I began my last post by mentioning depression and then proceeding to sift through thoughts about housework. I know that I said my last post wasn’t about depression, but the truth is that it sort of was. Not only did Housework and Resentment manage to become fused in my head over the years, but so did Depression. It’s a trio now, really.
So, even though I want to continue with my dig through thoughts on Housework, Depression (the thing that has its’ chains wrapped about most subjects in my life) piped up louder today.
Strangely, I was thinking about it because I was wondering why, this morning, after two days of sinking down, I suddenly felt a little better.
Is it because my hubs seems ever so minutely, a miniscule bit, better? (He did manage to stay out of bed more yesterday. Did manage to joke around with the kiddos. Actually started a conversation with me. Sadly, it was my turn to listlessly respond with a shrug and nod of the head).
Is it because it’s stopped raining and the sun is peeking out? Is it because I dragged myself into the company of others? (What came first? My feeling better, or being around other people making me feel better? Hard to tell. Maybe one reinforced the other….I surprised myself by going to that meeting.) Is it because the alcohol I consumed New Year’s Eve has managed to progress out of my system? Is it because I’ve been drinking more water? I got more sleep?
And here’s what suddenly struck me. Having Depression, or any other sort of mental illness, is a bit like……being a werewolf.
There have been many, many, myriad ways of trying to describe Depression, but in the spirit of the trendy, societal fascination (which for the record, I don’t entirely get…) with vampires and zombies and other supernatural fantastical creatures, I offer up this comparison of what it is like. Maybe some will be able to relate to it better.
It’s like being a werewolf. Or a zombie.
It’s a secret identity. A double life.
While being depressed, it’s entirely possible to go about your life, to work, to school, to functions, to parties!….and seem like a perfectly “normal” person. You’ve got a huge smile on your face. You can laugh. You can joke.
You can actually feel pretty okay. Or, at least think you do. Pretend to.
When you get home, – if, by any chance, you actually managed to LEAVE the house – when you get away from others, that “normal’ mask can fall right off. All the energy of “being a normal person” can be completely depleted. You are drained. Seriously. You feel like you’ve been embalmed. Or petrified. You know you are alive somehow, but you just don’t feel it. Blood doesn’t feel like it’s flowing in your veins anymore. Your brain registers all sorts of things, yet you can’t manage the energy to take care of any of it. You transform into a zombie who shuffles off to the succor of a darkened bedroom and covers to pull over your head and shut the world out. Everything has lost meaning. A part of your brain registers that things SHOULD have meaning. But somehow, the rest of your brain is in mutiny and refuses to believe it. Or your mind starts eating itself; it starts smearing toxic thoughts all over the place, rendering you immobile from the resulting self-hatred. This is my husband’s transformation. He’s turned into a zombie lately.
I think it was my transformation a few years ago as well, when I was feeling pretty suicidal. Many an afternoon was spent in bed, feeling like an insect pinned to a board. It was definitely me in my younger days and earlier episodes. I slept. Rather, half-slept…. you kind of go in and out of slumber, but never out of bed….A. LOT. You turn into the walking dead. Or the reclining dead, as the case may be.
These days, now that I’m “better”, meaning that I deal with it better and have some meds that help, I feel more like a werewolf. It’s a chronic condition for some, like me.
My depression can rise like a tide. Once in a full, blue moon, you can say. Especially now that I’m dealing with my husband’s ongoing battle.
The zombie is agitating the werewolf, for sure. But, I suppose that can’t be avoided.
The werewolf manifests itself by overwhelming the veins with a rising tide of negative emotions, heart with so much despair, that – despite having interacted with the outside “normal” world like a “regular human” – when home, out of sight of the general public, it throws you on the floor of a dark closet, howling into a pillow and sobbing in uncontrollable mental and, strangely physical, pain; your vision clouded over with nothing but stress and paranoia; your ears stuffed with nothing but the nasty, cruel, scolding of a monster that knows you intimately. It seizes you and twists your heart and kicks you in the ribs and hisses mean things in your ear, and makes you cry, and cry, and cry. It can go on for a day or two…or three.
And the day after that? The werewolf is suddenly …. gone. You look around and things seem …okay. A little, anyway. Things seem do-able. Your seizure is over. And you, a little wobbly, venture back out.
If having depression is like being a werewolf or a zombie, then
having ADHD must be like being a Tasmanian Devil.
Anything can set off the Tasmanian Devil, at any time. Seemingly completely random stuff….
My son has ADHD.
He just returned home, found me in here, in the den, and proceeded to rant at and berate me about how “this has been the WORST winter break EVER!!” because we didn’t do x, y, or z…even though at the time of doing “x”, he said he didn’t want to go, or doing “y”, he was too busy…or when “z” was suggested, he wasn’t much interested….
A Tasmanian Devil with selective memory.