You know how you get used to not talking about something and then it becomes really hard to start? That’s how I’m feeling right now. I’m just going to jump in: I’ve been struggling.
The last year has been a difficult one for me. Sometimes I have felt just so sad.
When I was young, I remember my mom going through bouts of depression. She’d spend days in bed, unable to function at more than a basic level, crying at the drop of a hat.
I haven’t behaved that way. I have kept it all together by playing a frantic sort of Whack-a-Mole with my life. Up pops a need and I whack it back down.
Boom. Done. Who’s next?
Still, I felt overwhelmed, stressed, anxious. I’d find myself doing normal things like walking to the garage to do laundry or driving to the store, but needing to take deep breaths to calm my racing heart. I’d stay up late so I could be alone, just so I didn’t have to keep up the facade of “being ok” all the time, even with my own family.
My experience looked so different than my mom’s, I didn’t think of it as in the same way. I called it stress, but I can see now that I have been depressed. It has mainly been situational, but it’s possible that it is chemical as well. Based on my family history, I certainly have a genetic predisposition to it.
The last few weeks, I’ve begun to feel the darkness begin to lift. I have more hope, more energy. I have also received a greater awareness of just how terrible I had been feeling. I’ve been able to see that I feel worse when I haven’t slept enough or eaten well. I feel better when I give myself time to nurture my faith and when I exercise. I have determined that I need to do some things just for me. I joined a book club, not for self improvement or education, just for fun. I have tentatively resumed a writing project that has languished for a very long time. It feels good.
I’m giving myself permission to stop playing Wack-a-Mole. For this space, that may mean that I miss a day of posting here or there, if I feel the need.
This is a hard thing to talk about, which is exactly why I am doing it.
Outside my window I can see the first snow of the season, but inside it feels like spring is finally on the way.
I’m going to be okay.