Sharing Grief: Depression Takes a Snow Day

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.

I think.

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

  1. My partner
  2. Dancing on the back porch
  3. Romantic date nights that are so over the top sappy that they skirt the world of meta-romance
  4. My skin puppies
  5. Story, song, and prayer
  6. Not having fur babies
  7. 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)
  8. Stories
  9. Binging awesome TV whilst cuddling the heckity-heck out of my partner
  10. Sorted LEGO (by piece AND color)
  11. Graduation regalia colors
  12. Making gift baskets for people I love
  13. Perfect eyeliner
  14. Non-toxic, multiple masculinities
  15. Feeing healthy and strong
  16. The feeling of relief when the world stops crushing in on me
  17. Anything above a 10, by definition
  18. Roses. I fucking love roses. Getting any flowers is a treat, but receiving roses makes me melt
  19. Kisses at Disney World
  20. When my students run the fucking class and knock it outta the park
  21. Connecting to the Divine
  22. Walks in the forest
  23. The sea breeze on a tropical coast before sunset
  24. Camping but with mattresses. So basically if we could just stick a hotel in the forest…
  25. Circle bathtubs
  26. That moment when you walk outside, smell the air, and you’re like, “yup. It’s gonna snow like a mo fo”
  27. The pittering of snow six hours after the smell thing
  28. Misty walks in the coastal mountains of the Pacific NW
  29. Zombie burlesque
  30. Melodic death metal
  31. Tim McGraw’s “Blank Sheet of Paper”
  32. Podcasts
  33. Contemplating levels of infinity
  34. Graham’s number
  35. Prayer
  36. Escaping escape rooms
  37. My kids repeating healthy statements like “I need cuddling to nurture my relationships with mommy and daddy”
  38. Looking at my partner — we nod, and then give our last few bucks to someone
  39. ost-coital cuddles
  40. Feeing joy at my partner’s joy
  41. Avenue Q
  42. Any musical, really
  43. Tap dancing
  44. Ballet dancing
  45. Listening to Portuguese
  46. Braided poetry that compares and contrasts orgasms, pomegranate seeds, and death
  47. Fairy tales
  48. Feeling safe
  49. Feeling loved
  50. Nurse practitioners
  51. When someone touches my stomach scars and tells me they are beautiful
  52. Being told I am handsome
  53. Anna Adkins
  54. Gossiping about positive things
  55. Culturally relevant pedagogy
  56. Critical literacy
  57. Feeling wanted
  58. Soft kisses that wrap lips in lips
  59. Feeing sexy
  60. 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.

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