…and other lies we are always told…
Finally I’m back! There is a reason I’ve been gone. Not just because I felt like ignoring my 5 readers. I love you guys! I would never push you away. Unless I am dealing with depression. In that case, I will push you away.
So now the secret’s out: I’ve been living with major depression. Deep, dark, abysmal, soul sucking, life depleting depression.
I’ve had the symptoms for more than 2 years:
- lack of energy
- lack of interest in life
- dropping away from social engagements
- lack of motivation
- tumultuous emotions
- no coping mechanisms
- aggressive reactions, etc.
But I always related those symptoms to the insomnia I’ve had since Operation Total Body Shutdown in 2013. Insomnia and depression have almost identical traits. My depression tricked me – disguising itself as insomnia so I kept slipping further and further into a black hole devoid of escape. My family and friends were witness to my decline, but since I have a myriad of health issues and was actively working towards a solution, there was no cause for alarm. I guess we all just assumed this is what happens when a person is sick for a long time.
We go to St. Maarten for a family Christmas trip, which turns out to be a magical paradise of floating unicorn tears. Utter perfection. The beach is my happy place, and I think it really gave me the chance to physiologically relax in a way I’m not able to living in a busy city. I was sleeping 4 hours a night. Double what I was used to. So I would bound out of bed, feeling energy like I haven’t felt in years, scramble out onto the sand to see the sun sparkling on the sea, and wait to embrace the happiness that always accompanies such a scene. But it never came. Instead, I was wrapped in a blanket of sadness so thick I couldn’t breathe. Still! After 4 hours of sleep! My symptoms still remained! That’s when I realized something else was seriously wrong. If I couldn’t be happy on St. Maarten, then there really was no hope after all.
We arrived home, and I continue my descent into darkness, spiraling out of control with my emotions in ways that really frightened me. I was thinking daily about death, and how I wouldn’t care if I went to bed and never woke up again. I wished for that every day. I would alternate my time between just staring out the window or sobbing for hours. I needed help before those thoughts about death escalated to something serious. I wasn’t sure I could trust myself. I was so low, so sad.