Yesterday was a very bad day and I have no idea why. I’ve mostly recovered from the clinical depression that used to consume my life but there are days when it taps me on the shoulder whispering, “Remember me?”
It didn’t exactly take me by surprise; there have been a few clues over the last week but I ignored them because these episodes frighten me. I remember what it was like to walk around in the haze of depression, feeling ready to break apart at any moment. I don’t ever want to live like that again. And yesterday I found myself briefly there.
The day started with a news story about a former family friend being arrested. I haven’t seen him in years and we weren’t close and yet I found myself unable to hold back tears. Not just watering eyes but short, staccato sobs that I found myself forcing down even though I wanted to cry forever. Another clue that something was off, my first conscious awareness of what had been under the surface for a little over a week.
As the day progressed I felt myself slipping more. Everything was a struggle; getting dressed, eating, talking to my family. The slightest perceived grievance would bubble up into feelings of complete and utter rejection. Small struggles, like a TV cable being too short, suddenly felt insurmountable and caused me to burst into tears. By late in the day I was exhausted from the effort it had taken to hold myself together and I could no longer contain my tears. But I still had no idea why I was crying.
In the shower I let my tears flow freely, let the meaningless sobs out. I wrapped my arms around myself and fought against the fears that I was slipping back into a dark place. When Robbie came to check on me I craved his concern but it also made me feel worse. I was pulling it together but trying to talk to him, to talk at all, would bring the tears again. I tried to lose myself in mindless internet chatter and clear my mind of the anxiety and hopelessness that had rushed in to crush me. And then, almost as suddenly as it had arrived, it was gone. I got dressed, walked into the living room, hugged Robbie, confessed my fears about returning to the darkness, and then it was over. Not because I’m ignoring it, repressing it, or putting on a happy face but because it just… went away.
I have no idea where these tumbles into the pit come from. I don’t really know what helped me climb out- was it allowing myself to cry in the shower? Or maybe finding a way to tune it out afterward? Probably a combination of the two. I don’t know for sure though. I do know that nothing dramatic changed in my life that started the episode and nothing changed to end it. It’s not about anything external; it comes from within. Which is also where I have to fight it from.
Feel free to share any experiences you’ve had with depression in the comments. Sharing this helped me; sharing your story might do the same for you.
This post is highly unedited. I didn’t want to censor myself or be tempted to dilute what I’d originally written. So, please forgive any typos.