Thursday, February 19, 2009
Back on top again
I think I have made it! For the past couple of weeks I have been clinging to the edge of the cliff that contains the deep valley of depression. I had an intense anxiety spike and that was followed by days of thick, dark, tiresome efforts to keep going through the motions of living. I had not been in this place for a very long time and, while there, I started to believe that I would not be happy again. Dreaming of travel, or re-location helped, and I made myself run most days, but I felt like I had my finger nails dug into the side of the cliff and I was in danger of slipping off.
But yesterday I woke up and something struck me funny and as I lay in bed giggling I knew that I was back. I moved gingerly through yesterday not wanting to dislodge my fragile emotions, but today I am 100% myself again. The news around me is still increasingly dismal - the economy seems worse than predicted day-after-day - the stories of stolen children, sex offenders, arsonists, murderers, poverty and heartbreak just keep coming, but I feel like I am walking a safe distance from the edge and my head no longer feels bent towards the ground.
I have accepted that depression is just part of who I am - like my eye color, height, and inability to touch my toes...just something I inherited. I no longer "enjoy" being depressed. There was a time when I would surrender to the fog that muffled all that went on around me. I had an excuse to be miserable and I used it. I could feel myself slip and I would just curl up and wait to hit bottom. I don't do that anymore. I find no pleasure in making those around me miserable and I miss feeling alive. I am more able to look at myself and understand what is going on and I can will myself to at least go through the motions of being engaged. If I can't participate, I at least show up.
I find it puzzling when people who have never experienced depression offer advice on how to feel better. The whole "just be happy" idea is nice, but impossible for someone who is really depressed - trust me, we want to be happy, but one can squint, and squat and push and squeeze, but it just isn't going to work until whatever it is in the brain flips back to where it is supposed to be.
Posted by Laura at 2:15 PM