Sometimes I get depressed.
Being depressed is more than being sad. In fact, its way worse than being sad. Because when I feel sad, I can at least cry and then its over. When I'm depressed, I don't really feel much of anything. And worse, I can't really do anything about it.
I don't feel like writing. I don't feel like cooking. I don't feel like talking. I don't feel like teaching. I don't feel like "mom"ing. I don't feel like "wife"ing. I don't feel like "sister"ing. I don't feel like "friend"ing. I don't feel like running. I don't feel like sleeping but I also don't feel like being awake. I don't feel like thinking.
This leaves me with two choices: don't do anything and feel guilty and like a failure. Or do something and also feel guilty and like a failure because I've done it poorly.
Which just makes things worse.
Why do I get depressed? I don't know… on the surface, my life is perfect: two beautiful children, a husband who I love very much and who loves me back even more, and the means for us all to live a wonderful life. I have a great job that I love and that (usually) I'm pretty good at. I get paid to write (something most writers never get to say) and people seem to like what I have to say. I have more than enough good friends and family. I know how to bake bread and can run a marathon and was blessed with skinny ankles and the ability to eat Big Macs with little consequence.
But then one day the butterflies set up shop in my tummy and everything just seems to go wrong: I worry about my kids so much all the time…so much that it overwhelms me and its all I can think about. I get in a small argument with my husband which snowballs into making me worry about my marriage and since I come from a set of parents with no less than 8 marriages (and 6 divorces) between them, it overwhelms me and its all I can think about. I bite off more than I can chew at work, and (being a disorganized person) get overwhelmed and its all I can think about. I think of a million interesting things to write about and then don't know where to start and then feel deadlines looming and get overwhelmed and then its all I can think about. I put off calling/emailing/texting my friends (back) and then then I feel bad that we haven't spoken in a while and then it seems like I have too many people to call/email/text back and then I get overwhelmed and its all I can think about. I get in a fight with my sister who I love most in the world (after my children and husband) and don't know how to fix it without fighting even more and then I just avoid the issue even more which makes things worse and then I get overwhelmed and its all I can think about. I don't cook, I don't bake bread, I don't run so much, and I eat too many Big Macs and I gain THREE POUNDS and I get overwhelmed its all I can think about.
See the pattern?
I know that 99.9% of the world deals with all the same crap (and much, much more) crap than I'll ever have to deal with, but for me…I don't know…stuff just seems to overwhelm me and then my bubble just…pops. And then for a while I'm just down for the count.
But just for a while.
I know my children will be all right.
I know my marriage will be all right.
I know I'll get thought stuff at work.
I know I'll start writing again.
I know my friends are my friends.
I know my sister will always be my sister.
I know THREE POUNDS is just 3 pounds.
I know I'll run and bake bread and make roast beef and enjoy a Big Mac while staring at my skinny ankles again.
I know my heart will stop beating so fast and the butterflies will go away and I'll start to smile more again.
I know all that. Just sometimes it doesn't feel like its true.
But today, the sun is not at all shining, the sky isn't at all clear, but it just stopped raining and the air smells fresh and clean and I'm wearing nice shoes and it feels like things might be getting better.