Ever been in a fight with yourself? This past week, I have done nothing but defend myself against myself. My ego has been throwing sticks and stones at my brain, leaving my heart heavy and hurting.
My chest and arms have felt as if they were taken hostage by gravity. I had a gnawing urge to huddle in a ball. I had a full-blown panic attack last weekend, for no apparent reason, that seemed to precipitate the following week’s worth of self doubt and a total inability to focus. All my emotions suddenly seemed to lack muscle. I lost my groove. Actually, it feels more like the groove just ran away, with no explanation as to why.
This is the revolving, depressive door I seem to walk in and out of. Maybe I need a higher dose of an anti-depressant. Maybe I need a change more drastic than a hair cut. Sometimes I manage the episodes better than others, but regardless, it trips me up every time. This time, it wore like a thick coat with the fuck its just dripping from everywhere.
I write steadily, whether it’s something for my blog or one of the several journals I keep. My fingers have felt dehydrated this past week. I have tapped on the keys, only to erase everything I’ve written. I tried to write a fictional piece using a prompt that truly inspired me, but hit a wall. It just kept turning in to an unintentional, dysfunctional autobiography. I tried to write in my kid’s journals, but was left scribbling generic thoughts on how much I love them, ten different ways. It made me want to literately, hit a wall.
This fight I’ve been having with myself, it’s looked differently this time. What’s missing is my temper. It just never seemed to show up. My depression usually seems to have a bit of an angry streak to her. Most people don’t associate depression with frustration, but my “episodes” are filled with it. I drop a spoon on the floor and tailspin in to a swearing Tasmanian devil. The most regretful of reactions occur when my young children act like young children. That part of all of this will always have me fighting back tears.
Something jarred me, left me spinning and it feels like it was done on purpose. The other day, sitting at my computer, I tried to convince my brain to talk. It wasn’t working, and then, neither was my internet. My modem burned out for no apparent reason. It was like the universe was begging me to disconnect for a while. So I did.
For four days, I pushed motion out of me. I’ve forced myself to stay moving and occupied. Stale air and a lack of movement is dangerous for me. Not pushing through it has never taken me anywhere pleasant. Instead, I started spring cleaning early, or as anyone who would have seen me these past two days would call it, manic cleaning.
I dare you to find a spec of anything but love laying around my house right now. To top it off, I made a batch of soup and baked some goodies. Who knew depression would bring my inner Betty Crocker back out. It felt good getting back to basics. Starting from scratch has helped me even out the scales a little.
It’s so strange to me, how anyone that feels like I have inside, could still give so much of herself to others. How I, or anyone else, can smile and even occasionally laugh, all the while, have such a tattered heart, is beyond me.
Finally, today, I felt a break. A break in negative cognitions and the extra weight I felt following me around. I seem to be back in the running for finding the right words and locking them in to sentences that help me breath easier. All the drafts I had going before I fell in to this depressive funk, have either been deleted or are gaining a new perspective.
I don’t believe I will ever feel thankful for my illness. However, coming out the other side, always makes the sun seem to shine a little brighter, my thoughts to be a little more clear and my many blessings seem all that more grand.
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53 thoughts on “Dehydrated Fingers.”
This is my second time on your blog and I love it! First, W.T.F. is the most brilliant name ever. Because sometimes it’s words thoughts and feelings and other times it’s the other thing. Second, I’m sorry you have to live with depression, and I hope you find yourself increasingly on the other side, the bright one.
Thank you, Stacie. I have to forward your comment to a close friend of mine that is the actual mastermind of the title W.T.F.
I do find myself on the other side, the good side, more than not. Sometimes I think maybe that is why falling now feels so awful. I don’t know, maybe it will all make sense one day. Probably not though, I suppose. ugh…babbling. What a wonderful comment you left ~ between that and the peanut butter pandemonium ice cream the hubs bought, I’m feeling quite nice. There’s the wine too…Either way, Thanks 🙂
Ooh ice cream! I usually skip that in favor of wine. If you’re anywhere near Northern NJ ever, please stop by. I can’t tell where you are from your blog, or else I didn’t dive deep enough. But if you wait too long, I’m moving back home to CA. I can’t take the winters here.
