Last night and this morning, depression hit hard again. Normally unable to stay in bed for long in the morning, today I couldn’t get up until almost midday.
I was awake from 6.30 am though, and spent hours crying and restless but unable to peel the sheets away, lift my head and put my feet on the floor. Lab work was not optional today – I have a few hours worth of cell culture and experiments already in progress that I need to tend to. My friend’s first solo art exhibition is this evening and I want to support her and view her paintings up close.
I sent a friend a message – someone who also suffers depression and knows exactly what I’m feeling this morning. He didn’t wish me well or say it was going to be ok. Instead, he asked me exactly why I was feeling that way – the answer is I ran out of my meds a couple of days ago – and then he told me I needed to make an appointment immediately to get a new prescription. I obliged, and this simple act of putting something in motion that will actually help me allowed me to pull myself together for a moment.
I put one foot in front of the other and left my bedroom. I showered for the first time in four days, Washing my hair was beyond me but I filled it with dry shampoo so that wouldn’t stop me leaving the house. I put a bit of extra make-up on to hide the puffiness and dark circles around my eyes. I drove myself to the bus stop.
Recovery is not about never being depressed again. Those neural pathways are highways for me now – even years of bypass won’t return them quite to a natural landscape again. We will always fall down sometimes. Recovery is about picking yourself up again despite everything. Sometimes we can’t do it alone either. Sometimes a message from a friend is enough, sometimes it will take a lot more and there will be some days where we’ll fail altogether. But we have to keep trying the next day and the next. And not just day to day, but in every moment.
Right now I still feel close to tears. I’m exhausted and foggy. My eyes are raw as my nerves. I feel overwhelmed if I start thinking of all the tasks the lab demands of me today. But right now, all I must do is focus on making it into town. Then I can worry about just one task at a time, and by putting one foot in front of the other I will eventually get through today. I will succeed even though it will probably take me twice as long as usual.