Well, this has been a difficult week. My doctors’ appointments were not helpful, my shoulder still hurts despite the cortisone shot, which has caused an on and off low grade fever. My wrist, which my soon- to- be-gone orthopedist says has only mild carpal tunnel changes, has been worse, and I’ve been fighting with both Rene and Meg, my daughter.
Life sucks, and then you die, as a college friend of mine used to say.
Depression-I’ve suffered from it my whole life. Mine is the kind with rumination. Off meds, I spend an inordinate amount of time going over and over negative scenarios in my head, replaying dialogue endlessly, nursing black anger, while my anxiety level rises until it leaks out my ears and I blow up over a nothing comment from some poor unsuspecting family member. It is not a pretty sight, nor a nurturing way to live. I stay on my meds very carefully.
The earliest memory of depression/anxiety was when I was only 6 or 7, unable to sleep at night, waiting for the fire sirens to herald the end of the world in a nuclear holocaust. I knew by then that duck and cover wasn’t going to cut it if the Russians let their bombs fly. Another bout hit in boarding school, when I was 15 or so. Their solution was to send me home for a mono test. When that was negative, I was sent back to live in hopelessness for the rest of the year. I had no clue why I felt so sad and lost- I just kept stuffing thought of suicide down and muddled onward.
Now I can trace depression back through the women in my family to my great grandmother, who was born in the 1860’s. My maternal grandmother, my mother, me, my sister, her son, probably Meg, as well, all struggling with the dark clouds which roll in and take over and then, eventually, lift and move farther away. Alas, the time frame between onset and lifting can be months or even years. My experience of the worst depression is that of being at the bottom of a deep, dank well, up to my neck in cold, dark water, looking ‘way, ’way up to the small hole at the top with grey clouds scuttling by in a dark sky. I have spent more time than I care to admit down there.
I do not have to go there anymore-thanks to meds and good therapists over the years- but every time I go into a decline of sorts, I harbor a lingering fear that this will be the time I descend and am unable to rise.
There have been a lot of declines this last year, and some real periods of darkness to crawl through. This seems to be one of them. But crawl I do. I can’t quite figure out where my tenacity comes from. Maybe this is all part of the changes I say I want to embrace. I will get up no matter how many times it is necessary. I will return to physical therapy, no matter how much it hurts, no matter what my insurance company says. I will demand a diagnosis from doctor after doctor until I get one. I will go back on my diet and lose weight. I will go into counseling with Rene (something we’ve been planning to do since spring).
Lots of good resolutions, but change is more than resolutions, it’s doing the damned things I natter on about. And I am soooooo tired of hauling my large bod uphill on two knees and one arm. I will, of course. What kind of options do I have? Sitting on my dung heap and cursing god is way too christian for me. A lot of this came to me the other night after I dragged my bed across the room so I could take a moonbath. I lay basking in Her light and realized that while I want to leap and dance while embracing change, I seem to be grumping and whining my way along this path I choose to take. But I am still inching forward. For this I thank Goddess.
Thank you all for listening.
Pic from: lynativerse.artchicks.org/ School.htm