The problem with cycles is that they are hard to break.
Think about stopping your washer mid-cycle, to throw in an extra pair of socks. Welp, depending on how contrary your washing machine is, it can just cause the poor thing to go off the handles.
Depression is a cycle, or at least for most. You have the time of your life. You wake up early, you work your butt off all day, you manage to squeeze in a run, and then make the most amazing supper for you and your significant other (who is even more amazing). Then you lay down for the night, knowing everything has been taken care of, tended to, and now you can rest your head to prepare for another amazing day.
Until it hits you. The thing is…it can sometimes take you a long time to figure out what “it” is. Is it food poisoning, is it exhaustion, or are you just anxious for the next day to begin? You start to think, and then pretty soon you’re laying awake at night unable to sleep because…well who knows?
After battling depression for years as a teenager, I had convinced myself I had mastered the art of fighting back, and had eventually kicked it to the curb like a bad habit. Unfortunately, it kept creeping back in. I began looking for every open window and door, trying to figure out exactly how it had managed to crawl it’s way back into my life. After many failed attempts, I became frustrated, wondering if I was just “meant to be” this way. Perhaps I was always depressed, but at times SO depressed, that I never even realized that I was depressed (as you can probably already see, the cycle is a vicious one to begin with).
Then, before you even realize that this creature, or entity of some kind, has taken hold of you, you’re piggy-backing it around town. You bring it to work, to the doctor, the grocery store, heck – you even bring it out dancing with the girls. Over time, you start to feel exhausted, irritable, and overall lousy. Sometimes, you are able to take a stand and say that you have had enough. You shake it off (in this case, some Florence and the Machine can sometimes help), and manage to escape its grasps for a while longer, even if it continues to stalk around you, just a pace behind you. But sometimes, you aren’t able to get away.
Sometimes you run until you are so exhausted that you finally just lay on the ground and give in. This can lead to you feeling completely, utterly, and totally stuck. When this happens, I tend to feel a whole lot of nothing, and then small spurts of a lot of everything. Sounds healthy, right?
And then you start to ask yourself, “Am I just making excuses?” “Why am I making excuses…when I could be doing work, heading out for a jog, making supper, etc…”
To be continued… (being a teacher is busy work!)