And then there are times when I just feel like hell. Because that’s what it’s like to live with depression.
Sorry…Depression. When it’s clinical, you use the big D. I keep forgetting that.
Hell, I keep forgetting I’m Depressed…have Depression…feel Depressed.
It’s cyclical, and there can be cycles within the cycles. That’s the meanest trick of all. Not only do I have to remember that I’m going to feel like shit every October/November, I have to remember that I’m also going to feel like shit every other February/March and that roughly every four years it’s going to be way worse around Christmastime.
It’s like being a solar system in which the word for sun is spelled with a big damn D.
People ask if I’m okay and I say, without lying, that I am. The vast majority of the time I feel great, or at least okay. The remainder of the time I feel like hell. But even then, I’m okay…because that’s just how it is with me. I can’t help it; I can’t fix it.
I can only live with it.
Sometimes I’m just tired all week. And then when Ashley wants to have some fun before we go to bed and I tell her I’m too tired, I don’t just feel tired. I feel like I’m letting her down. And then she asks about my son and do I want to do this or that for his birthday and I hear myself making up excuses not to do anything more than the minimum, and I know I’m making excuses because I know I’ve let him down so much and I can’t face the fact that he loves me in spite of that. And then it hits me, like a fucking bomb out of my own personal history: I feel as though I’ve let down pretty much everyone who has ever loved me and I severed them from my life because I couldn’t face the fact that they were going to go on loving me anyway.
Depression is about fear more than it’s about being sad.
And I roll over and put my arm around her and I think about how she’s willing to put her life in my hands and I can’t take the thought at all. So I roll over the other way, face the wall and I sing myself to sleep with songs of suicide. I try to remember how to make a noose – a fact I honestly believe I’ve pushed out of my mind – and I mentally scout out locations. I try to think of who might find my dangling, bloated body.
I’m pretty sure the entirety of human history is all about not making a mess when you die.
I do nothing about these thoughts…anymore. I let them roll around my mind and I even entertain them because not thinking about them makes them bigger, stronger, faster and bloodier. I let them play out like little sad stories across the expanse of my consciousness and I sit like a big fat editor behind a dark and awesome desk, accepting, rejecting, improving, tweaking, omitting – until the work itself is more tiring than making up the stories and I stop submitting the stories to myself so I can kick back and fall asleep.
Then sometimes in the morning I feel better.
Then sometimes in the morning I still feel like a failure.
And I go on to work and I fight through the gauze of anger and fear and, in time, I’ll start to feel better – sometimes by choice but other times I just notice that I feel better. Then the really crazy thing happens where I stop trying to feel better. I realize that I want to feel awful because I feel that I am awful.
This too is part of it, that big damn blinding D.
Ashley was wondering just the other day how it is that I’ll excuse almost any behavior as long as it was done in an attempt to make someone laugh. The answer to her question is that laughter has saved my life or more occasions than I can count.
And more often than not it’s me making me laugh that brings me out of a cycle.
Because, like Roger Rabbit, I simply cannot resist a good joke. No matter how I feel.
And that, Adored Readers, is one of the strongest reasons why I’m still alive.
Even though sometimes I feel like shit.
And even though I’m big-fucking-D-depressed.
I’ll be fine – as I usually am. I’ve been recently reminded by a small contingent of my Adored Readership that people read my blog because I’m honest.
Today I’m just being honest.
And I’m just being okay.
I’ll take that.