Sunday, September 08, 2013

Depression

There's a word for it that the psychologist and psychiatrists and therapists use - depression. But it's a word that doesn't quite encompass the feeling. There's more to it than that. Life is lackluster. There is no color. Everything is gray. Tears lodge in your throat and you have no idea what to even cry about. There is no reason. Why, life is good - a new job, new challenges, so many blessings to count that your heart is overflowing.

And yet.

It remains. It sneaks up on me, settling in my bones, a partner with the rheumatoid arthritis, sneaky little bastards they are, joining forces against me. I put up my defenses as best as I can. Take my meds. Read a book and lose myself in the story, forget the pain in my heart and in my joints. But the moment I look up from the book, the moment I recall my place in my reality, it comes back. All of it.

They say it's a chemical imbalance, they who know such things better than I do, and I believe them. Sometimes I don't want to think the reason for my heartache is a matter of brain chemicals that I have no control over. Go for a walk, they say, and get those endorphins going! Except I can't walk, not when my knees pop and crack, not when the exhaustion coating every single cell in my body refuses to let me do anything but stay in bed.

Write, I tell myself. Lose yourself in your story. So I open up the laptop, begin to write, let the words pour free, tell the inner editor to go stuff himself because I don't need any more criticism or negativity to hit me when I'm at a low point already. I write and I think that soon, there will be a day that I read this, a day where I am not depressed or hurting, a day when I will be smiling and enjoying life and the curl of my cat's paws as he moves in his sleep, or the feel of my husband's fingers curling around my own, or the wide smile my daughter gives me as she shares her heart with me.

But it's not today. Maybe it's tomorrow. Or the day after. There is always hope that this time, it will be short-lived, that it will not bring the suitcase with it and settle in the guest bedroom. I think of waking up in the morning and greeting the day with a yawn and the familiar grumble of morning activities, but then I will see the gorgeous blue sky and hear the birds chattering to each other and see the bustle of humans on their way to work and think, it truly is a wonderful world and glad I am to be a part of it today.

That is my hope.

10 comments:

  1. What courage to share this. Very brave of you and many people can take an example of this.

    I know the boat you row in, as I struggle with depression and some other mental diseases for quite a while now myself. I have used medication for it but alas, they didn't help that much and it ended up me having issues with the side effects more than the depression and other illnesses.

    It's a hard struggle; day in and day out that even continues when you sleep. They tell you to think about it like "It's a rollercoaster, it goes up and down but eventually it will go away, it will stop". Those words mean nothing to you in a severe period of sadness and depression. You feel helpless. Black. Nothing. Emptiness and it's killing. As if there is no end.

    I hope that, within time, you will find the light of life. Keep holding on to the beautiful things you see, hear and smell no matter how hard that might be! It will pay off!

    Big hug to you Melissa! Stay strong!

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    1. Hi Lindsay - Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I've been struggling with depression since I was a teenager, and I've been on medication for it since then, as well. But since I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last year, I've been having more and more days filled with depression. It's scary. Then you add in the meds I'm taking for the RA and who knows what kind of chemical catastrophe is going on in my brain? LOL.

      It is indeed a rollercoaster - I think I have "up" days more often than "down" days, but it's hard to see that when you're in the middle of a depression.

      Thank the Lord I have my writing. It helps me to cope. I hope you are able to find some relief from your depression, as well. It is so important to talk about it, which is why I am pretty much an open book on this topic on my blog. Creativity and depression often go hand in hand, and it helps to know we're not alone. Take care!

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  2. Thank you for your honesty. Sending well wishes and hugs your way.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I pray that you regain energy and strength, and that your friends and loved ones continue to be supportive :-)

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    1. Thank you so much, Brandi. I am very blessed to have a supportive and wonderful family.

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  4. Sending prayers your way, Melissa.

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    1. Very much appreciated, J.T. Today is a better day. :)

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