I wrote this post on May 14, 2018 but didn’t post it. I do this often. Write posts about the darkness but keep them to myself. That’s what people with depression often do – keep it to themselves when they need to share it to have support to get through the darkness. Others often carry the light we need to get through the dark. With the suicide of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade – two people who seemed to have everything society says we should have – I felt the need to share this so others can understand what mental illness can do to a person.
May 14, 2018
The ghosts that’s come back reeling into you now….
– Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, Dave Matthews, LeRoi Moore, Boyd Tinsley
Life has been great. Amazing. Beautiful. Peaceful. Busy.
Then bam. Back “she” comes.
This morning I had a meeting to attend at my daughter’s school. From the moment my eyes opened I knew this would be work. I struggled to get out of the bed and don’t even think I brushed my hair before I went. I do know I brushed my teeth and put on deodorant. I may have looked like a hot mess but atleast I smelled like a flower – and a minty one at that. I sat through that 30 minute meeting thinking that everyone was staring at me. Why hadn’t I got up early to shower and look presentable? Because I was tired from depression and spent my time in the morning staring at my closet. As I sat among a group of parents who looked like they have their shit together – perfect curls, pressed shirts, red lipstick – all I could do was tear apart my own self. They were probably dealing with their own crap but reasoning is not your strong suit when you are filled with anxiety and depression. As each minute passed I could feel myself overheating and wanting nothing more that to leave my own skin behind. As the meeting ended, I rushed out and I couldn’t get to the car fast enough. I walked with my head down so I didn’t have to make eye contact. Finally in my car with music playing I was safe. I came home and hopped on the bike in hopes it would take away the anxiety. No go. Even after having a tough girl from Philly yell words of encouragement at me through the bike screen, I didn’t feel any stronger. I showered only to finally melt in the closet under my first panic attack in months. Breath becoming shorter and shorter. Tears pouring to the tile floor. In the darkness with my hands wrapped around me knees like a kid hiding in the corner. I was very much that. Hiding. Then standing there with hair still dripping wet and my face flushed bright red, I realized “she” was back. No way to escape her now. I can do an array of things to keep my mind busy so I don’t get overwhelmed with anxiety but it’s there. I devoted my time to staying out of bed and doing calming things – gardening, reading, binge watching TV. If I had a 9-5 I would not be making it into work today. Instead of focusing on the strength it took me to get to the meeting I focused on shit that just doesn’t matter. I’m different. I have a mental illness and if I don’t take care of it it takes care of me and today it has.
My kids will be home soon. I have no desire to interact with my children and right now I think my kids will judge me and feel ashamed of me when they get home. The paranoia is in full blown mode now. Tonight I hope to go to sleep to escape this bad dream and wake tomorrow morning with the anxiety gone or atleast weaning.
Mental illness is that – an illness. It’s an illness that people often live with their entire life. They are constantly working to try to cure themselves or atleast make the illness bearable. That is how I live my life. I mainly struggle with bipolar depression and anxiety. Today they reared their heads up again like snakes ready to strike…and they did.
When I was diagnosed in 2015 I was relieved to have an answer to what was going on in my head for all of those years. RELIEVED! Such a label was welcome. Out of that diagnosis came this blog which has helped women not feel alone in their battles with depression. I am a lucky one. I am open about my illness to people I know and strangers. Others are not. They live in fear that others will figure them out. This is dangerous.
If you know someone with depression, anxiety or another mental illness let them know you are always there for them. Insist upon this. When you ask them if they are okay and if they lazily respond okay – ask again. Let them know you genuinely care for and want to be there for them.
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