This is depression:
To look up through the leafy green trees at a clear blue sky and fear the clouds on the horizon.
To know that not only are all the elements present for a refreshing rain shower but also for a decimating storm.
To look around at smiling faces and no longer be able to return the smile.
To hear your children asking, “Daddy, why is Mommy crying?” and wish that all they’d asked was “Why is the sky blue?” because the answer would have been the same: a deep sigh followed by “I don’t know.”
And when he finishes with, “She’s having a hard time today,” depression is wanting to laugh at your son’s thoughtful response: “Is her poop bothering her? Sometimes my poop bothers me.” But the effort to laugh is too painful; it sears my heart and more tears come.
Depression is sitting among friends and family in a church congregation and preparing to sing beautiful music, but my voice won’t engage and the words just start crashing to the floor of my mind with no voice to carry them. The sound is deafening.
Depression is knowing that tomorrow the world will feel right again and knowing that it felt right yesterday and wondering what happened today to make it feel all wrong.
This is depression: to have all the answers and not have the energy to use them, to feel only pain and want to no longer feel, to feel crushed by the necessity of breathing and wish it could be optional for a while.
Today the elements combined to deliver a storm, so I am taking a rain check on all the living I would have liked to do on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I pray that a nap will quell the howling hopelessness inside of me so I may see the world set right again tomorrow.
2 thoughts on “4. A Little Rain Must Fall”
And all is well again. Thank you for listening. This storm wasn’t as devastating as others have been because I at least retained enough sense to mostly keep my mouth shut. It’s when I think someone who should “get it” asks me to explain my behavior that I especially have to resist the urge to hurl lightning bolts and spin into a cyclone of fury. That’s when all hail breaks loose:)
I would also add that I might more accurately have said, “This is breakthrough depression” since I have subscribed to treatment now for nearly half my life. Ongoing depression (untreated or poorly treated) is much more confusing, has many more manifestations than just tearfulness, and is not usually remedied by one afternoon nap. Just like cancer patients on around-the-clock pain medication have breakthrough pain that requires a different algorithm to treat it, those of us with mood disorders such as depression, even when well-treated, will have moments when the depression breaks through and requires changes in the usual plan. Recognizing that a new pathway is available is key to getting back on track.