“Sometimes I’m sad
And I don’t know why
It makes me want
To sit down and cry”
This beginning to a poem came into my head as I was feeding my youngest and feeling emotional. Just given that knowledge, one might think I’m depressed, but I know otherwise.
I’ve had several bouts with depression over the years. Most notably in middle and high school while experiencing the normal growing pains adolescents go through, when my mentally-ill father was alive and off his medication, when he passed away, after birthing my first child, and different points during my separation from my now ex-husband. I know what depression feels like. It feels like looking into darkness and seeing no light, not at the end of the tunnel nor around the corner. Depression feels like hurting yourself to know you can still feel. It’s believing the world is better off without you. I know what depression is. Life with hope or dreams, without living.
Like most people, I get in ruts. They are little and temporary. They often involve feeling like there is something missing or like there’s something there that doesn’t. It’s that nagging feeling that something is wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it.
Sometimes the sensation goes away on its own. You wake up the next day and it’s like you were never down at all, like it was a bad dream. Other times you can chase it away by engaging in a fun activity or something you’re passionate about, a hobby, whatever. Sometimes it’s just a low-pressure front moving through the area or a cloudy day. Those always make me funky. Sometimes it’s hormones and you just need to wait it out.
Today is sunny, warm, a perfect September day. I watched some football (my team lost), played with my children, and took a nap. I get anxious about money, my job, my school work, and I always worry about my kids in just the way a parent can. My job is like a black hole I cannot escape (ten years of retail can do that to you) and I feel my lack of a degree like an invisible badge of shame. I’m making progress, but it’s slow-going.
Today though, I’m pretty sure it’s just hormones.