so far away
It’s been weeks since I felt clear.
I am trying to make sense of it but it’s a pretty nonsensical time.
I’ve had a pressure headache nearly everyday for the past few weeks. Sometimes I can sense other muscles (like my belly or my neck or shoulders or even my butt) causing the tension in my head and I have to go completely limp throughout my body in order to ease the headache.
I can’t remember what/if I pressed something (an emotion, a trauma) down in order to get to this depressed place. It’s usually brought on by something like that.
I spend the moments when I’m not feeling depressed half enjoying being able to breathe through my nose and see things clearly and half stifling air through my throat and tensing my belly afraid that I will be sucked back into depression.
How the fuck did I get here?
I didn’t realize that I’d worked more than 40 hours a week for three consecutive weeks until I book two flights for the same time on the same day. And didn’t realize this mistake until nearly a full week after it happened. Then spent hours on the phone trying to explain to someone how such a thing could be an honest mistake. An honest mistake.
Psychic stress had it so that I left my keys in a car on my way to the airport and didn’t realize it until I landed in New Orleans and was so overwhelmed by things I couldn’t see that I unpacked and repacked my bag for no reason and noticed my keys missing. A net of community would have it so that I could call the driver and arrange with many thankyouthankyouthankyous for him to return my keys to my neighbor for her to hold for me until I got back from my trip a week later.
I hope this doesn’t sound like shaming. I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m apologizing. I am moving toward a place when I don’t feel ashamed to be depressed. I am moving toward a place where I don’t apologize for not being present during a spell of dissociation. ‘Cause I don’t feel sorry. ‘Cause I don’t feel much of anything.
Psychic stress would have it so that I locked my keys in my car on the day of my birthday celebration. A net of community would have it so that my best friend could go to her house and get my spare key to go to my house to get my spare car key (which I’d made for the first time in ten years of having this car) to unlock my door and get us to my birthday celebration (where I was surrounded by music and good food and my family and friends in one place for the first time since my sixteenth birthday).
Psychic stress would have it so that when I slept I only dreamt of stress and woke up with a body wound up too tight and a jaw clenched with teeth bracing on top of each other.
I felt a blur over everything. A film over my eyes. My fingers and hands touched things and I felt nothing.
My dishes piled up and there was still powder to vacuum on my carpet and solution to scrub sitting in my tub.
I confused my days.
I had no desire to do anything, especially not move my body, which is what I needed to do most.
Deadline after deadline held the front of my head. I met them all. #highfunctioning #deadlinesbedamned
In the midst of being overwhelmed I had made the decision (over and over) somewhere in my mind that deadlines were more important than taking care of myself. Everything followed suit.
In this particular bout with depression and dissociation I recognized how good I’ve gotten at high functioning and keeping it moving.
In this particular bout with depression, I pretend less. When people asked how I was, I didn’t lie as much.
When people asked, I told them I was moving through it.
I moved quickly through hyper-sensitivity and dissociation with high spirits on my birthday.
Why does it take so long to come back?
I know my tools and I hate them when I’m depressed.
I trust me with myself (even in the middle of this quiet shitstorm) and that feels good.
I tried. Lighting my candles. Looking people in the eye. Using a massage ball on my sore muscles.
I didn’t want to answer my phone, was overwhelmed and over stimulated by everything, flakey, anxious, apprehensive.
My gift of sensitivity was off.
My mind was foggy, which felt like a deliberate curse.
Most of my good habits were off/forgotten.
Last Wednesday, I felt that I had calves and shins and didn’t remember the last time I remembered that I had calves and shins because I felt them.
It deeply irritated me when people said things like, “the stress isn’t worth it/positive thinking will change things/you have to meditate and get outside.” I KNOW (in my quietest voice, ‘thank you’). When I’m depressed these things sound impossible, improbable and work to push me away from people I love. It doesn’t feel useful unless someone is making a plan with me to go on a walk or somehow making it easy to do self-care and be accompanied in it.
I had a talk with myself. I said I’m ready to start feeling stuff again.
I have enough energy to make (what feels like big), difficult decisions for myself that just wants to stay inside in bed all day.
Yesterday, after turning my car around three times I made it to Congolese dance class, alone. I’d been avoiding it because I had in the very forefront of my mind that I did not want to be watched or criticized. I was grateful warming up when I told myself over and over under my breath that I came to class for myself. When I told myself that I didn’t possibly have the energy to grade my performance and be concerned with what anyone/everyone thought about my dancing and dance at the same time. That I should just dance. That I should just break a sweat and let that be enough.