My last post, Depression, was nothing short of pure and unedited honesty. But now that I can (literally) feel my legs again, I feel like I should talk about depression for all that it’s worth- which, let’s face it, isn’t much. As stated previously, depression isn’t just being ‘sad’ for a short time and then getting over it. Depression is a 24/7 crippling disability that I’ve learned to control with a lot of self-care exercises.
Self-care: the care of oneself in order to promote a healthy mind, body, and soul.
Because life has gotten in the way of me living recently, I’ve traveled down some very dark pathways that I haven’t been in a while. Pathways that are overgrown with intrusive thoughts, are littered with trashed words like ‘disappointment’ and ‘failure’, are hidden from the world because nobody wants to walk a path that draws blood from the thorns underfoot. But that’s my path. This has been my path for years. At this point, I can’t even turn back on the path to regress because that just means more painful memories and discarded actions of hope.
So let’s talk. What is depression if it isn’t just being ‘sad’? Depression is… different for everyone. For me, it’s being numb to the point where I actually stop feeling my limbs. Usually my legs, sometimes my arms. For me, it’s knowing what I’m supposed to be doing, seeing that stuff needs to be done, and being absolutely unable to do anything about it. I see the dishes, the laundry, the trash piling up. A Mt. Everest of forgotten chores. But it takes so much energy for me to just stand up, go to the bathroom, return to bed, that I can’t do anything else. My depression is and isn’t being helped by my husband right now, but I’ll get back to that.
Depression is eating without tasting. Having to hold onto the walls and railings to walk. Staring blankly at the handle on a cabinet, remembering how to lift your shoulder, lift your elbow, lift your wrist, lift your fingers, grab the handle, pull- having to tell yourself, out loud, how to open a cabinet. Telling yourself, out loud, how to close it once you got what you wanted. It’s so much effort to do things that are needed. For many, it’s not worth it. They have family helping. I’m alone.
I have my husband. He takes care of me like nobody else does. Makes sure that I eat. Reminds me to drink. Asks if I’ve moved from my spot in 6 hours. He also- I know you’re reading this, Adam- he also hurts me. Never physically. Never emotionally. He’s the most amazing man ever. But even with my depression, I’m the only one doing laundry, cleaning dishes, keeping the house tidy. I’m the only one who gives a shit and it causes that little black spot of depression to grow, grow, grow, grow, grow…
I’m not on meds. Quite honestly, I need to be. I need medication to stop the intrusive thoughts. I need medication to get me off of this thorny path in which my trails of blood don’t deter me from walking over them again. I need meds to remember who I am. Right now, I feel better than I did a few days ago. My writing more than 20 words in 40 minutes portrays that perfectly. But I’m not done with depression. I feel empty. I feel alone.
I’ve gotten out of dark places before, but this is a new kind of dark for me. I can usually see the light somewhere in the distance. But right now? It’s pitch black, and I think I hear something growling from behind me…