Note: I wrote the majority of this yesterday afternoon. I was in a horrible spot, emotionally speaking. That’s the thing with depression…when you’re in a depressive episode (these can last anywhere from days to months), you have bad days and ‘not so bad’ days. Today (after the first few hours) for me is a ‘not so bad’ day…yesterday was…yesterday was downright horrible, and I wrote this in the middle of that.
I’m writing this first as a document in Word, because I am not sure it will ever see the “Publish” button on my blog. I don’t know if I need to publish it, or if I need to just let my breaking heart vomit it out in a massive vent. Also, in case I do publish this, please be advised that there’s really not a lot of optimism or hope here. I’m holding on to what little amounts of both I have left, I don’t want to purge it with the negativity.
With that said…here we go.
I should have seen it coming. Wait. No. I did see it coming. For weeks, I have had the little whisper in the back of my mind…Winter is coming. You know what happens. Might want to cut it off at the pass.
To be fair to myself, I did…for a week. I took my antidepressant, but then I was struck with fear. I did not know when I would have my insurance back. My antidepressant is too expensive to afford every month. I had to choose between a medication that helps me remember my own name and keeps my brain on a slightly less scattered path, or a medication that I may or may not need when the dead time between Christmas and spring hits. I always, always keep hoping that this will be the year that I don’t need it, that last winter will have been the last time I needed to take a medication to make me not hate myself so much.
I thought I had more time, because like I said, I’m okay until after Christmas. When all those pretty sparkly lights go out, the sparkly light inside me dies as well, and will not relight until the first flower pushes up through the ground. It is the way it is, nothing I have done changes it. Add postpartum depression to that, and…well, we’ll just say that the past two winters have been extremely brutal to me, and leave it at that. I’m not trying to go into the past two winters, I’m trying to focus on my feelings now, because my feelings right now are fractured, broken, whatever you want to call it. I’ve always written about my depression after I’ve been freed from that particular depressed episode, or on a relatively ‘good’ day, but other than the occasional poem or paragraph, I’ve stayed away from writing on the bad days. I’m always too scared of the words that will appear on my screen.
For nearly a week I have been forced to relive certain things in nightmares…I’m talking about super real, like it’s all actually happening all over again…those dreams where you feel what is happening as if you were awake and it was happening…but instead of dreams, they’re nightmares. These nightmares have stripped me bare of all emotional defense, all the coping mechanisms I had in place to keep those awful things from continuing to affect me. Everything I feel is raw, harsh, and painful. These nightmares, and the emotional razing they have inflicted on me have acted as a catalyst and plunged me into depression. Everything hurts, everything aches. I am infected with an oppressive sense of worthlessness, self-hatred, and scorn. I hate myself for hating myself, because the logical part of me knows that I shouldn’t hate myself.
I am a horrible mother. There. I said it. I love my kids with everything I have. I play with them, I take them to the park, help them with homework, we have fun together. They constantly tell me what a great, awesome, incredible mother I am.
But that little demon of depression sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear, of course they think you’re awesome…they don’t know any better. You don’t cut their lunchmeat into cute little shapes, you don’t do all those sweet little crafts you’re always re-pinning to your “Things I must do with the kids” board. And don’t even get me started on those few times where you don’t want to play with them, you just want to run away so everyone can leave you alone for one freaking minute. And that little devil is right. I don’t do any of those things. I’ve done none of the crafts/activities on that stupid Pinterest board. I don’t cut their lunchmeat into cute little names (though the logical part of me says “Well, you don’t cut the lunchmeat, but what about how you took that old BBQ sauce bottle, washed it real good, made the hole a little bigger, and use it to make pancake art for them to eat?” See? Everything’s a battle of wills when I’m depressed.)…and most painful of all, no, they don’t know any better. They think I am an awesome mom, and they weren’t raised doing a craft every day, or having the absolute best of everything in existence. They don’t know any better. They know me, because I’m the all too human, completely imperfect, currently vulnerable mom they got.
I am an awful, awful Missus to the Mister. I don’t cheat, I am a faithful woman who tries her best to be a caring, supportive, loving partner…but I am an awful partner to/for him. I don’t know why he puts up with me. I mean okay yeah, I put up with his flaws too, but my flaws are so much worse, so much more deeply ingrained in the very fiber of my being, and the flaws I have are devastating. They are emotional flaws…the worst of all, and I am a failure at this whole being a good partner thing. I am not going into detail on this, as some things are still private to me (despite what the Mister thinks sometimes).
I woke up this morning. I still had the lump in my throat that I have had since the morning after that first nightmare. It’s a lump that made me think I had a sore throat. But it’s not a sore throat. The one solitary day that my throat was red was because the air had been dry the night before and I’d probably snored. I had a cup of coffee. I took my “Let’s not mentally screw up so much today, hmm?” medicine, and gathered the girls in the car to take them to school. I sat there for a couple minutes, confused as to why I wasn’t actually moving anywhere…until I put the key in the ignition and drove the damn car.
I didn’t want to come home. Home is the only place where I feel safe enough to cry. I hate crying. And the house is too small for me to be able to do that without anyone hearing me, and while I’m not always good at not letting it affect the Mister, I am very good at keeping my own issues and my own crap from the kids. No one likes to see Mommy cry. Mommy cried when she spent 15 hours cleaning the girls’ room, which made the girls cry too. I will not let my pain be the cause of my children’s tears. No way. But I don’t want to be home. Not until this aching lump in my throat goes away. All I want to do is run away to Alaska and scream and sob and cry until my voice is gone and my tears are all icicles. I can’t run away, and the normal, not emotionally bared and depressed Merry doesn’t want to run away…well, okay, maybe all of me wants to just grab my keys, leave the kids with the Mister and just say “I will be within a 1 mile radius of *insert place name here*, don’t call or text me unless it’s important. I just need to be alone. I want to be alone. Leave me the hell alone.”
I can’t lock myself in the bathroom, I can’t barricade myself in the bedroom, not without hearing “Mommy” every five seconds. I can still hear everything going on in the house when all I want is silence. I used to vanish off the face of the earth for weeks at a time whenever the need for that solitude came over me. I’m a mom now. I can’t vanish for weeks, and to be honest, I don’t want to. But I do want to be able to go away for a day or two, by myself. I’d probably end up at my grandparents in Farmland and spend the days traipsing through the woods. At the very least I want to be able to disappear for a couple of hours.
ADHD at times makes me feel like my brain is moving through molasses. But at least I can see where my brain is going (if I don’t get distracted by anything). Depression slams a thick fog over my brain and everything is washed out by invasive gray. It’s poison, withering anything even remotely redemptive and good about myself. My logic knows it’s still there, but my emotions are ripped away from the logic and any good logic could have possibly done me is lost. When I am depressed, I’m very emotionally vulnerable, but I muddle through thanks to those defenses I have adapted over time.
This time, the nightmares became the instigator and threw me into depression after stripping me of the only armor I had. My logic knows that I will get through this, simply because I always do.
But right now logic is wrapped in a blinding, venomous cloud and all I can do is tread water in my emotions and hope to anything and everything that I don’t drown. I hate drowning.