When you have a hangover - and let me tell you, as one who is fond of fuzzy drinks with the fruity flavors that taste delightful until I try to stand and realize that I have no legs, I know hangovers. When you have a hangover because you were stupid enough the night before to drink your weight in liqueur and have the throbbing aftermath to remind you of that foolishness, you know the smart thing to do is drink large amounts of water to combat the poison you willingly put in your body. But, despite knowing that dehydration is the enemy not your pulsing head, you cannot bring yourself to put the glass of water to your lips because the waves of nausea threaten to overcome you with every stale boozy breath.
Or when you feel the tickle of a migraine start to creep its way around the base of your neck and begin to crawl toward your eyes and you know the thing to drink a large glass of water, chug a pill and put yourself in a quiet room until the threat passes. Without fail, you always brush off that rock solid history of prevention and push on until the migraine grips your eyeball and squeezes out the color of the day. And then, when the booming pulsing beat of your heart tattoos in your temple and you’re pretty sure that light will kill you if it touches any part of your face, you regret your decision. When moaning low and pitifully under your breath is the only thing that feels productive but then you have to stop because the stabbing knife of pain is back, you know it is too late. You know that all you can do is ride it out or wait until your wishes are answered and you actually die right then and there.
Well, depression is like that. It’s like that glass of water you cannot choke down because you are in so much agony. It is like that migraine, too loud and painful to see there will be a tomorrow. You cannot get past the waves of nausea or the stabbing pain or out of the well of sadness. It obliterates all hope. You feel so wretched, so alone; there is no doorway out. Every breath takes in more of the dark as you sink to the bottom in the swimming pool of doom. And all the while, you are aware that the key is to not be alone. You know that the cure is to leave the bed, the couch, the house and be anywhere but in yourself. The antidote is to surround yourself with people who value you; people who prop you up, people who will make you feel the love, the hope, and the light.
But you cannot do that. You know that you should. But you cannot do that.
You put yourself in a dark room and contemplate the end of the earth. You spend time looping through mistakes and revisiting wounds and sinking deeper in the hole. And, when you remember to breathe, you moan softly under your breath just to hear something other than the screaming in your brain.
But I have people who will not let me sink. I have people who urge me to sit with them, to just do nothing but be with them outside of my pit of despair. I have people who share their own stories of darkness with me over tacos and sweet tea and remind me I’m not alone in this. I have people who send me art that reminds me to squint out the icky stuff. I have people who post videos of owls getting massages and glass toilets and snarky sexual innuendos that make me giggle. I have people who let me hang out with their two-year olds and let them become my people too. I have people who fly across the country to eat chocolate chip pancakes and take pictures of sunsets and watch septuagenarians do interpretive dance. And I have Husband who will force hug me despite my protests and say ridiculous things that make me laugh and will gently hold his hand out and wait for me to climb out of the dark.
I have people.
Much like the migraine or the hangover, I know the depression will pass. I know this, every time I lie immobile on the couch, cocooned in my darkness. I know this as I remind myself to inhale and exhale. I know this when I cannot find the way out. I know this.
Not always. But right now, I know this; I have people.
Thank you, people.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me