Following my last post, I feel compelled to point out that my struggle with depression and the care I receive for it are well established. That is, depression in our household is as banal as any of our other life realities.
We buy grain free dog food, the trash gets picked up on Fridays, and—sometimes in our house—we get to feeling low.
I am safe, well taken care of, and even at its darkest, my depression is not something that can swallow me up. I strive to be well connected, to make sure people close to me understand where I’m at emotionally, and to offset fluctuations in my mood the best I can. I think an important step to protecting ourselves is to simply be honest about how we’re feeling, even when it’s uncomfortable to admit it. Even if I don’t feel up to physically surrounding myself with people, I weave a solid safety net of other people who understand depression and mood disorders, and Em is very well versed in helping me identify, ride out, and overcome my lows.
You know how you go out drinking one night, or eat a huge disgusting meal, and you know it’s going to affect you afterward? My mood fluctuations are similar to that. If I don’t get enough sleep, I can expect to feel low. If I drink too much, I (and every other person ever) can expect to feel off… and that might last for a couple of days. When I was much younger, I was much more fatalistic about the dips I experienced. And there have definitely been times in recent years when it’s been really awful and I have worried about myself. But generally, I am okay. And if I am not okay in that moment, I trust there is a moment around the bend when I will be.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
I should also point out that it is very, very rare for me to not want to be hugged. I think touch is extremely important for social creatures, and I’m mostly a big fan. The stars have to align in precisely the right wrong way for me to not want to be touched.
So, just know that I’m all right. And if you see me, feel free to offer to give me a hug if you’re into that sort of thing.