formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, February 15, 2016

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To

Today is my birthday. I'm 51. I don't feel 51. I don't know how old I feel, to be honest. In some ways, I'd swear I'm but a few days past 22. In others, 82 would be a closer bet. Usually, I'm kind of split... part of me still feels like a kid, like I simply can't believe some idiot would heap all this responsibility on my head long before I was trained up to deal with it. The other part of me feels completely and utterly world-weary.

Tired.

I've dealt with depression a few times in my life. And one of the warning signs, a sign that I'm on that downward slope, is fatigue. Not just I need a nap fatigue, but that bone-tired, I don't wanna move ever sort of fatigue.

That's how I feel right now.

Depression, for me, is situational. It's usually the result of some significant stressor - death, divorce, money woes, illness. In fact, the first time I really dealt with it (that is, acknowledged and faced it), after my dad died, I wouldn't even admit at first that it was depression. I didn't believe it was depression. I always believed things would get better (I always believe things will get better), and I thought that if you knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel (even if you couldn't yet see it), you weren't depressed.

I was wrong.

Depression, for me, is not about medicine. I understand that it's necessary at times and that it works for others, and I'd never say people shouldn't medicate when necessary. But I've never found it necessary. And the therapist I saw for some time, during the deepest depressions I've weathered (after my dad died and after my marriage ended), didn't feel it was necessary either. And since medicines seem to rarely work for me the way they do for other people, I'm quite happy about that.

 So I'm in this state of significant fatigue at present, fending off a bout of depression I do not want or need. I spent much of the year after my 50th birthday celebration dealing with the stress and worries that come from having and being treated for cancer - the side-effects and illness, the financial difficulties, the single motherhood aspect, the residual foggy brain and memory problems, the realization that I am, indeed, mortal, and that mortality can be quite a fleeting thing. And I thought it was all over for a while. And then it wasn't over after all. And a whole year has passed in the blink of an eye and everything feels... not right. And all of it has left me tired.

Exhausted.

Most days, I plug along, cheerful enough, my sense of humor intact, grateful for all I have and for the people in my life, with the ability to turn that gratitude into positivity. Most days.

But some days? Like today? Even though it's a day when oodles of people have taken the time to wish me well and say wonderful things to and about me, all I want to do is STOP. I want to take a long vacation - like MONTHS long - in a warm place, where all I have to do is sit in the sunshine and swim and read books and eat healthy food that someone else has prepared for me.

I know, I know. Everyone wants that. Can you blame them?

But that's not Life, is it? Life is getting up every day, even when it's cold and rainy and miserable out, taking the dog for a walk, cleaning the cats' litter box, cooking meals (mediocre though they may be), playing chauffeur, going to work, doing laundry, figuring out how to make a paycheck stretch much farther than it really should, and trying, trying, trying to get from Monday to Friday without breaking down, falling down, or bringing everyone else down.

Exhausting.

Thankfully, depression, for me, is not (usually) a long-term thing. So, in a few days, weeks, or, heaven forbid, months, I'll feel mostly fine again. Not so worried. Not so tired.

But today? On my birthday? I'd just like the world to stop. Just for a little while.

It's not so much to ask. Is it?




5 comments:

Julie McClay said...

Not too much to ask at all. Hang in there, Friend. I know depression well, both medicated and un. As the days grow ever-so-longer and the sun shines a little brighter each day, may your heart feel a little more hope and a bit lighter. Until then, be kind to yourself. You have A LOT of things going on. You are not alone in the struggle. Hugs.

Sheila said...

I am sorry you're depressed but I, for one, am glad you were born and felt the need to write this. I am in the same place right now and your post let me know I am not alone. We do need to take the time to recognize it (and perhaps wallow a bit). Then we have to get the help we need by letting people know we need it...and you did just that. Thank you.

dianne said...

No its not too much to ask for. I am so sorry that you are feeling depressed,no wonder after all you have been through with the cancer and the treatment. I am very familiar with depression, I know how it feels, the fatigue, the physical and emotional exhaustion. I just want to stop, curl up and shut the world out. Sadly we don't have that luxury, as you say we just have to get on with life as we have so many responsibilities children, people and pets who count on us.
I hope this time it doesn't last too long for you and you will be able to feel alright again. You are not alone, always try to keep some hope in your heart.
Big hugs
xoxoxo ♡

chrisnik said...

Sometimes Diane, you really do need to shut the world out & pay no attention to what others think of that....just do it for you, for your peace of mind, fir your recovery...which WILL come. The people in your life who matter, will support your decisions. Empty the bucket a bit, heal yourself. Be as compassionate to yourself as you'd be to others and do something every day that makes you feel good. Be selfish. Hugs. Christine x

Paige said...

Your honesty and openness is what I love best. I know when I read your posts they are real, which is nice in an electronic world of filters. Thank you for sharing! Life is hard, but our hardest things are the most worth it, most memorable, and often most cherished. I hope your fog lifts sooner than later. If it happens to grab mine on its way up, that'd be nice too. Solidarity sister, swimming fly in the deep end when I'd really like to be blowing bubbles with the guppies.