Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Point Me Towards Tomorrow

Over-the-fence spontaneous chat with kindly neighbor who empathizes makes for a good distraction on a day when I'm feeling the jitters. This is a guy who drove me to the psych ward the second time I went, when I was in a state of tearful despair and couldn't even cope. I thanked him again. "What are friends for?" he said. If you can give a ride to the loony bin on five minutes' notice, you are a friend for life.

Friends have been great. Especially people who have been down to the bottom of the pit and have known the despair, but I have to say it makes me realize that depression and anxiety are far more common than I'd thought. Why does everyone keep it a secret, that's got to be so lonely in an already-lonely time. I mean there are days when getting out of bed is an Herculean task. It keeps me sane to have so many friends who send Facebook notes, emails and blog comments saying everything from "I went through a bout of depression and anxiety too, and..." to the other end of the spectrum, "I can't say I know what you're going through but I love you." I invite everyone to email me a "hello there," reading them gives me something to do during the day, and you're all unaware of how great a feeling comes over me when the depression lifts for a moment to read your kind words. My email address is my name, at gmail, or you can use the contact form.

Last night I talked on the phone with my uncle, who helped by reminding me that I've been through a lot. Tomorrow I have my shrink appointment.

Today I gave in and took a long nap; I just ran out of things to do and my head hurt and my heart hurt and I just couldn't cope. I took a shower and then, clean and refreshed, I put on a fresh T shirt and crawled into the comfort of the sheets and grabbed the teddy bear. After about an hour I forced myself to get up. It's a paralysis, you have to just get. Up.

The thing is, going to bed that way, it doesn't even help. I'd have been better off going back out for a walk again. I'd already been out today but I should have gone back out. Earlier after I did a half hour on the exercise bike I went out. I went and got a prescription filled, bought toothpaste and sat in the Allston Diner having a cup of herbal tea. I felt like an idiot just sitting there, but literally every piece of group therapy and regular therapy talks about "get out and go where people are" and they make a big deal about sitting in a public place with a beverage. I feel like I've had so much group therapy at this point I may as well try more of the things they say to do. I don't know how much good it did me, but it's better than sitting home crawling out of my skin. Which is what happened when I finished my tea and came home, which one must eventually do.

I sat out on the porch and tried to "get back to the breath." After a long while of deep breathing, in and out, and feeling where the tension was in my body, I was able to calm myself. I felt okay. But just barely hanging on, not like the days last week when I nearly felt normal for about forty eight hours. I think I'm also still PMSy, and now I'm thinking about ways to chart all of my moods. Why today did I want to crawl into bed? Was it the weather, the gray skies? The PMS? Blood sugar? Is it just a natural process to have relapses, like all the handouts say? Well relapses suck.

So it wasn't a great day, but I look forward to tomorrow.


  1. I've been loving your blog posts. You really are an amazing writer. Don't forget all the ways that YOU have been the one helping everyone around you. I know I will never forget our spontaneous road trip from MA to NJ on 15 mins notice. I will be forever grateful for that.. <3 Mary

  2. Michelle, I'm just so sorry you have to go through this. I'm one of those ones on the end of the spectrum who aren't prone to what you're going through, but I've seen my dear one struggle with it for all of the ten years I've known him, and I had a brief few weeks of depression myself when my first son was a few months old.

    I'm glad you have an awesome neighbor and an even more awesome husband. I'm glad you can write about it. I'm glad you've had therapy enough for the tips and practical lessons to sink in. And I wish you well, soon and always.