How about I wait until you move back to CA…that way I finally have an excuse to go to the west coast. I’m in Upstate NY, so we’re crying over the same winter I believe.
Keep pushing to the other side! You are an awesome writer and I find it refreshing that you are so open about your battles, and kids are resilient, I work a lot and take classes on top of that and they keep forgiving me, your children will not remember you getting mad at them for being kids, but the love you show them every day, and they will alway have your journals and writings to remind them of that love forever!
Thank you April. I love that you pointed to how resilient kids are. I need that reminder from time to time. Truly appreciate your kind words 🙂
I’m glad your words are back. They are beautiful.
“Not pushing through it has never taken me anywhere pleasant.” I can relate strongly to this. Those who tell me I need to do less or relax more or whatnot are subjected to an icy glare. I treat unflinching positivity and carefully managed activity levels as matters of life and death. I also found myself mentally fist-pumping at the self-awareness and self-care you managed even while feeling awful.
Thank you for the kind words and the fist-pump. I can’t tell you how much your words help me feel less alone in this mess. I hate the “just relax” or “take it easy” suggestions from most. I appreciate the attempt to help me feel better but, like I said, being still never ends well. And it absolutely can be a matter of life or death. Not a lot of people understand that…including myself sometimes.
Thank you for reading and being so open in your comment. The ability to relate is why I choose to be open about my own struggles. I couldn’t do that if people like you weren’t as supportive as you are.
thank you for sharing. as another who goes throughout life with phases of darkness seeping into every pore of my existence, it is often helpful to realize i am not alone. please take care of yourself. whether it be through resting, writing, praying, medication, counselling, crying, sharing,… or a compilation of any or all above, be reassured that there are ways to be pulled out of the deep dark pit of depression. it will get better if you hold on
Is it odd that when I read “…if you hold on”, it sounded like Wilson Phillips singing their version of their song “Hold On”. Either you know exactly what I am talking about or I just lost you completely.
Ha! Either way, I appreciate your comment so much. Anyone that is willing to share their story with me, regardless of how the message shows up, I appreciate it. It seriously helps heal me, so thank you.
you didn’t lose me. i didn’t want to say “i know exactly how you are feeling” when i don’t. but i do know the tendencies to wishing it were over and done with (but i never wished myself to tackle the beast… just wished that someone else would do it for me). yes, my family lives with it (3 out of 4 of us have mental illnesses), but we are living with them… which is a heck of a lot better than suffering with them. if you have any questions, or just want to vent, i am available to you… please, you don’t need to be alone in this!
Your words went straight to my heart lady! My family swims in the sea of mental illness as well. I suppose it is our “thing” …haha…funny that I can actually laugh at it I suppose.
ps… i’ve just “liked” your fb page, so now you can pm me if you choose. (my name is dawn too) 😉
Kindred souls we must be :)…look forward to many more conversations.
Thank you, Dawn, for your honesty and courage in sharing this hard space with others. Please know that you have “imaginary friends” out in the blogosphere sending you positive thoughts. – Fawn
I definitely feel the love through the keyboard Fawn. Thanks so much for the positive thoughts. I often get told I am “courageous” for writing about this so openly but honestly, it doesn’t feel like courage. It just feels like medicine. It’s even a bit selfish because what I get in return is exactly what I need sometimes, which is assurance I am not alone. Hope in unity is a beautiful thing. Thank you for supporting my writing, and me along the way. I always look forward to your thoughts on things.
great…reading you after a long time (even 10-15 days seems to me long)… i always respect your blog and writing skills…well this is the 3rd one i’m reading your topic… every time you come up with new things which really closer to you and your words describes every thing that you are writing from heart… you have a wonderful and lovely heart… so don’t feel your self alone, dis hurt-ed, and up-most depressed… it only comes when somebody requires more attention and not be given by others… i understand that by writing these words by me or sympathizing by other cannot helps…its only your inner/self motivation can stand you up …
that is good that you are out of it…god bless…
Thank you for the kind words regarding this post and my blog. Sure helps build me right back up. 🙂
Awesome. I can only wish you to have many more days like “today.”
