Without warning it hit. One day I was feeling a little sluggish but I dismissed it because I had stayed up way too late fooling around online and watching something on Netflix (ahh…Netflix!). Then it was the urge to cry and cry at everything. Commercials. I can’t find a book on the shelf. Too many fricking people in the library. Weepiness doesn’t last long; the rage comes. I’m upset, pissed at everyone…ENRAGED! Find your own darn book, screams the voice in my head as my body sends off a signal which clearly reads Step The Bleep Away. Co-workers are treated to hostile stares and my Mommy Look of Death is once again perfected. The couch is my haven. It’s center of the house and perfect for more late night binge watching.
The worst has not come. Apathy sets in and my mantra becomes I don’t care.
Too many people, not enough seats? Don’t care. Need to have something done that is not really my issue? Sorry, not sorry. You need what? Don’t care.
I slept a lot. I sorta crafted, starting projects and mindlessly knitting and purling, frogging and then starting again. I didn’t overeat but didn’t eat or drink as much as I needed. I slept more and then when I thought I couldn’t sleep anymore, I would wake and feel drained and tired and slow.
The Bee asked what was wrong and all I could offer was, “I’m not sure, I’m going back to bed.”
Depression, that wily, lying heifer, rode in silently and smoothly and before I could think straight, I was wrapped in a blanket of numb (I acknowledge and stand by the cheesiness of this statement).
I was still in denial and after dragging myself to work to be sent home, made an appointment with my general care doc’s office. It was that virus going around, right? Some kid did sneeze on me at some point during the summer and that germ had incubated until then.
After being poked and squeezed, fluids drawn and tested the nurse practitioner asked me about my life and I almost burst into tears. My life is good. Work has been stressful but I was doing all kinds of self-care things and taking better care of myself. She asked if I had ever felt this way before and I shared about being depressed.
Even though I know better, I can’t help but think that “this” was not depression. I showered. I read a few books. I ate. I even painted my nails and twisted my hair. I mothered my teen but in hindsight mothering was more like “come on, let me drop you off somewhere so that I could be alone to get reacquainted with the sweet spot on the couch” and not “let’s hang out and do some stuff together”.
After chatting with the nurse practitioner I can allow myself to believe that depression is a liar. No, I am NOT being extravagant because I was feeling so low and in such a funk that getting dressed was enough to make me want to nap. I don’t have to use words like “blame” or fault because I was feeling tired and sluggish. Berating myself didn’t make me get up and in motion, in fact I felt worse because I was telling myself what a bad person I was and then I would find myself drifting off to nap after blindly staring at the television for hours.
I cannot speak for anyone else but my depression lifted after speaking with someone. It felt good to vocalize the worries that I had, to set limits and reevaluate those boundaries that I had made. It feels good to acknowledge that I something is wrong but I am a bad person because I feel bad.
The most difficult part about depression is chatting with my teen. The Bee knew something was wrong. When I tried to say that I was just tired she waved me away and told me not to worry about “people” and take care of myself. She gave me an unsolicited hug and then did something teen like.
That girl is going to be OK.
And so will I. One day at a time, one moment at a time, one episode at a time.