Balance. My life for the past… Oh, at least 23 years, has been about trying to find,and maintain, some kind of equanimity. And while there have been a lot of highs and lows, I’ve done alright, for the most part, at my search.
I had a really bad 2 year stretch, depression my constant companion, with anxiety keeping me strung tight & riding the line between dread & the feeling of utter numbness.
I’d fake my way through the days, keeping everything light & surface at work… then I’d come home, and static would settle between my ears. I’d sit in my chair, & stare at a wall for hours on end, until finally realizing the sun had set & it was time to sleep. I’d then lie awake for hours, not able to get my brain to shut off that static noise, problems whirling around inside like a tornado, eluding my grasp & stymying any problem-solving abilities I thought I had.
I came very close during those 2 years to just cashing in what few chips I had. 3 times, I almost took that last, long step.
But something always pulled me away from the edge.
My children. My grandchildren. My Beloved Nephew. They held me to this life long enough to claw my way out of the hole I’d sunk into.
And don’t bother asking what held my head under water, because I don’t know.
Depression doesn’t work like that, at least for me.
It seeps in under the door, around the cracks in the windows, like dark fog, slowly obscuring the light.
You don’t notice it at first.
It’s just a light haze, and you can easily brush it aside.
Until it fills the rooms inside your head with maladaptive thoughts, urging you to give up, give in.
You’re not really going to make anything out of yourself, after all, where are you now? What do you have? Who’s on your side, anyway? Everyone talks about you behind your back. You’re so weird, they can’t handle it. You’re too much. You’re not enough. You’re just….. wrong.
And, it’s always easier to believe the bad stuff. An overheard remark… a backhanded compliment/insult. Passive aggressive comments. A glance in the mirror after your anxiety/depression kicks in, and you’re done.
Yep. You’re just not worth it. No one wants you around. Not to keep. Get over yourself, & just do it.
And the strains of Hotel California start playing in your lizard brain, urging you on.
“You can check out any time you like… but you can never leave.”
You walk a tightrope, every day, between barely making those 24 hours, with your heart in your throat, and your chest on fire, your whole body clenched in knots, or slipping from the heights, plummeting to your final stop.
It’s hard to see the light right now. I can feel the fog rolling in again, after having a respite from the blank spaces for a while. I try to drag myself away from that edge, but the land tilts under me, and I slide…..
Being sad – is not the same as Depression. Being sad is for a reason, for a space of time, even if that space of time is a long one. There is a reason for it, and there are ways to work your way out of it. It’s explainable, logical, even expected, at times.
Being Depressed… *sigh* for me, most of the time, there’s absolutely no reason I can point to where the slide starts. No “thing” I can point to that is the catalyst. It just, exists.
I do the talking thing, not with a therapist, which I can’t afford, but with trusted folks in my life.
I do the medication thing, which helps to keep the BigBad from clawing my chest open, but doesn’t “fix” the problem.
Believe me, if there was a fix, I’d take it.
But, you can only keep the fog at bay, sometimes.
Walk the tightrope.
And hope… that the light starts burning off the fog when morning comes.