Sometimes I feel like I am on the playground swinging back and forth on the swing set. Up and I feel alright, down and I am thoroughly depressed. It’s almost as if my body has a physical reaction to my mood swings now. I’ve become so accustomed to them over the years. One minute, all could appear to be right with the world, and the next minute all I can think about is what is wrong with my world.
We have these strange days occasionally here in the summer, where it will be raining and the sun will be shining at the same time. In speaking about this earlier today, it occurred to me that days like this are very much like a metaphor for depression. The sun may be shining, but in my world it’s still raining.
I’ve been dealing with writer’s block for a while now, and it was only until today….just in the last hour, when I felt my mood shifting, that I knew what to write about. It starts with an overwhelming exhaustion, loss of concentration, and a need to escape. Why take everyone around me down with me?
Lately, I have been feeling a painful sense of being abandoned whenever I am feeling down. I am grateful to those that have stuck by me through the worst of times, but still angry at those that could only handle the best of times. Why was I the one that was called selfish? Why not those that took off because they couldn’t handle the sadness, the pain, the depression? That feels much more selfish to me than someone who can’t possibly control a chemical imbalance in their brain.
I always thought I had a select group of friends and family members that I could count on when I needed them. In the last year, that group has been completely decimated and reformed again. Maybe from now on, I should call my depression Yoko. Yoko strikes again. I can’t blame her entirely though. I know I am far too ready to call a spade a spade, even when perhaps that spade was a queen of hearts. I am prone to overreacting, but I have noticed that trait also comes and goes like the mood swings. So, essentially, I am just a delightful basket of what comes next?
Even now, it’s hard for me to focus. Hard to find the words. I keep reaching for my sarcasm to get me through, because if I didn’t I would probably dissolve into tears and curl up in the fetal position. Moments like this terrify me, and here you are enjoying the fruits of my terror. Rain is falling outside, and that couldn’t be more apt.
As you can see, my thoughts are scattered. It’s a battle just to keep my fingers moving across the keyboard. I want to give this minor crisis in my life a voice. Perhaps I will learn something about myself. Perhaps you will learn something about yourself. When I am down, I am so far down it seems as if there is no return. All I have the strength to do is sleep. Of course, when I need it most, it so rarely comes because my brain is stuck on repeat. It’s moments like this that have me questioning, why? Why me? Why now?
I genuinely wish there was an answer. Why do some of us carry this burden, while others have glorious, happy lives and do marvelous things without even a moment of sadness? Yes, that may be an exaggeration of sorts, but you get the idea. I get it, ok? I understand that only the strong survive, but if I could trade happiness for strength, would that be a fair trade? Would I be happy with that decision? I would love to test the theory, just for a day.
As I glance out the window and see that now the sun shines amidst the raindrops, I know I will come out of this. It will be ok. The trick is not to expect too much too soon. This weight in my chest will get lighter, and these crazy, racing thoughts will dissipate. I’ve got 20+ years of experience on my side.
I can do it. You can too.