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.
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.