Today I woke up and knew I had to get out of bed.
I forced myself out the door, late.
I watched the kids play, but opted to sit at a distance in the rocking chair rather than with them on the floor.
I stared out the window and wished I could be back home, curled up in bed.
Minutes passed like hours, dragging themselves like nails on a chalkboard in my head.
The world seemed to have had a filter put over it, turning everything to black, white, and grey. Mostly grey.
Every movement felt like a chore, every hour like a burden.
My mind and heart weighed with a suffocating loneliness as I mentally flipped through my list of friends, trying to decide if there was anyone I could open up to about what was going on. Each person was crossed off the list: she doesn't talk to me any more, he doesn't seem to care. I don't know who my real friends are any more. People say they're there for you, but they always seem busy when you call, like they'd rather be doing anything besides talking to you. I can't see my counselor for four more days. So I feel even lonelier as I realize this burden is mine alone to bear. I know the advocacy sites say otherwise, but sometimes I wonder if those people have ever lived in the real world.
I want to be honest with people; sometimes I feel like I'm living a double life. But few people are honest with me. And so many of my messages go unopened, unanswered. So who am I supposed to trust with this heavy truth?
I look at the children playing and feel the weight of this darkness push me down deeper into the chair. I want to be anywhere but here. I want to hide away from the world, but I have a duty to fulfill. I wonder what people did before antidepressants, in a time when life bore even more heaviness with all of the poverty, infant mortality, and near-starvation, the confinement to one town, one house, one room. How did the women who lived before me get through dark days like this in such unrelentingly awful conditions?
As the day wears on, my head and shoulders start to ache from the increasing heaviness weighing on my shoulders - the stress of bleak thoughts and a lonely heart. How will I cope with this? When will things get better? Why am I having another relapse? What am I supposed to do to get better? What did I do wrong to get like this again? Did I commit some sort of sin? My head spins with the questions I don't know how to answer; thoughts won't slow down and I'm too sluggish to keep up.
Dark cafe days are like a desert stretching out before you; no hope is on your horizon and life just seems like a burden you have to bear, a battlefield you have to drag yourself through. They make you question everything: Do people care about me? Is my life worth living? Can I ever do something to make my life matter? Am I a burden to others? Will I ever feel happy again?
No one else seems to have these questions, and the fact that you're thinking them seems so wrong and ungrateful, so you keep them secret, which isolates you even more, adding to the bleakness of your situation. It's so hard to articulate how you feel, and even harder for others to understand.
Now that I've been in treatment for a while for depression, I feel the additional pressure of having to cope properly with dark feelings and untrue thoughts. I feel like I need to figure out how to get out of the rut, to look back and find what happened to bring these old feelings back. Even though I have found a therapist and psychiatrist who I feel more comfortable talking to, I don't know what to do between appointments. Besides, how am I supposed to work out all my needs in an hour every week or two when life throws you so many curveballs and ups and downs in the umpteen hours your spend outside of that little room?
Dark days, grey days, whatever you want to call them - they're not easy. People don't get what you're going through because their skies are blue. They don't realize that you need them to stop what they're doing and be by your side. Dark days leave you confused, lonely, isolated, caught in your head, questioning things you once took for granted. But it's still worth fighting, because you never know what's on the horizon.
Even though today I feel like the rest of my life will be a bloodless battle with nothing to redeem the story, I've felt the same way before in my life and been completely blindsided by the possibilities that eventually came my way. Rather than a flat desert stretching endlessly, offering no hope for rescue or happiness, this is more of a curve in the road on a mountain pass that I can't see behind. The obstacle seems insurmountable and it's scary not to know what's ahead, easy to believe that it can only be as hopeless as it's been lately, but I've learned that's not necessarily true. Life is full of setbacks, disappointments, hurts, and thorns in the flesh, but I'm learning that is also has hope, possibility, and potential.