which is such a crock and does us all more harm than good. We are human, and that needs to be enough.
Thanks for listening. I’ll get back to a better place soon, I’m sure, and bring you up to date on the knitting and the beasties. Until then, keep on keeping on.