“To say a person is a happy person or an unhappy person is ridiculous. We are a thousand different kinds of people every hour.”
— Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall: Stories
On the darkest days, I think of how I would end it all.
In blue skies I only see an expanse of gray, brooding clouds suffocating my once clear world.
When I’m at my lowest, I am as tense as a tightly wound coil, as if homeostasis has always been a body torqued in pain.
As much as I try to be strong and stay positive, some days it’s not enough in the face of this disease, this marriage, this economy, this life. It’s not all the time I am this way.
But sometimes it feels like I’m slipping. Slipping. Slipping into an unshakable depression.
Part of it is the situation we are in. Nick and I struggle. A lot. We knew that his career change came with mutual sacrifice – he gave up a decent-paying job with benefits for an internship with no benefits or paid vacation. He’s in school four out of the five weeknights this semester. Then he freelances other nights.
He works himself to the bone. Sacrifice.
And I work, too. My real job, and then come home and work some more. Whatever helps pay the bills. Sacrifice.
Energy is in short supply these days. So after 10-12 hours of work, I don’t always feel up to cooking or cleaning. Sure, I start strong. Sunday, Monday, sometimes even Tuesday, I feel up to doing the basics to keep the house in order and myself and Nick fed. But I’m slipping.
I’m exhausted, in this body that no longer works like it should, that some days can’t even put one foot in front of the other. I’m so tired. And this isn’t your garden-variety, bounce back in the morning from it fatigue. This is can’t even lift a spoon to my mouth tired. The kind of exhaustion that never really goes away. The kind that is best friends with clinical depression.
Why not change the situation? Can’t. Debt would pile up to the sky, practically reaching the moon. We have to keep up this pace, at least for now. But I’m not sure how much longer I can hold on. I’m slipping.
And on those darkest days, I want to leave it all for good.
When I was young, I never thought life would be this much of a struggle. I learned early on that being a grown-up came with responsibilities, but I always expected that sacrifice and hard work would be rewarded eventually. I thought the most difficult decision I would face was what color Miata to get. Or what to name my daughter/son twin combo pack.
I didn’t know I would stumble through the world, that I would work 65-hour weeks with no letup, that Nick and I would never see each other and then only fight during the rare time we did get to spend together.
I never expected that I would face the double whammy of multiple sclerosis and depression. That I would cry more days than I didn’t. That the sky would always appear gray when I shook my fists upward.
On the darkest days, I feel myself slipping. Sacrifice.
10 thoughts on “Dark days”
i love you so much my dear niffer. don’t ever forget that. and while i (thankfully) don’t have MS, i’m a heavy-weight title-holder when it come to battling depression. i’m always a phone call away if you need a distraction from your gray skies. i’m sure mine are a slightly different hue than yours. give all the furry-babies (and nicko) big hugs.
HUGS! I really can’t imagine the stress you are under right now. But I know a bit about depression (in my case, the post-partum kind) so if you need to talk, I’m here. And never forget that I’m just a phone call and a few blocks away. I can be at your place in five with some cookies, tissues and a shoulder to cry on!
Thanks, everyone, for the warmth and love.
I didn’t post this to alarm anyone, or for the shock value.
I know depression is kind of a taboo subject. But I try to stay as candid as I can on here, and that includes delving into the darker parts of my head sometimes, even if it’s disconcerting.
Rest assured that I’m not going to harm myself. Not today. And I promise to reach out if the dark envelopes me.
I’m incredibly lucky to have such good people around me. How could I ever want to leave that?
One thing did not get lost in the gloom of your low moment — your intelligence and eloquence. I sometimes forget how unusually tough it is to overlay the MS challenge on all the other challenges, but not to worry. The reminders come quickly. And sometimes, like for you now, they seem to descend all at once. I hope you soon feel more joy than sadness.
Some days it’s just harder to be strong, I try not to let it get to me but like you it does. Each time we are able to find that one thing to keep us pressing on. Doing what needs to be done maybe not right now but it will get done. After venting comes a release knowing know it can be let go, pick ourselves up dust it off and let it go.
Some days it’s just harder to be strong, I try not to let it get to me but like you it does. Each time we are able to find that one thing to keep us pressing on. Doing what needs to be done maybe not right now but it will get done. After venting comes a release knowing we can it let go, pick ourselves up dust it off and move on with life.
I know those dark places you visit. I’ve been there, and the trip isn’t pleasant! I also know you’re strong, intelligent, and usually positive. So, hang in there while the ride gets a bit bumpy, and know that we in the blogosphere are here to listen!
From what I’ve understood from my mom, depression & MS go hand in hand. They put her on an antidepressant pretty quickly after she was diagnosed. Make sure to talk to your doctor about it. Let me know if there is anything I can do. I love you very much.
ah the dark places… know them well… it’s a vacation i hate and hope they don’t come often… i was there just a few days ago… i’m beginning to feel a bit better now but it’s still looming, waiting for the door to open a bit wider… sometimes the struggle of staying out of the dark place is almost as hard as just going there…and through the time spent in the dark place i almost always feel as though it is still my job to tell everyone “i’m fine” and help them maintain their strength and support of me…. odd how that happens….
hope you find peace soon…
I pray you have strength and a little sunshine in your life.