OK, I’ll admit it: I am officially in a depressive episode. It says so right on my paperwork from Dr. Awesomesauce’s office. It’s what they call an “atypical” depression, which is common in bipolar people, meaning I sleep too much and eat too much junk but can still derive some pleasure from enjoyable experiences, like watching The Big Bang Theory. It is also what Dr. A considers a perfectly understandable downswing, given the fact that I am grieving the loss of my old life and having trouble visualizing a happy ending to this story. Even so, I hate it, because it’s more than just sadness. It’s hopelessness.
As is usually the case with these episodes, I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, and occasionally I’m so wiped out that I need an afternoon nap. I don’t feel like showering or grooming myself, and I’m spending too many days lounging in the old sweats that double as pajamas. I have a million things to do in order to prepare for this move and don’t want to do any of it…..today all I could manage was to take down all the pictures off the walls, and I cried through most of it. The act of removing the wall hangings symbolized everything that’s wrong with life these days, and I just couldn’t help myself, even as I cursed myself for doing it. I HATE crying. It does no good, and I look like hell afterwards.
I also asked Will how he was managing. Dr. A questioned me about that yesterday, and all I could say was that he was calm and focused, as usual. But it got me to wondering how he really does feel, and I was ashamed that I hadn’t thought to discuss it with him before. He confessed that he was “disappointed” that nothing had come along to make all of this unnecessary, and he feels every bit as badly as I do about having to give up the cats. But he absolutely, positively is NOT angry with me for any of it, even though it’s my illness that has, in essence, betrayed us both.
Naturally my depressed brain tends to believe otherwise, but I am forcing myself to accept his refusal to assign blame at face value. Number one, because I didn’t screw up on purpose, and number two, because it really isn’t my fault. Shit happens. People get sick. I did the best I could to keep going in the face of what turned out to be insurmountable odds, and all I wound up doing was hating my life and spending much of it ill. And overall—this depressed mood notwithstanding—I’ve been a lot less stressed since I haven’t been working.
There. I said it. I was killing myself trying to work full-time and do what I believed was my duty as a productive citizen. It was all I knew how to do, and there were even times when I did it pretty well. Some days I miss my fast-paced lifestyle (and the money and prestige that came with it), and I’ll probably always wish I could have continued it and stayed well. But I couldn’t, and while this move looks, smells, and feels like failure, I have to listen to the people who care about me and accept the unacceptable.
That’s what logic says. I wish someone could explain it to the part of me that’s looking at bare walls and seeing the outlines of where family pictures used to be.