Thursday, October 09, 2008

10/9/08 Depression

I should have known.

Yesterday seemed so awful, far beyond what it should have been given the circumstances. I've been stuck in traffic before, and I've felt tired before, it's not the end of the world.

I'm not a depressive person. I know what it's like to be bummed out, as we all do. On the whole, I face setbacks head-on, form a plan, and find comfort in taking action. I don't really get "depressed," and I don't sink into gridlock.

But the unshakeable blues, sense of despondency, hopelessness, futility; of
obstacles being too great, of being trapped and helpless....that's different, and new. That feels a whole lot different from being annoyed about something. Rationally I still know that nothing in our lives is that bad, but sometimes it all "feels" completely beyond my control, like it would be no different if I were spending life in a dark well.

Last night as I was falling asleep, I was startled awake by bright flashes in my eyes. I went fitfully back to sleep, only to be tormented by dreams of being so
furious at Julian for being in the office that I roared at him, red eyes blazing, and cruelly bit his back numerous times until he was able to escape, shirt torn and back bleeding, screaming in terror and betrayal. Then Katrina crawled up on top of a rickety plastic cart and tumbled off headfirst and I barely looked up from my desk, irritated, letting Gabriel decide if her neck was broken or not.

I wake up from stuff like this deeply rattled, feeling as stricken as if I had truly lived through these awful scenes. It takes hours to shake off the black feelings, and for relief at it only being a dream to creep in. I spend the day feeling like every time I close my eyes, tears will stream out.

That's depression. Clinical, chemical, depression. Add that to yesterday's
inability to think, exhaustion, flashes of light and awful nightmares, and you have: migraine. It took until tonight for the strange wave feelings and intense pain to strike.

In a perverse twist, it's something of a relief to know that life isn't really that bad; it's just the chemicals talking. Some people struggle with these demons throughout their lives, and far far worse I do. I'm "lucky" -- migraine-depression doesn't impede my ability to have a fun evening with friends, I can usually detox through exercise, and it's not a day-to-day battle. Indeed, my migraines have overall been on hiatus since the summer, catching me with my guard down.

Still, real-life genuine bummers are no help, such as another major drop in the stock market today. That's nothing compared to the awful feeling left from the nightmare of torturing my poor sweet son, but I could still do without them.

Going through the motions of dinner-making was excruciating tonight as the full-on migraine settled in, but there was still comfort in keeping busy and normal. And after dinner, I had the best therapy possible: floor games that involved crawling, chasing, hiding, rolling, and being pushed, with a delighted 2-year-old. That was topped off with a game of "Boing!", in which Katrina and I did little frog-leaps down the hall again and again, with Julian joining in too. Her funny floppy hops and full-body giggles were exactly what my sick, worried psyche needed. Then after she was in bed, I had Julian help me sort the boys' laundry by throwing items into bins and drawers for each boy, resulting in lots of high-fives and kisses.

I'm in for a rough night, but thanks to the simple joys of childhood, against steep odds, I had a good evening.


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