Today was a lost day. I woke up trembling; sad for no reason. I wasn’t in control of my emotions. My brain chemical imbalance had taken over and there was no stopping the tears, anguish and feelings of helplessness and rage. My breakthrough depression had arrived and no amount of meds was going to control it.
I tried anyway, desperately macking down both my bupropion and clonazepam. Perhaps a shower and getting ready for work would work. What could I do for distraction? Maybe endless games of spider solitaire or working on my upcoming photography exhibit. Anything to stop this galloping pain. Too late. It was already upon me. I curled into a fetal ball. Waves of sadness rushed over me. Tears oozed out of my eyes. Sadness engulfed me. I got to my extra meds too late. I would just have to ride out the storm.
I cried endlessly, full of unreasoning sadness. I mentally berated myself. I am a loser. I’m too fat, too old, too stupid, too whatever. It didn’t matter— I’d never measure up. Who was I trying to kid? Everybody knows what a loser I am. This is the way my inner voice beats me up. There’s a part of me that isn’t listening. It’s the part of me that has braved this storm before, has survived the endless tempests. Deep inside myself I know that this will pass. I just need to be strong enough to last through it. I think of curt cobain and any wine house and know the pain they were going through and how it finally engulfed them. I’m one of the fortunate ones. I’ve survived and I know from bitter experience just how this is going to go. I’m going to lose today. Today is a throw away day.
Ernie understands as well. He kisses the back of my neck…one of my vulnerable spots, and tells me he loves me and he’s sorry I’m going to go through this today. He jokes with me in an attempt to distract me and coax a smile from me with some silly story about the Dodgers. I look at him; this man who has stood beside me through some horrible times and think of how much I love him and how without him and his unconditional love I probably would not still be on this earth.
He leaves for the office. It’s payday and my staff is waiting. I know he wishes to stay with me but he knows my agents need to be paid and I need to be alone. He trusts me not to do anything stupid. Ernie and I understand this too will pass. I spend the day trying to just get by. I don’t stop the tears. I just let them ooze out of me. I have learned that they need to fall; they carry catharsis and healing inside of them. They will be salty and slightly bitter today as they purge pain from me. I know I just need to get through today. I need to let the chemical imbalance in my brain sort itself out. I know that no amount of drugs food or alcohol will heal me. At best I have learned to manage my depression. I’ve survived and know to just let this pain run its course. I know that it does have an end. I know too that it will come again and I will again lose a day of my life. But …more importantly … I will not lose my entire life. Just a day here and there. I accept that as payment for the remaining days I have that are filled with joy. There are others who suffer from worse types of depression such as bi-polar or schizophrenia, I now only deal with this type of pain on occasion. It used to consume me. This knowledge is an enormous gift.
I have been asked recently if my employees know about these mental shit storms or do I hide it. Oh, they know. I will not hide this anymore. They know. They care about me anyway and text me through the day. They may not understand it but they accept it. I cannot lie about this. I need them to help protect me and they thus must know. Depression has such a horrible stigma to it. But I have faith that by showing how happy and positive I am the other days of the month they will understand that this is something out of my control. If they judge if let it be with kindness and understanding and knowledge not fear. All photos are original and the property of the author. Permission to use is granted if you reference www.HealingJourneyBlog.com in the photo credit.