I left K’s blanket, that fell from the window by her computer, out in the rain. I sandwiched it between the window frame and windowpane to block the sun as I lay on the couch watching streaming TV in my PJ’s all day. I slept and woke and slept, it rained, I woke and slept. The days have gone. I’m here again. I’d like to blame it on the sudden season change, the jetlag-induced medicinal delay. I’m one day behind. My pill schedule has been erratic.
What is this numbing agent that lives in the Washington air? What is this paralysis that takes me there? To the timeless, lifeless, light-less place?
Tomorrow I walk again, tail between legs, smiling through humiliation and self-induced shame. Welcome, welcome home.
Written Thursday, October 20th, 2011.
I wrote the above poem after returning from a trip to China. Where it was hot. dry desert hot. and sticky city hot. There was sun.
At the time I was struggling with inconsistent and sporadic ups-and-downs. I was coming out of a major depressive episode. I was home-bound for months. So it was refreshing (and scary) to return to the outside world. To go back to the normal routine: Up. Shower. Drive. Work. Eat. Drive. Eat. Sleep. Depression’s routine? Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Showers optional.
It’s been a couple of years and I still experience periodic down-sodes. They’re not as frequent. Or as intense. But they’re there. I’m learning to manage my depression. I’m learning what stressors trigger it. I’ve learned that a huge part of managing depression is accepting what your limitations are because of depression. One of the things to accept is lost time. And losing time. Losing days. Months. Years; the time spent in darkness. Behind closed eyelids. Away. Can lead to more loss: a relationship. enthusiasm. money. trust. respect. a job. It’s not an easy thing to accept. But that’s part of the deal.
“Losses big and small happen to everyone who has depression. The only way to get through them and move on is to accept the reality of what has happened and do all you can to minimize what depression takes away from you in the future.” This is from a book I mentioned in an earlier post. It’s been my depression guidebook, if you will. I cannot recommend it enough.
Photo taken Thursday, March 19th, 2009. University Bridge, Seattle.