At first I stopped blogging because I was having too much fun. Now I’m not blogging because I’m not having any fun at all. Which would you NOT like to hear about first? I’ve made several attempts to sit down and break my non-blogging streak but I haven’t been able to muster anything that rings true to my normal tone here, so I kept walking away from the computer. At this point, however, I’ve decided that even though I’m not capable of posting something pretty and all wrapped up in a bow, perhaps there is value for someone out there to hear my truth. And the truth is I have spent the better part of the last few months having a fabulous time with my family, both immediate and extended. I’m very blessed that way and I don’t take it for granted. But the other half of that truth is that I have spent the better part of the last three weeks alone in my home on the perpetual verge of tears, staring at blank walls and willing them to speak just to break the silence. If silence was deafening, I could mentor Helen Keller.
I think I’m depressed. There, I said it. I don’t like it, but I also don’t like election years and that doesn’t seem to be going away either. While I’m at it, I don’t like doctors cutting out my cancerous moles (I had 2), bladder infections (I had 1) or botched trips to the DMV (I had 6. As in, more than 5, less than 7, SIX. The 5th time they turned me away I may have yelled to those congregated near the door as I left, “It’s Hell, this place. HELL!” And I pushed my way out the door like I really meant it. Which I did.).
Depression is very confusing. For me, much of it gets lost in all the possibilities of what “could” help.
I could get a job.
I could volunteer more.
I could serve other people instead of wallowing in self pity.
I could write more.
I could orchestrate unforgettable meals.
I could make stuff. Yummy stuff. Cute stuff.
I could organize photos! Write my family history! Clean my basement! Alphabetize my spices! Crawl naked over broken glass!
And I guess I could. But all the “could’s” in the world don’t appear to help, they only remind me that I’m doing it wrong. It’s confusing to know how fortunate I am (and I really do know) and still feel like I could burst into tears at any given moment, like a birthday card that opens up to say “With Deepest Sympathy”. It doesn’t make any sense, so it must be my fault, right? Probably not. Maybe? I guess that’s what I mean – confusing. How can one feel like grey stucco on a rainy day when the sun is shining, there’s enough money to pay the bills and all around you are people who want to make it better? I don’t know.
I’ll tell you what I do know; lighting candles and taking a hot bath while listening to French jazz music was a terrible idea. It did, however, instill a sudden urge to wear a beret, eat croissants and take up oil painting so it wasn’t a total loss. To be clear, I’m still talking about depression and not date night. For reals people, this is SERIOUS.
Complicating matters are the people that love you and want to help. It doesn’t sound like that should complicate things, and I’m not ungrateful for the support. But it’s difficult to talk to loved ones about a topic that is so tired, especially when there’s nothing they can do about it. It would almost be easier if I were shot, as that path of action is clear – get me to the ER, find a doctor that looks like Patrick Dempsey and save my life. There are no Patrick Dempsey’s in depression, only boxes of Zoloft, hopeful bottles of Vitamin D and loved ones shrugging their shoulders, waiting for the fun version of you to emerge again. (And for the record, my life doesn’t need to be saved. I’m okay, just not quite right.)
I know it will get better – experience has shown me I will find my footing and look back on this moment and feel like it happened to someone else; I’ll feel silly for even bringing it up. In no time I’ll be gleaning life lessons from Phineas & Ferb and waxing poetic about Hugh Jackman’s upcoming performance in Les Miserables on the big screen. But for now…
…it’s not pretty.
It’s not wrapped in a bow.
That’s just the truth.