Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So, Enough About You--Let's Talk About Me!

Wow. What a difference a few days can make. Last Friday I was fearing another slide into depression. Sure, I was probably also sick, and maybe catching up on some "post holiday stress disorder." Okay, I was also suffering from some PMS--the obsessive need for chocolate could have been a hint on that one. And it was grey and dark and ugly weather for a bunch of days in a row. So, actual clinical depression was only one of several explanations for why I felt so crappy.

But today! Today, I'm feeling great! And not just great in a "I'm happy, no body parts hurt, I haven't failed anyone in at least 12 hours!" kind of way. Even better. I'm starting to feel some psychic room in my life.

Part of the horror that is depression is the sense that everything is too hard--people move faster than you can keep up, and doing anything takes more energy than you have. Sure, I could call a friend and go out for coffee, but I'd have to find the phone book, then look up their number, then call and actually have a conversation about meeting. And then to actually meet, I'd have to take a shower and get dressed and drive to the coffee place, and it's all so hard...and anyway, the cordless phone is missing again and I can't find it.

So, in the depths of depression I remember having days of watching the clock and dreading the passage of time. "Oh no, only 5 more hours until I have to go pick up the kid from daycare. And then it will be at least three more hours until I can put her to bed--how am I going to survive those three hours? Which are now only 4 hours away?"

As things got better, and the meds kicked in (it's a shout out to Wellbutrin! Couldn't have done it without you!) stuff still took So. Much. Energy. Frankly, getting kids to school, dinner on the table and just One Other Thing (a load of laundry, for example, or a trip to the grocery) was all I could do--that was success.

Recently, however, I'm noticing some extra room in my head--a sense that the small world I've been living in might not be all there is for me. Like, maintaining the household and preventing disaster might not be all I can do--there might be something. . . more? I might be able to take on something beyond mere survival? Like, maybe even something like. . .ambition might be coming back?

It's an interesting place for me. I have felt my limitations so acutely for so long, that this stirring uneasiness. . .dissatisfaction, maybe?. . .is curious. I used to be a hot-shot contender, until I was knocked out of the ring by depression. Like a hawk that flies above the other birds, and then runs into a glass window and breaks its wings, I've been spending the last too many years walking around on the ground, unable to fly again. Not believing I would fly again.

But now--these feelings of. . .expansiveness. . .are like a breeze ruffling my feathers, and I remember what it felt like to fly, and how I used to enjoy the soaring. I can lift my wings into the wind and feel that familiar rush. I can't fly--not yet, maybe--but now I can imagine it again.

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