Thank you Daniel. Thanks for reading and sending the positive vibes. It truly helps.
Often times my depression manifests itself in mood swings. That’s why I’m on a mood stabilizer in addition to an antidepressant. I hope you’re doing okay now.
I’ve wondered about a mood stabilizer before but was told it was not necessary by the doc…I have a new doc now. I am not a fan of taking pills but have come to terms with having to do it. I think it’s worth asking again.
It’s strange to me how different my depression looks as I get older. In ways it’s more intense but at the same time more manageable. I still can’t get around it but I often get through it…better? …for a lack of better words. I haven’t finished my first cup of coffe-eh so forgive my choice of words. (:
Nice to hear from you TD. I need to catch up on your posts…I’ve stayed away for a bit.
Hey, take care of you first. I hope you’re feeling better now. And if you ever need to vent, hit me up. Sometimes we need help facing ourselves.
That is so true. And I am feeling better today. Going to actually leave the house and see some friends, so that will help as well.
Yay! Have fun!
I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better. A few people in my life struggle with depression, and I appreciated reading such a frank description.
It’s the only way I know to be, if I’m being honest. I can’t sugar coat this shit if I tried. Actually, I did try…for a very long time. It almost broke me.
Thanks so much for reading and the wishes well. And thanks for taking time to read about something that maybe you don’t personally struggle with, but are willing to gain insight for those that do. I wish more people did that.
We are only truly alone in our own minds. Its only when we feel the love of a child’s embrace, see the smile of someone we adore, or witness the tragedy of someone less fortunate than us that we realize how fortunate and not a lone we really are. I hope you find peace in your hearts mind.
My hearts mind is certainly on the mend. Thank you…everyone’s kind words and support is a big part of that.
I love your posts. As soon as it hits upstate, I will send the sunshine your ways. May it always be bright!
Thank you so much. What a beautifully, simply sweet comment. Yes…please send the sun my way. And above freezing temps too..if that’s not too much to ask 🙂
I just found you on Moonshine and after reading this, I clicked “follow” because you are straight from the heart, honest and inspiring. Thanks for sharing this deep piece of writing.
Thank you so much and thanks for the follow. I always hesitate to say “I’m glad you can relate” because I know that means you share the pain as well. I will say thank you though for the positive vibes and support.
This one kind of poured out me…and it felt good. Real good actually.
You wrote this so eloquently! I’m so glad you’re feeling more on the upside again. Message me anytime. We can always just vent some more about kids. 🙂 Hopefully you’ll be up for some writing this week and we can bust out some awesome shit together! 🙂 Ha!
I’m so hoping so too Deanna. I’m feeling that burning to write in me again which is almost indescribable. I think you get it though. I’ve never had such a fury to a passion before and it is a beautiful thing. Now I just need to channel it…I want to write like a motherfucker!!!! lol
Me too me too me too. Lately it’s been particularly bad. I have good days and bad days. Sigh. I want out of it, off the hamster wheel of my mind.
If you figure out how to crawl off…you let me know Natalie. I never seem to know what pulls me on or when I’ll get off…I’m just glad I get to get off occasionally. This time was particular bad, mostly because I couldn’t write and honestly, I could barely think. Sorry you can relate but thank you for sharing that you do. It’s so helpful to hear I’m not alone.
Glad you are on the other side of it. I went thru depression as a young adult, I don’t know how you manage with two small children. Though you may feel like shit, know that you are amazing. Hugs!!
Thanks Mama. As far as the kids…sometimes they are what keep me up and other times..well…I just wish I could hide from them. I say that only half jokingly. Thank you for the kind words. It truly helps.
I would love to read what you erased. I just attended the 2014 Faith and Culture Writing Conference and one speaker said sometimes he just couldn’t get his shit together but still “I don’t want to be a Christian writer if it means writing from the heart and then hitting backspace until it feels safe again”. I think that’s pretty good advice for all writers.
oooh I like that. Perhaps I won’t be so quick to pound on the backspace key so much. What he said makes an enormous amount of sense. I will say though, my erased words lacked anything of substance. I was just so desperate to write SOMETHING that I just kept through random thoughts down and trying to make them connect. Either that, or my story just kept turning in to a different version of something I have already written. It has aggravating beyond what I could hande. Hence, unplugging last week.
