Monday, January 9, 2012

In the angry blackness

Unexpected tears in a seemingly neutral situation.
Intense irritation at the noise my licking cat makes.  
Hopeless sadness, as my husband leaves for work.  
Desire to hide from my own children indefinitely, make a fort out of my bed, and stay there for weeks at a time, growing fat on chocolate and starch.
Unnerving hatred for everything and everyone that ever was or will be.

Aching head.
Aching body.

Depression is like an ominous black storm cloud, looming threateningly in the distance, and slowly swamping over you, and raining down on you before you even have time to realize what's happened.

I know that it happens.  I know that it will come, and I know that it will eventually pass, leaving me relatively unscathed.  I know it is a part of me, or I am a part of it, and that it's simply something I have to overcome from time to time. I know that I will come out of it, that it won't be forever.

But, in the midst of the blackness, it's easy to forget that this isn't forever.  There is anger.  There is shame.  There is sorrow so intense that it drives us deep down into dark places, with dark thoughts, and claustrophobic helplessness.
In the midst of the blackness, it's easy to believe that I'm sub-par as a mother.  It's easy to believe that any decent person could overcome this muddy disposition, and devote herself entirely to her children, beaming with ecstatic glee all the while.  It's easy to believe that I'm the most selfish and awful person in the world, for not being able to muster up genuine happiness to see them.
I can not.
Their presence during this dark time brings anxiety, fright, and a reminder that I am not a whole person under the influence of this blackness.  I fail them.  And my anger as such is intense.

In the midst of the blackness it is easy to believe that I am unlovable as a whole woman.  That my own sexual objectification is my only endearment, and that I am otherwise uninteresting, useless, and not worth a person's precious breath in speaking to me.  This becomes doubly troubling, when my hair and teeth remain unbrushed for days, my showering is sparse, and my choice of wardrobe is always pajamas, which are usually unwashed for days on end.

In the midst of the blackness it is easy to believe that everyone else in the world functions perfectly, navigating even the most difficult bouts of depression with effortless grace, ease, and success.  Without a "legitimate" illness, I remain the only person on the planet who occupies her bed needlessly.  Nothing is wrong with me, more than a lack of will power and personal responsibility.  I am a lazy, selfish crybaby.

It passes.  It slowly crumbles away, and I begin to resemble a somewhat "normal" person again.  Eventually.  The physical pains of this "invisible" illness slowly disappear, and I emerge from my black cave, a little stronger, if not a little bit smelly.  I will take hold of the reigns of my sanity once again, and remember that I am a human being still, regardless of the black thing that swells over me, and forces me to believe otherwise.  I'm alright.

Remembering this, however, in the midst of the grip of this hell, in the center of receiving an emotional ass-kicking, is not always so easy.


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