Sometimes it’s still embarrassing, still shameful. And I don’t want to be embarrassed about it because I know there is no shame in having depression or for feeling all of the feelings too deeply and suddenly, and spiraling, but when it happens first thing in the morning during a workday I still find myself ashamed for my lack of control.
I’m talking about depression. I’m talking about anxiety. I’m talking about spiraling out into suicidal thought territory before 10 AM on a Monday.
After about four trips to the bathroom to attempt getting my shit together (and only crying harder behind the confines of the stall) I called it quits. I knew I couldn’t man the desk with raw, red eyes and wet cheeks.
After sending a quick email to the superiors I all but ran to my car where the flood gates opened and defeat surged through every cell in my body. This was happening again, out of my control, I was crashing head on into an “episode” and I couldn’t stop it.
Shaking and crying and hyperventilating ensued. I took a second to scream while I buried my head in my hands and let go. I was worthless. I was a failure. I could not believe I was letting this happen to myself again. I was never enough.
I probably sat that way for a 20-minute-eon before I called my mom.
“Come here,” she said, “Come here.”
So I did.
Wiping my eyes for the hundredth time or more, gently, as the lids were starting to chaff, I started the engine, and hit the road.
She was waiting with open arms, ready to love the pain away.
She gave me her ear.
She gave me her love.
She gave me chili, Excedrin and a tarot reading while I cried and pet the cats.
We talked about going back to Vegas and watched a couple of goofy YouTube videos.
It was everything.
By the time I left for home, I was feeling much less strangled by my own thoughts and feelings. I was more prepared to keep with healing activities, so I took a long walk with Greg and Sky before we ordered dinner and settled in for another episode of “Tone” (The Sopranos – “Ay, Tone!).
I’m like REALLY sick of it happening, but it happens.
This is my darkness and I’m still trying to get to the root of the problem, and I get frustrated that I’m struggling to A) love myself and B) take pause and choose my reactions to my triggers.
But hey, such is the nature of our human experience I suppose. I will keep fucking going, as the sterling cuff dangling from my wrist – a gift from my best friend – reminds me to do.
I will turn to the people in my corner. I will stand up – every time – and rise from the ashes. I will seek help instead of solitude.
I think the important thing I’ve come to terms with is that there cannot be light without darkness. There is no such life as one without struggles, problems, irritations, triggers and pain. We just have to create balance.
So as badly as I want to stop having episodes, and getting triggered, and feeling sad for nothing, and getting angry for things I can’t control… those things will always happen. The most I can do is practice choosing my response, and recognize that dark episodes like these simply help to reveal the light by comparison.
Coming out of darkness and the shit makes appreciating the light and the goodness that much more powerful. It reminds me to take care of and show gratitude for all of the practices, people and possessions that bring me joy and peace. These are the people, places and things I must turn to when times get rough.
And Monday, when the world was falling apart, and my tears were burning my over-rubbed eyelids, and my breathing was shallow and my brain was telling me to take my own life… my response was to simply give myself the space to allow. I turned to my people, my place, my “thing” – and slowly, but surely, the darkness faded away.