agonyThis morning I felt great.  Things were looking up.  I was happy.  And then suddenly everything changed….Why? I don’t know.  But suddenly my world shifted and the wind was knocked out of me.  That’s the thing about depression. You can’t predict it. Sometimes you sail through stressful situations that you’ve been dreading. And other times an ordinary day sends you to the pit without warning.

Grief.  It is grief.  That crushing feeling deep in your chest.  You can’t breathe…you don’t even want to.  You can’t cry, because in order to cry you need to breathe,  and you can’t. You can’t move. You can’t think. You can only feel.  A pain so deep and rending that it’s almost exquisite in its agony.  Perfect in its torment.

You now understand why artists struggle to capture this pain.  Words are ineffective…words are blunt instruments, and you can’t put them together in a way to make anyone understand how this feels.

Sometimes it’s a song. Sometimes it’s a poem. Sometimes it’s a sculpture, a painting.  Something reminiscent of… a teardrop, a heart, an embrace.

If it’s grief for a child, there is no hope. Your soul will mourn forever, and these attacks will always come.  For nothing can return that piece of your soul to you.  There is only hope that the gods will reunite you one day.

If it’s grief for a romantic partner, there is hope that one day you might love another person more than the one you have lost.  But you don’t want to. You can’t imagine how. You can’t imagine to even begin a search…because you are faithful to your love, regardless of the fact the he doesn’t love you.  Because you love him as deeply and utterly and completely as he rejected you.

If it’s grief for a life you used to have, a body you used to control, an existence where pain was not the overwhelming, controlling feature of every day and night, there is hope of sorts.  Hope for remission.  Hope for a cure, even.  But the longer the life of pain continues, the more that hope fades. Pain changes you. Pain has changed you. And there is no going back.

If I were pain free now, and forever, I would still never be the same carefree person I was eight years ago.  Because I know what it is like to lose everything.  Your love.  Your friends.  Your people.  To be abandoned.  To be left behind.  To have all that you gave, reduced to rubble.  Because you got sick.  And they didn’t believe you.  They didn’t support you. They only wanted the ‘other’ you. The healthy one.  The one that fetched and carried and kept them smiling with silly jokes and surprise dinners and those special moments where you thought you were carving your love into stone.

Instead it was all built on sand…that shifted and lost strength as surely your body did.

You are different now.  There is no going back. The hope now, is that you can find a life where you can be happy along with your limitations….and forgive the unforgivable.

And while it has been many years, and logic has overcome most of the hurt, sometimes that familiar pain intrudes uninvited.  And crushes me.  And I can’t breathe.

I try to live my life as if what I want most in this world was never a part of it.  I banish it from my thoughts whenever my mind dares wander there.  Even while I do all of this, sometimes, out of the blue, my heart breaks all over again.

Today was one of those days.  Why today?  I don’t know.

Sometimes I know why. Sometimes I run into people I used to know and talk about things we used to do.  And then I am desolate for days while I pull my senses back into equilibrium, and wait for logic to reassert itself.

Sometimes I don’t know why. Perhaps a dream that disappeared on waking, leaving just a shadow in my heart and on my mind.

Whatever the reason, the searing, hot pain has followed me all day.  I have forced myself to try and DO something. Anything. NOT stay in bed and wallow. NOT stay in bed and dream. NOT stay in bed and remember.

I went to the hardware store to try and take care of a few ‘fix it’ jobs that need doing. I bought some screws and something metal.  I think I may in fact be a man, because I felt slightly better after doing all this…lol.

Walking through the endless warehouse of all things home improvement, my body started to ache in that familiar way, and I knew the fence would not be fixed today.  But at least I had gathered the necessary equipment.  By the time I had paid I was wishing I hadn’t come at all, because the 15 minute drive home (to my couch) seemed insurmountable.  Turn up the car stereo and play ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry.

My children are both going out tonight – dinner with their Gran, for her birthday. I very much wanted to go.  Because even though I am now the ex-wife, my (ex) inlaws still treat me as one of the family and make me welcome at family functions.  It would have cheered me up to be with them tonight, but arthritis pain means that I am home on the couch.  Alone.  With my thoughts.

At least I can cry now.  I can breathe…the ache is duller, the torture just a twinge.  But tears need to fall, this wound needs to be cleansed yet again.  How many more times?  I don’t know.  Perhaps writing these words will make it one time less.

The narcotics that work so well at taking the edge off the physical pain also numb emotional pain. So tonight I will be very careful not exceed 40mg of oxycodone.  Numbing physical pain with oxycodone is appropriate.  Numbing emotional pain with narcotics is the first step to addiction, and a world of new problems.

I do not need more problems…certainly not ones of my own making.

And so I will put on the song that broke my heart this morning, and the tears will flow.  And perhaps I will try to draw, to sketch.  And I will read this back, and decide whether I have the courage to post it.

I decided late last year that I hadn’t been honest enough in my blog.  I am so focussed on being positive, I didn’t write about depression.  Only telling half the story is only sharing half my life, half my experiences, and while I believe we are all entitled to privacy, if I am going to put out there that I am living successfully with autoimmune diseases and trying to be positive, it is a lie to say that I never get down, that it never beats me, that I am always able to smile.

I hate liars.

So, unsure of what people want to read, I lost my way.  Now I have resolved to tell more about the hard days but still, I  find it absurdly difficult.  To find the words.  Perhaps my positive attitude is a manifestation of my denial.  My refusal to admit that I am ill. That I am suffering.  That I will never again be that fit, healthy person who could run and run and run, and work full time and raise two beautiful kids…and…keep my husband happy.

I still have two beautiful kids.

Please don’t worry about me.  I will be OK.  I have people to call if the sadness becomes overwhelming. I have a wonderful psychologist and general practitioner and I have 24 hour support lines to call.  I will be OK.  I wanted to write this down…but I don’t want to make other people sad.  But maybe if you’ve felt this too, you’ll know you’re not alone.  maybe you could try writing it down too.  I think it has helped.