This post is because of Andrea. Because she asked me why I haven't been blogging, and I realized that it's because I didn't want to talk about this. But I'm doing it anyway.
When I become aware of my spirit, I know that I'm in trouble.
When my life is moving forward, and my brain is functioning the way it ought, I am very seldom aware of my own human spirit. My life is too full, my experiences too rich for there to be that awareness. But when I start to consciously think of my spirit it is because I am feeling it, constantly, and because it doesn't feel right. It becomes dark and weighty and it no longer properly fits the confines of my body. I start to notice it in the tightness of my shoulders. In the grim set of my mouth. In the nagging headaches and the terrible exhaustion. In the squeeze of my ribcage when I try to get one, just one, deep, filling, cleansing breath into my lungs. And can't.
Then one day I wake up, and I don't want to do anything but cry.
I started on a regimen of antidepressants and therapy after my third miscarriage in 2005. Confronting my infertility was difficult beyond imagining, unless you've been there too. But the drugs helped. The therapist helped. Adopting Grasshopper helped most of all.
In January 2007, I made the decision to give up my dubious chances at a biological child and underwent a hysterectomy. It was a very freeing decision for me, the removal of that uterus I'd come to hate so fiercely, and one that allowed me to feel strong enough to go off the drugs, and (with her blessing) to stop seeing the counselor. I didn't regret it. I still don't.
I made it through my various other hells between then and now, and I handled them on my own. But lately I am discovering that my hands are too full for me to continue doing so.
The adoption of our second child is still moving forward, albeit slowly. There have been more setbacks on that topic than I care to integrate into a post that is ostensibly about my mental health, so I'll save it for another time. Suffice to say that it has been far from easy.
There have been major crises in JR's business, and in his family. One of our very best friends went into an emotional free-fall a few weeks ago and I did all that I could (it wasn't much. Not nearly as much as I'd have liked) to help and support them. The anniversary of B's suicide is approaching. I'm preparing to sue someone for the first time in my life (nothing like a lawsuit to make a girl feel like a real, red-blooded American!) and I have been deeply disappointed by people who had the power to disappoint me. Finally, someone very important to me, and even more important to my husband, has cancer.
This list is by no means comprehensive, nor is it indicative of how many wonderful and positive things I have in my life.
When you are in the grips of depression, the good things are all muffled and muted, like a TV in the apartment next door, by that heavy darkness that seems to spread from the inside out. The things that add weight to the darkness? Those you perceive in stark relief.
I have an appointment on Wednesday to see my doctor about a prescription, and hopefully a referral. I'm exercising again and taking vitamin D. I'm doing one of the things that I hate most in the world and asking for help (if you know me IRL, you know how true this is) before I reach the point of letting the dishes and the cat hair and the laundry pile up and my hair go unwashed for 6 days at a time because, "who cares, I'm worthless?"
This time I recognize the path that I'm on and although this isn't where I want to be, and I wish that I'd caught it sooner, I know that I can to find my way back to the road I actually want to travel.