I’m not okay.
I wish I could say this. I want to so many times. When asked how I am. Instead my knee jerk response is “Yeah you?”And then I immediately segue into talking about you. Asking how you are. What you have been up to. Steering as far away from the subject of me as I can get. Because I don’t want to ruin a good conversation, because I don’t want to make it awkward, because I don’t want talking to me to be a burden. Because I want everyone to believe I am the strong invincible woman I pretend to be. Because I don’t want to seem weak and needy. Because I don’t want to cry. Because I don’t want to dwell on the awful fog that shrouds my brain making everything 50 times harder and much more exhausting. Because I think if I can convince myself it’s a good day, then the fog will blow away.
You see I can be fine, truly fine then it’s just like a switch goes off and all of a sudden I’m not fine, I’m not okay, I’m left with darkness in my mind that is all consuming. I forget how to smile, how to laugh, how to feel anything except the emptiness. I can’t connect with anyone on bad days, it’s like a fast rushing river runs between me and everybody else and even though I really do try, I just can’t cross it. Sometimes I become so engulfed in the brain fog that I completely shut down, stare blankly at something for much too long and won’t speak all day, I do the barest amounts I have to, I won’t shower, I won’t eat, or I’ll eat too much. Light seems too bright, sounds are too loud and the fatigue is hell. This exhaustion is not something simply resolved by sleeping, it’s soul deep. I seem lazy, the house is a mess I’m a mess I’ve done nothing all day because I’m just so tired, so severely overwhelmed with everything that even the smallest tasks seem like mountains.
Depression is cruel, there are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests. Just the slow erosion of self, as insidious as cancer. And like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience. A room in hell with only your name on the door. I have been doing better recently, tablets are helping, I answer more honestly now if I’m not okay, it’s hard and shameful but cathartic. Bad days are few and far between, but always lurking on the periphery.
I am okay, and sometimes I’m not, but that’s okay to.
‘I must also have a dark side if I am to be whole.’ – Carl Jung.