Depression Doesn’t Take a Snow Day
I don’t know why, but today started out really well. I mean so well, that I thought I was out of this mess. I described it to a friend as the eye of a storm, which I realize is not very literary, but when you can finally breath, who has time for anything but cliches? I was so ready to move the fuck on.
Honestly, part of the good feelings came from the fact that today was a snow day — and the fact that I got to put off, for one more day, having to face my friends and colleagues now that they know that I am a mess. They are wonderful, and they are accepting and gracious, but I constantly feel ashamed (not from them). Constantly. I constantly struggle with acidic self-loathing. Constantly. But whatever it was, I felt good. I even wrote a list of things that make me happy. It’s below because they made me happy this morning, so they are still honest.
And then, somewhere around noon, it started to settle. It’s like falling in love, this Thing, except the it’s eyes aren’t blue like the skies — they are blue like the color of a man who has choked to death and then settled in the brain, only to surface 15 years later. You can’t eat — just like falling in love. You can’t sleep — just like falling in love.
And you spend the day working so hard to stay away from the edge of the precipice — just like love. Except, with this, if you fall, there’s no one to catch you. This thing that I am fighting — with it’s concreteness and with my abstract explanations because I am just not ready yet to share all of it — this Thing tries its best to tear and crumble and destroy and project. And It. Is. Exhausting.
Beginnings and Endings
I am running out of energy. I need to wrap this up, because between the broken heart and the normal business of life, there is just not enough emotional energy in the day, and I want to have the energy for my children — for story, and song, and prayer. Regardless of whatever else, I am here to support them, and not the other way around.
So here is that list of things that make me happy. This was, as I said, written at the beginning of the day. By the end of the day, I had written another list — this one things that I hate about myself. But first:
The Happy Parts
- My partner
- Dancing on the back porch
- Romantic date nights that are so over the top sappy that they skirt the world of meta-romance
- My skin puppies
- Story, song, and prayer
- Not having fur babies
- Taking spiders outside even though I don’t like them because all life should be cared for (including fur babies — I don’t want pets, but I still love them)
- Binging awesome TV whilst cuddling the heckity-heck out of my partner
- Sorted LEGO (by piece AND color)
- Graduation regalia colors
- Making gift baskets for people I love
- Perfect eyeliner
- Non-toxic, multiple masculinities
- Feeing healthy and strong
- The feeling of relief when the world stops crushing in on me
- Anything above a 10, by definition
- Roses. I fucking love roses. Getting any flowers is a treat, but receiving roses makes me melt
- Kisses at Disney World
- When my students run the fucking class and knock it outta the park
- Connecting to the Divine
- Walks in the forest
- The sea breeze on a tropical coast before sunset
- Camping but with mattresses. So basically if we could just stick a hotel in the forest…
- Circle bathtubs
- That moment when you walk outside, smell the air, and you’re like, “yup. It’s gonna snow like a mo fo”
- The pittering of snow six hours after the smell thing
- Misty walks in the coastal mountains of the Pacific NW
- Zombie burlesque
- Melodic death metal
- Tim McGraw’s “Blank Sheet of Paper”
- Contemplating levels of infinity
- Graham’s number
- Escaping escape rooms
- My kids repeating healthy statements like “I need cuddling to nurture my relationships with mommy and daddy”
- Looking at my partner — we nod, and then give our last few bucks to someone
- ost-coital cuddles
- Feeing joy at my partner’s joy
- Avenue Q
- Any musical, really
- Tap dancing
- Ballet dancing
- Listening to Portuguese
- Braided poetry that compares and contrasts orgasms, pomegranate seeds, and death
- Fairy tales
- Feeling safe
- Feeling loved
- Nurse practitioners
- When someone touches my stomach scars and tells me they are beautiful
- Being told I am handsome
- Anna Adkins
- Gossiping about positive things
- Culturally relevant pedagogy
- Critical literacy
- Feeling wanted
- Soft kisses that wrap lips in lips
- Feeing sexy
- When my partner gets out of the bath and comes and cuddles and kisses me
Not bad for major clinical depression, right? Well, there’s more:
The Parts I Hate
I am not writing this list. Not here. I wasn’t supposed to write it in the first place. I was supposed to write a list of things I need to forgive myself for, and I figured I could first write a list of my flaws and then forgive myself for them in a sort of corporate absolution.
I did write the forgiveness thing, and my heart wasn’t in it. But I did it, and here it is:
I forgive you for treating me poorly. You are kind and you work to be loving, and no one deserves treatment like this. It is going to take time to internalize this, but I am here to remind you: I forgive you. And you are loved.
And that’s what I got. That’s it. I don’t believe a word of it. Hell, I don’t trust myself as far as I can throw myself. Not to be honest with or to myself, anyway. The self-loathing is strong with me.
It turns out that depression doesn’t take a snow day. But I am still breathing. And I am still committed to living, and for today, that’s enough.
It has to be. I don’t what else there is.