Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mama Bean wishes this time did not involve so much crying

The word "sad" does not even begin to describe. It is a disservice to the millions who suffer from it, let alone my own emotions, to call it sadness. Even depression cannot begin to capture. And I am so tired of it. I am so tired of trying to romanticize it, as though I enjoy this separated reality. Enjoy sitting on my couch, the mechnical buzz of fridge and dehumidifier, furnace and fish tank, so totally incongruent with the moving, bright, active world I can see outside. The wind blowing the trees, the cars scaling the hill, the people walking to school. The separation is constant; even when I walk out into that wind, scale that same hill to teach my class in a few minutes, there will still be the buzz of my mind, the incessant swirl of insecurities, the emptiness of my heart. -Deus Ex Maior Quam Is
Because this is not my first (nor second) time at the rodeo, I can indulge in (too much) analysis - compare, contrast. What's the same and familiar, because depression is an old friend at this point. What's the same but I'd forgotten, or has been amplified/changed. What's brand new...

What's the same is the separation this quote speaks of - like I'm underwater looking out through the tank walls, or being muffled under a layer of wool that makes things both dull and too bright to keep looking at (and so I turn away, into the soft numbness.) I think this is when I finally acknowledged, shit I've been bitten again, when I felt that heavy hopelessness settle in - it is very much like a buzz or drone in my, I dunno, sure why not be melodramatic? It's my blog - a drone in my very soul.

What I'd forgotten is how frustrating it is. You'd think the frustration of it would help a person, say, try to avoid this phenomenon altogether, but then, it's not that easy, is it? I forgot that, in so many ways, I am still so maddeningly functional - every day still happens, stuff still gets done, life still happens. It just happens at a distance. This is amplified by the fact I'm no longer a student - that now I absolutely must remain competent and functional for the sake of my patients, my staff, my family. And it doubles the frustration, the grief, when I somehow can't keep it up - because I don't fail at work, it's always my family that bears the brunt of my failures.

I didn't remember how much it feels like being masked, and how it feels safer to be ignored, but also hurtful to be unseen - ambivalence, I forgot the ambivalence. Hence, the dancing picture. Some days I'm happier (?) no...relieved, relieved to just give myself over, to be comforted by my old friend - because it is comforting, to just fall into seclusion and malaise. But at the same time, I know it's wrong and I shouldn't want it, and I'm tired of it, and want out. Slow underwater tortured tango.

The brand new? This time around is markedly emotional. I think previously I have just fallen into apathy and inertia. This time, I am volatile. There is a simmering anger, I feel like a volcano, like I have fucking Emotional Magma inside me under the pressure of momwifework (not always in that order) that periodically erupts. In shakes, or yelling, or slamming and throwing things, and (I don't know why this is the most disturbing one to me) sobbing uncontrollably. It is exhausting.  I recently had two friends on separate occasions remark on my patience as a parent, and I felt like such a fraud - because what looks like calm is just repression, just holding it in, until later, when it can all come out in a disgusting mess of noise and fluids.

I feel like digging down into this feelingsness is the way out, but, like, I don't want to. Even this writing process is ambivalent - I enjoy doing it, it feels like relief, but I am terrified, of receiving either pity or rejection/judgment, and also annoyed that it keeps me from my RSS, and also exhausted by it. But I'm just going to keep doing it, and keep hitting publish, because...because. This is a safe place of my own creation, and it is so vast and uncontrollable, yet I feel controlled here, in a way that my real, immediate surroundings are not controlled, are not...safe. Who ever knew the internet would bring us here?


  1. I found this post from a tweet posted by Chris. My wife struggles with depression as well. Meds help, but it's still there. We are also pregnant now, so she's been off the good stuff for a while. And that alone has its ups and downs. But she's not a talker. She is more of an internal person and doesn't like to open up about it, even to me. We go through seasons of lethargy where I get frustrated because I feel like I need more from her, more connection, more stuff done around the house, but she doesn't want to get out of bed most days. I've learned to deal with it because I know she has more to deal with than I ever could. Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding people like me that we are not the ones suffering.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Jason :) Congratulations on your pregnancy, I'm sorry it's keeping her from parts of her effective treatment. This is my first time dealing with a major episode while married and a parent, and it has definitely presented new challenges, because it's not * just * my own struggle(s) anymore, it is very much a Household Struggle. I am so so (so so sosososo) grateful for Papa Bean's support and love, just his willingness to live with me when I get a bit unliveable. Keep loving your wife the best you know how, I'm sure she appreciates it :)

  2. Thanks for sharing Jo. I'm glad you consider this a safe place and I think it's great you're opening up such a personal side to others.

    1. Thanks John :) Writing is helping in some ways, the online connection(s) have been wonderful. I am waiting for the SocialFail to ease up a bit in my real life, though haha Baby steps!