Depression–it rears its ugly head when you least expect it. I will not refer to it as something I suffer from/with. I prefer to say it is my dirty little secret which I cannot quite manage to be done with (once and for all) after years of keeping company with it. I try to portray myself as one who has everything under control always. There are days however, when that is easier said than done. Even when I don’t feel it, I have a Happy Face + Attitude (HFA) that I tap into—on most days. Periodically the dreaded depression sets in deeper than I’d like. Those are the days I try to hide from the world until I can get my HFA back on track, but this week it was out of my reach. I picked up the phone when it rang and my daughter was on the other end asking what I wanted to do for my birthday. Poor thing, I do feel bad for her.
Nothing. Nothing at all. I hate my life. I want to run away. I want change. I wish I lived on a farm, was my sad, forlorn, woe-is-me response.
She had to hang up pretty quickly after that. I don’t blame her. I’ll talk to you Saturday, she said.
I did that. I caused that. I said that. This is a good reminder to be careful what we wish for. My Happy Face + Attitude continued to be absent. Later, I talked it ALL over with my husband when he got home. Poor thing, I do feel bad for him.
I’m lonely. I just want to be alone. She doesn’t love me anymore. I don’t blame her. I am aware, even as I’m hearing my own words, that this line of conversation is non-productive and futile. Sometimes I even laugh a little because of the dichotomy and randomness of my words and feelings.
The next morning my HFA showed up again. Thank God. I put it on and after a while it started to feel like a pretty good fit again. I felt a bit less lonely and I didn’t hate my life as much. Although I still wish I lived on a farm.
Depression is an awful thing. For me it comes in waves and steals my joy. It messes with me and I feel frayed around the edges, but I’m not broken. Some who know me best say I feel too deeply. That’s one thing I wouldn’t choose to lose, so I’ll keep plugging along sometimes wearing my Happy Face + Attitude until the authentic joy returns. It usually does.
My birthday celebration is on. The family is coming over (I know, right? My family is brave!). They’re bringing birthday cake and orzo pasta salad. Burgers will be served. We will eat on paper plates and make s’mores if the weather holds out. Exactly my kind of birthday celebration!
Man that was a close call. I nearly ruined my own birthday celebration.