The following post is something that I wrote when the clouds of depression were lifting. My depression was at its worse when I was dealing with thyroid disease and the the after effects of my total thyroidectomy. Here is a peak into my brain at that time along with what I work to overcome constantly…
The clouds have come in…
An old friend has been lurking outside of my house for a few days now. I saw him peaking through the windows on Monday and I ran to close the blinds. I made a point of leaving my house with the hope that I could somehow trick him into leaving, but when I pulled out of my driveway, I saw him sitting at my front door step, as if saying that he would be there when I got back. Tuesday, I saw him again. He was knocking on my front door, a slow knock, not demanding, but a knock all the same. I rushed to play with my children. I ignored him. Wednesday, he had somehow made it inside of my house and he simply just sat on my couch as if he were waiting for me to join him. I sat with him for a moment and eased in how familiar it was to hold hands with an old friend and enemy. I got up when I noticed he was holding my hand too tight and ran to the bookstore. Surely there was something I could find at the bookstore that would help me get this dude out of my life for good. I bought a book, watched my children play, went to the store and hoped that he would be gone by the time I made it home. When I got home, he met me at the door and I ran to the phone to ignore this fool, hoping a friend would distract his impending presence in my life. I kept him at a distance and when night came, he sat across me, but refused to leave. When I got up on Thursday, he was in bed with me and I had given up chase. I allowed him to hold my hand and even get on my back briefly. My old friend was back in full force…
Me: Mr. Depression, why have you come back?
Depression: You asked for me, didn’t you?
Me: I have never asked for you. I have never wanted you as a friend. You aren’t even a friend I can depend on because you aren’t a constant. You keep showing up and then leaving.
He was silent after that exchange, but still there. By Friday, I had enough and alone in my shower I finally had a conversation that was long over due with my friend.
Me: Why are you here? I was doing so well.
Depression: You asked for me, didn’t you?
Me: NO! Leave. PLEASE.
Depression: Oh, but you want me here. You need to go numb for a while. You aren’t doing too well with all these emotions. I’ve always come to help you when reality gets too rough. You should really stop this whole healing thing. It’s not good for you.
Me: But, I need to heal. I’ve had a few rough things in my life that I need to overcome.
Depression: Oh yes, your childhood, the thyroid, and now you’re sick again. You need me here. Oh, and you must stop this yoga thing as soon as possible. Please stop reading that book too. I’m here now. You no longer have to feel.
Me: I want to feel.
Depression: Oh, really? Why haven’t you had a good cry in years? Wouldn’t that change what everyone LOVES about you? You’re so stoic and so strong. You’re reserved and funny. You tell jokes. You give good advice. How on Earth are you going to do that if you are feeling all the emotions you continue to stuff down inside of you? Oh my…how would you wear your smile?
Me: I understand that I have used you in the past to hide. We get along because when you are here I feel numb and can function, but I want to live in every moment now. I want to feel.
Depression: You still haven’t cried. You still hold back. You need me. You really don’t want me to leave. Now, clean yourself up. Put on your happy face and go to this play date with your children. All the moms will love you. You’re so charismatic. You’re so funny. Wait, maybe you shouldn’t go. Let’s get reacquainted for a few days and then you can go knock their socks off.
Me: I can cry. I can feel.
Depression: Oh, but you can’t. You poor thing. You need me.
Me: (Sobbing) LEAVE! You are no longer needed! I will heal without you. I am allowing myself not to be perfect. LEAVE NOW!
Depression: That Zen Master shit has really got you going. You think a little breathing and listening is going to help you. You haven’t got a clue how hard it is to find your center, especially for someone like you, but, I will leave…for now.
As I pull out of my driveway to go to a play date with my children, I don’t see my old friend. I feel as if I have won, but cry the whole way to the play date. As I get out of the car, I see him and I walk right pass him. I know I am not the same person while talking to these women. I am more interested in seeing my children play. I am less comfortable with conversation and more comfortable in watching my son make a friend. My heart smiles. I am the quiet weirdo, but for once I live in the moment. Every step is intentional. Every laugh and smile felt genuinely. Driving home, I remember every light and turn. I can feel that I am coming back to being conscious. I don’t want to live on auto-pilot any more. He, my old friend (Depression) is waiting for me at the door.
Depression: I’ll be here when you need me, but I’m not leaving just yet. I won’t come in, but I will be close. Good luck my dear because you’re going to need it.