Ah…but when it lifts…and you look around and go WTF was that??!! Now where was I?’….and you resume life. Odd ain’t it?
For me, I just stopped fighting it. I learned to wait it out like waiting for a bus. When I feel the heavy cloak dropping, I hear myself saying, ‘Oh here we go again!’ I get engulfed underneath and then just wait politely for The Dark One (and his damn cloak) to get bored. I am Beelzebub (or the girl from The Exorcist!) for a few days or weeks or months but, so be it.
I know a lot of folk can’t do that because of family or work commitments Looooooord knows how you cope with 2 young kids Lady. But we all have our different loads to carry I guess. Welcome back.
Odd it is! I love what you said about just waiting it out. I should pay attention to that advice. I’ve come a long way in coping with it but I don’t know that I’ve ever just “let it happen”. I think what you have said has stuck on me…in a good way. To be continued…unfortunately.
Great post! I am glad you are feeling better. I’m not big on talking about my issues but I agree. Things on the other side of the darkness always shine brighter.
Thanks Maurnas. I’ve definitely felt the sun and seen the beauty around me more vividly these past few days.
Reblogged this on W.T.F. and commented:
Just seemed to fit today…
hi you – – something is in the air for us, i think. I have been having one of my worst periods ever. Since 16, my depression waxes and wanes but this is more than waxing, it’s scrubbing the entire friggin floor with my soul. Ugh. I really like the drowning image and quote you posted – – that just about captures it, except i would add that not only is everyone around you still breathing, some of them are saying, “Cheer up and be grateful. Some people don’t even have any water to drown in at all, ya know! Anyhow, I am glad you reposted this one, in particular. Big hugs. ps. I read all your comments….I’m in CA and I HATE this sunny weather, but you can always come visit.
I can see how the sunny weather could become a bitch. “Scrubbing the entire floor with my friggin soul.” This could be a description of depression in the freakin’ DSM IV. I have to admit this though, all that crap about baking cookies and turning shit around…not so much this time. It just feels like a toxicity coming out of me and I hate everything about myself. Everything. Irrational – yes. Will it pass – eventually. I always feel like I want to add an “I hope” after that last sentence. Telling me, or you, or the thousands of other crinkled minds out there to “get over it” is asinine. No one wants to open their medicine cabinet to grab some Tylenol for a headache and get stuck staring at it, thinking “I can’t use this because there isn’t enough here.” – meaning not enough to kill me. I could barely type that, let alone choose to experience those kinds of thoughts. So the next time someone says that to you…beat em like he’s a pinata girl. 🙂 …sorry got pretty deep there for a minute.
My Dear Dawn Girl, (that’s an Endearment), Love to You. While going through the post, came across Your words: ‘It’s so strange to me, how anyone that feels like I have inside, could still give so much of herself to others.’
Having been through Depression, and having come out, have some idea about it. Your quote was Exactly how I had felt before my Burnout. …You are on its verge. Of the Burnout, I mean.
You can Avoid it. The word Burnout itself gives us the Remedies. …Being a Mother, You cannot put off everything and take a longish holiday. Next best thing. STOP WRITING, at least for a Week.
LET the world Lose Your Precious Thoughts during that while. I personally feel You will Recapture them.
I Hope You will Seriously Try my method, STOP WRITING, at least for a Week. Here’s what You can and Should do: Put on Your fav music, dance to it. Catch Naps. GO INTO LOTS OF HUGS AND CUDDLES. And RESOLUTELY STOP WRITING, for a Week. Shut down the Comp. Do not answer Your mails. Or respond to the Comments. For a week.
You are Not Alone. Much Love and Regards. Here’s to NOT hearing from You for a Week!
this is my favorite piece i’ve read from you. so raw, so honest, so you. glad you’ve found some brightness again. xo
Thank you, Christina. It’s one I’m drawn back to again and again. This time, I’m struggle with not having the strength I had when I wrote it. Just not feeling the energy I need to do as I did…creating happy/distracting moments to pull me out of the funk. I’ll pull through. Feedback like yours help. Thank you.