Depression feels like drowning. Like I’m floating in the ocean with an anchor attached to my leg at all times. Every morning starts out at high tide, my body submerged with just my nose and mouth above water. I feel like I can’t move or I’ll drown. I don’t have the urge to cry, which I find strange (maybe worried that it will only add to the water that already surrounds me, but at the same time it would make me lighter and more buoyant…what are the physics behind this analogy?). I always figured depression manifested itself as the ultimate in sadness, but that’s not always the case. A lot of days start out in an emotional vacuum. It’s like an empty pit. Anxiety is different, that’s like a roller coaster of emotions…but the depression, sometimes, it’s like I want to experience the feelings but they are just out of reach. I know I have to get up, drag that anchor with what little energy I have, that the only way I’ll feel better is if I can get up and experience the normalcy of some daily activity. Usually it’s the anxiety kicking in that eventually gets my butt out of bed, so I guess there’s a silver lining…it gives me purpose, even if that’s through a rush of overwhelming thoughts about tasks to be completed and decisions to be made. And so I will crawl out of bed, hit the bathroom, make some tea (in the kitchen, not the bathroom)…by now I’m feeling a little better…force myself to eat (or at least take my daily supplements), make lunch(es)…moving past total suckitude and seeing a little light…get dressed, brush my teeth, run my fingers through all that glorious hair…at this point I’m looking forward to a latte…grab my various bags (purse, work, yoga), and head out the door. Success! Normally the tide continues to gradually recede, though waves still rock me throughout the day, but by evening I’m usually standing solidly with my feet on a beach of wet sand, anchor in hand. The tide comes in again overnight and the process repeats.
That’s most days. But yesterday morning, I cried. Hard. Possibly harder than I have in years. I totally and completely lost my shit. All of the everything just welled up and came out in tears and sobs and snot. For, like, several hours. I cried because I only got four hours of sleep for the umpteenth night in a row and was exhausted, I cried for the boob that I lost and the boob that I will lose in the future. I cried over my marriage. I cried because I feel like I’m not pulling my weight at work and because I’m terrified that I’m going to forget something because my brain still has trouble concentrating and focusing. I cried because Donald Drumpf. I cried over my feelings of selfishness throughout this whole cancer ordeal, and because I feel like I’m not being the mom that Maggie deserves (and I cry even harder that she has to go through this shit at all, and hope that she knows she’s the most important person in the world to me but that she doesn’t feel the pressure of holding me up). I cried because boot season makes my feet stink 24/7. I cried over the hacking, dry cough I’ve had for going on seven weeks and I cried because all the crying was giving me a migraine. I cried because I can’t deal with even mildly sad/scary/dark/’feely’ books and movies anymore because I have a physical reaction that makes me feel sick to my stomach, and I miss the experience of curling up on the couch with a good tear-jerker for *gasp* FUN. I cried because I miss the old Jenn, so very much. I cried because I was aware that I was utterly alone in that moment, with the covers pulled over my head and my body tucked up into a fetal position…but even in a crowded room I can manage to feel lonely. I cried because Leo’s poop stinks and, despite ten straight minutes of scratching at the side of the litterbox, his turds remain uncovered and the stench permeates the room. I cried because my future is uncertain and I often feel like I’m on a train where cancer is the engineer and I’m just along for the ride. I cried because I felt helpless and out of control. I cried because my ‘to do’ list is long and overwhelming, yet mostly full of basic necessities, and so I cried because I can no longer juggle all the things I once could. I cried because I am scared about the possibility of another round of chemo, and I cried at the thought of NOT doing any more chemo and playing the horrible waiting game between scans. I cried because I sometimes get upset with people complaining about the wonderfully mundane stuff going on in their life, but recognize it’s jealousy over the desire to have only comparatively simple problems again. I cried because I was getting tears all over my pillow and now it was wet, dammit! I cried because I felt like an emotional teenager all over again and I’m AN ADULT NOW for crying out loud (pun intended)! There’s plenty more, but I think you get the picture…daaaaang, what a pity party I held for myself!
The day got better, but I never completely got out of my funk. What relief I got was due to Angie’s words of wisdom (girl, you are a shining light in my life and I am so thankful to have you by my side to push through the darkness); Maggie’s presence as a reminder that I did something right in raising a funny, intelligent, goofy, beautiful, amazing young woman and because her smile and laughter can always lift my spirits; getting out in nature with Julie and the girls; snuggle time with baby Milo (wrastling with Ralphie didn’t hurt 😉 ), and , of course, yoga. Gratitude going out in big heaps ❤ ❤ ❤
This morning I’m feeling better still, maybe it’s because I got a full four and a half(!) hours of sleep…something really needs to change on the insomnia front 😦 But I can look through my ‘cry list’ and see what is reasonable, where I need to cut myself some slack, identify those things that are out of my control and are undeserving of obsession, and can even laugh at the ridiculousness of a couple of the points. I am glad I got to have that cry, because it had been a while since the feels really got a chance to step out and go for a walk. Hoping that yesterday was a much needed release and now I can get back to ‘normal’, whatever that might be right now…
Love and hugs and kisses (being sent out and open to receiving 😉 ),