Monday, 4 February 2013


I remember "suffering" being the only word that could adequately capture how I felt. Often and at any moment the pain would slam into me and I'd drown into the deepness of it. My breathing would come out in short gasps. I'd crumble under the heaviness of it, burying my face in the palms of my hands. I'd clench my eyes shut and without my approval, my frantic thoughts would try to make sense of the aching and begin a morbid checklist. Has someone died? Was I in an accident? Is something coming? What is wrong!?
Years ago, I would pick the first thing that "made sense" and attach my feeling to it. Brady was gone too much, my house was too dirty, or the kids were too loud. They were the reason for this suffering and I'd set about trying to eliminate the source of my pain. But now I could recognize the hot sickness running through my veins and knew there was no trigger for my suffering. The parts of my mind not ruled by emotion laid out the facts: You have depression. Your body is chemically out of balance. Some hormone or chemical or neurotransmitter has been released when it shouldn't have and it is creating an unjustified, horrible emotion in you. I could house these thoughts and really believe them, but the part of me that was suffering could not be appeased by the arguments of logic, no matter how sound.
I would let the panic crash into me in unmerciful waves, pounding off the last layer of well-being and ripping away my last bit of worth. I had no strength to fight back or even to beg it away, I couldn’t even cry except for a pain-filled squeak that would press from my lungs as my short breaths escaped. I absorbed every last blow, allowing it to toss me until I was synchronized with its rhythm. I was suffering. And I couldn’t make it stop.

 Eventually everything of me would be absorbed and the pain would slowly recede, leaving nothing of me but a strengthless puddle. Soon my logical mind would return to front ground, brush me off, and insist that I slowly take my feet. You're ok, it said, nothing happened. It was just your depression. It can't really take anything from you. That mind couldn't understand my emptiness and asked me to get going. But I had nothing left to give despite having given nothing.