Over the last few months my online presence has diminished greatly. There is a reason for that. I have been present but absent.
Absent of motivation.
Absent of emotion.
Absent and barely hanging on.
My family reached a point of normality, we embraced our weirdness and in the midst of that I have been hiding my dirty little secret. I struggle with depression regularly and have been falling as of late.
Part of this is because I have Fibromyalgia combined with a body has a hard time hanging on to Vitamin D. Supplements make me throw up and don’t really work too well for the long term. Basically, I need the sun to live happily and well, so when the sun starts disappearing at 4 pm or it is cloudy for weeks on end I begin to loose myself. Depression medicine makes me feel distant to myself as if I am watching myself live from behind a transparent shell and the side effects are more than I care to deal with.
Each time I fall into a state of depression it is different. I have struggled with existential depression and Post- partum depression several times in the past but this time around was, or is, different.
This time around it’s as if I am completely lost to the world, wandering around inside my own head. I want to hibernate but I can’t sleep, at all. I want to run away from being a mom … not from my kids but from the responsibilities that come with raising children. I feel nothing, I am neither happy, sad, frustrated, excited…it is a constant state of blah whateverness. I am never hungry, I have to force myself to eat and yet I am loosing no weight.
If my state of mind were a color it would be beige. An absence of color without the purity of white.
I have been lucky this time around, the depression is not deep, it hasn’t reached the stage where I’m drowning or where just being alive hurts… I’ve been there so many times that I’ve learned to catch it before that point.
This is like a paper cut depression. Painful but thin, near the surface and quick to heal.
I am not the only one who goes through this and so I am writing this, trying my best explain what is going on with the hope that others may read it and understand that depression is not something that we need to be silent about. It is not shameful and it does not make you weak. Medicine does not always help and what works for one person may not work for another.
Depression is more like a virus than a cold. It’s not something you can just will away. It doesn’t mean that your sad. It takes on a new form each time it visits and sometimes it is barely visible but owning it makes a difference because you can at least play defense. Knowing that this is depression and naming it as such helps me to be able to make baby steps towards consciously fighting it with a myriad of options that I have found work with my body. It gives my family the patience to deal with me lovingly and allows all of us to reach out for help.
It is a lonely fight that cannot be won alone. I need my support systems in order to pull out of it.
If I were to use imagery to explain it would go something like this.
Falling into depression is as easy as walking off of a cliff blindfolded. The fall takes you by surprise, the landing hurts and sometimes scars and the only way out is when someone else throws down a rope. It is up to you to take the rope. The person who threw down the rope is holding it with all of their strength, trying their best to help pull you out but if you don’t move your legs and climb the side of the cliff nothing will happen. It is hard work that requires perseverance and inner strength. The more support you have at the top, the easier it is to climb out.
Right now I am near the top of that climb. This time around it was more like a deep ditch and because this happens so often to me, my hand was caught as I was falling.
I am still here,
I am present physically but absent emotionally and mentally.