Thursday, December 22, 2011

Depression is a four letter word.

 from Bitter Animator
Sometimes I think I must have come from another planet. I don't get people. Or rather- people don't get me.

For example. On the phone with my best friend last night. I am telling him I had two real good days last week. Bought a new winter coat, since I don't have one in my size, some underwear and a killer pair of shoes. All from Santa! (He came early this year). I was very happy.

Energy came back and I did a thorough clean of the apartment. Had the car washed and waxed. Just felt alive. Even managed to get to the gym and had a nice workout.

The next day, I crashed. Big time crash. I couldn't get out of bed. The cat had to bite me hard, drawing blood so I would get out of bed and feed her. I did and crawled back to bed. I could hear my upstairs neighbor moving around. It sounded like an elephant walking, but I know it wasn't. I just put the pillow over my head, wishing for a split second I could wind up like Desdemona, but instead, just tried to sleep.

I slept round the clock for two straight days, getting up only to feed the cat, change her box, and use the toilet. I had a talk radio station on for white noise. All they are talking about is the election which is a year away. Sigh.

When I tried to tell my friend, he couldn't understand. "You should have gone for a walk, instead of laying in bed", he said. When I got in touch with my mother, she replied "Are you sick?"

"No", I replied, "Not physically sick. Sick in my heart, in my soul".

"You are being stupid. Go for a walk. Go shopping. Go to the gym. Quit crying, or I will give you something to cry about", (she didn't say the last thing, but you know mothers, she was probably thinking it).

"Mom", I said both to my mother and to my friend. "Try to live in my shoes for once".

It's strange, normally I don't get depressed this time of year. Spring and summer are my worst times. I love this time of year, holidays. I love Santa, I love driving around to look at the trees. I love the parties. The only thing I don't like is the fruitcake.

Then there's New Years. A holiday that should be wiped off the calendar if you are single and cannot get a date. Nothing to celebrate, go out to a diner or Denny's for a meal, go home, rent a movie from Redbox, and snuggle on the couch under an afghan made by Grandma. Then right before midnight, turn on Dick Clark, see the countdown in Times Square. Laugh at the poor folks freezing who are there, while you are snug as a bug and warm on your couch.

Then midnight. No one to kiss, even the cat has fallen asleep. You take the afghan off, lay it on top of the sleeping cat, go to bed and cry yourself to sleep.

In my 20's I would have gone partying and clubbing. By the time I was 30 I was tired of warn out pick up lines and guys spilling beer on my clothes because the club was too crowded. Then I stopped drinking, I don't go to places like that anymore. Living in Suburbia, there aren't any other  places to go.

The next day, New Years Eve, you go to a friend's or a relative's house and watch football. And count the days til Valentine's, while your local store has left over chocolate from Christmas, and new chocolate for Valentine's and Easter up.

The older you get, the faster the holidays go by. It's one of those weird laws of Physics you know exists, but you really can't prove.

That isn't a bad thing. The older you get, the more you appreciate the smaller things, like remembering the simple pleasure of waking up one morning and finding it's snowed and there is no school. Running outside, sledding on a wooden Flexible Flyer, coming in and mom having real hot chocolate and home made chocolate chip cookies, with the chocolate melting.

The trick of being an adult is to remember that exact moment, how great it was not to go to school, the sheer joy of being alive when you felt snow and rolled around in it, and how happy warm gooey chocolate can make you feel.

A bit of happiness. A small burst. A giggle, a smile. That's what it's all about. Remembering this little moment, can do a lot for depression.

If only cookies weren't fattening.


solitarygoat said...

Thank You, so much, for your writing. I felt in tune with someone like I rarely ever do..I'm presently struggling, too. This time of year is always the pits (many reasons mentioned),the worst for me. But, your blog is encouraging and for that, I thank You..<3

midnight rainbow said...

Very well said. I get you. I am so tired of all of the faking and false faces. When you are like us, you need reality. I need all those words you said and to hear them, so I know that there is somebody on the same planet as me.

Those days when the energy is flowing and you catch up and clean up, aren't they just the best?? The crashes are hard, they suck, but when that explosion comes again, it is so nice to be ready for it. :)

It isn't always easy to appreciate the little things, but it is those things that make life livable.

Ruth said...

I love the holidays but for me they are very triggering. I am happy and battle depression all at the same time. You connected so completely with how I feel. Take care. I wish it were true that when you break a cookie all the calories fall out. :)

Mary LA said...

So few understand depression -- sending love to you Susan and you will be in my heart this festive season.

MakeThisLookAwesome said...

I want the rest of the story! How did you get out of your depression?

herb said...


I’m sorry to read of your recent downturn. Is there anything I can do for you other than listening?


Noch Noch said...

it's true. a lot of people don't understand it. they say "snap out of it". but we dont need solutions. we just want them to empathize and hear us out. depression is not easy to understand tho. i didn't until now, affectd by it for 2years now. every day is a struggle. some are good. some are not so good. but i live on, after a few attempts. so i might as well
Noch Noch

"Lil Ol' Me" said...

More than a 4 letter word. Several 4 letter words. And then some.
Keep writing.
Keep sharing.
Keep inspiring.

You inspire me. You encourage me. Even in the ugly dark days....there is inspiration in knowing that I am not alone.

Thank you for sharing.

TheStickman said...

I have experienced much of what you write in your blog. When people ask me what depression is like I tell them its like wearing a 50lb anvil on your head. Some days your strong enough to get by but mostly it just wears me down to where there's very little of me left.

Peace ;)

Delsiolive said...

A sweet talk, despite the subject!

You are a great writer!

Best Wishs , Susan!

glen said...

that's so like me... these days full of energy, aren't they just great?)) and crashes... I've just spent a weekend in bed... just like you and when I say to my friends that I sleep over the ckock, they do not understand how I can just do it... lukily, my cat has someone else to be fed)))
good luck to you) hugs)

susan said...

Glen, you aren't alone. I hope you and your kitty feel better.

susan said...

For all the commenters: I had been too depressed to comment back but I take a lot of comfort what you had to say, and I appreciate it. It helps get through the bad rough times.

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