As I was getting in the shower this morning, I was struck by a bleakness I’ve not felt in a while.
I felt like nothing, empty, not interested in anything or anyone. I just wanted to cease to exist. I wasn’t suicidal, I just no longer wanted to be.
I let the feeling wash over me and I stepped into the shower. Habit took over as I did what I always do, instead of collapsing on the floor sobbing.
There is no choice for me. There is no giving in. Hence why I’m continually keeping busy, even if it’s only with the computer. I cannot let those feelings overcome me, because there are two small people who need me functioning.
Would I be better off if I gave in to the bleakness? How long would I live with it? Would it simply exhaust itself and leave?
If I wasn’t on medication, I wouldn’t be able to function. The bleakness would take over and I would be in hospital having ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) or EFT (electromagnetic field therapy), or trying yet another medical cocktail.
Recently, I questioned some alternative therapists, who practice energetic healing if they could heal my depression. A lot was said about “letting in the sadness and allowing it to pass through me”. Except that depression is not sadness. It is a self-loathing, a loss of will to live, to be. Depression makes one want to cease our existence, without any suicidal ideation. The effort required to perform the simplest of self-care tasks gains Herculean proportions.
Depression does not have to be triggered by any specific event, or trauma. It can just sneak up on us, suck us into its black hole of bleakness and leave us gasping as we struggle to even breathe.
Being on medication means that I can stand apart from my depression. I can observe it, as it tries to get its grip on me and I can let it slide off into the deepest parts of my psyche, as I force myself to function.
It is not a cure. And not the best long term solution, but it allows me to live.
Sometime, somewhere I will need the space and time to let it swallow me up. I will need some kind of therapy to help me manage it, something beyond everything I’ve learnt so far. Maybe I will cut myself off from the world and allow myself to wallow, when my children no longer need me. Maybe I will finally take meditation seriously and let it lift me up from the gelatinous, sticky bleakness. Maybe if I have nothing else to think about, I will finally think about myself and my mind. Maybe one day I will be free.
Image by D. Sharon Pruitt from here.