I’ve had a pretty emotionally rough week and I’ve been in rather piss poor shape because of it. Not just because my trust in doctors and medical staff tanked or because all the stress seemed to trigger a lupus flare to rush right back after only a week or so of being milder. Mostly because when it comes down to it the one thing I was most worried about happening…happened. I have no answers to any of my questions, nor will I get them until I get my ass back in there and put myself through that shit all over again.
My brain has decided to settle into that dark place. The place where hopes and dreams go to die, the place that nightmares are made of (or at least where they take place), the place where there’s voices that say “give up, give in, there’s no point, it’s futile” and I believe them. I think if there’s a path, bridge or doorway to this place or ‘the pit of despair’ (in reference to the Princess Bride, cheesy I know) as I call it I’ve been standing there for a while, waiting to be pushed or pulled either direction. To either regain hope and find some kind of drive for life again or that inevitably I’d be fully taken over by the grips of despair. I guess now we know which way the cookie crumbled.
More than anything, I think depression is my brains fucked up way it’s adapted to anxiety. The quiet hollow nothingness is almost a welcome guest compared to the constant gut wrenching worry of heightened general anxiety along with the sheer panic of well….the panic disorder, both of which aren’t controlled well when life is hectic and seems to fall to pieces over and over. At some point I believe I internally decide I’ve had enough of it and just stop caring. The result isn’t just not caring about if bills get paid for a week or if I forget to eat, I feeling nothing. Nothing but empty and not even really caring if that’s wrong.
It doesn’t mean I haven’t learned to adapt during these times down in the pit of despair. After all, if I didn’t, I’m pretty sure my family would think I hate them. Depression isn’t something easy to grasp for someone who doesn’t or hasn’t suffered from it. My kids, my spouse, they don’t get it, but it does effect them. Between SAD and bouts of Major Depressive Disorder I’ve had a lot of practice having to manage not killing all my relationships while on the down and outs and it pretty much can be summed up to “fake it till you make it.”
I love my family and I know they love me. That’s the truth. I just can’t feel anything right now. I enjoy my hobbies. I just don’t care about doing anything right now. Doing the best I can to plaster a smile on my face, give hugs and spout happy words despite feeling hollow inside is the least I can do. It spares them the hurt that comes from feeling like I don’t care and in the end, them being happy might help pull me out of this just a little bit faster. Depression along with my panic disorder was one of my first diagnosis as a pre-teen. I have many years experience covering up dead eyes with a smile or playing the part of the happy normal gal. For the kids sake, I’m happy they’re oblivious, for everyone else… I’m kind of scared they’re that naive.
Mr. Mango’s been around the block long enough to know what’s up… kind of. At the very least he knows the absence of my neurotic behavior and anxiety is weird and that my sense of humor is either gone or completely staged. He knows better than to push on it though. Telling a depressed person to ‘cheer up’ is like telling a person with a broken leg to get up and walk. He’s giving me the opportunity to vent if I need it, a shoulder to cry on if I have to and he’s not bugging me to feel better. I’m allowed to feel miserable and he loves me anyways, that’s a big fucking deal, at some point I’ll probably feel pretty thankful for it. Right now I’m mostly just relieved he’s not nagging me to ‘be happy’.
We will see how it goes this weekend when my ‘act like a happy normal Mango’ gets put to the test at an impromptu late Thanksgiving get together with my side of the family this weekend. My dads side of the family always know exactly how to make everything as awkward as possible so at the very least….a complete mental breakdown would be a lively eventful distraction from all the pussyfooting around everything we all refuse to talk about. We’ll also be 1/4 block from a hospital, so if I bust a gut trying to eat something made for more than babies, I can be wheeled right there. Maybe we can take a guess, what will blow first, my brain or my bowels?
One day at at time I suppose…. this one is continuing with some more black coffee and some Simon and Garfunkel.