People are always complimenting me on how put together I am. They say that I’m amazing and so professional. Every day I consciously work to motivate other people because I know the power of authentic, positive, encouraging words. Each day I make sure to tell my daughter I love her a million times, and I let my husband know I appreciate him and think about him when he’s not around. I pray. Folks pray for me. I read my Bible. My entire life is filled with so much love. So many blessings.
And I still get depressed.
It always comes in slow, these blues that I get. I feel my energy changing. I’m tired, but can’t sleep. Not hungry. I start getting short with folks. Not snippy, but less exclamation marks in my emails. Speaking words just feel…heavy. Every day it gets worse, until I find myself coming in the house and heading straight to the bedroom to hide under the covers because everything is just too much. That’s where you could find me two days ago. In the bed. I crawled out and dragged myself to the couch for meetings (on Google Hangout) that I needed to attend for work. With fingers feeling like bricks, I pounded out emails, trying carefully to not let my blue seep onto the screen. Ayva watched television all day, I ordered pizza for dinner, and I texted Terrence to please come home as soon as he could.
The funny things is, unless I said something, none of you would know. I still update Facebook and Twitter. I chat with coworkers. I have blogger coaching sessions. Life’s obligations (real, imagined, important or not) are what keep me from giving in completely and succumbing to the fog. When I was younger, it was my students. I mentored, taught playwriting or acting classes from Monday through Saturday, so of course I couldn’t fall apart on those days. Then Ayva came along, and I had to push through the blue to be a mother to her. Now, it’s a combination of everything. Working. Wife-ing. Mom-ing. Friend-ing.
I know that I’m very lucky in that sense.
There are folks that are dealing with depression that they have no control over. No obligation is strong enough to keep them up, to keep them from turning off the lights and hiding in the dark. But for those of you who end up sleepwalking through your days every few weeks, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Just because you are “functioning”, it doesn’t mean you’re okay or that your sadness is any less sad than other folks. There are tons of us out here, go-getter type folks who always seem to have it all together. But we don’t. And it’s okay to not always be the one that everyone can depend on to be solid and on point.
What’s next for me, then? What’s next for people like us? Well, Terrence is insisting that I try talking to someone, so I’ll do that for him. I have found an herb called Kava Kava that clears the fog and makes me feel like normal. I’ll be more active. Get fresh air. Eat more whole foods. Cut back sugar. Pray. And continue to be grateful for the obligations that boost me up on days when I need it the most.