I slept for two days after that Facebook friend request. I don’t know if I shut down or what. This wasn’t a depressive episode for sure. I know depression. Although, a friend of mine and I were talkin’ recently about how a depressive episode is much like child birth. You know it’s bad. You remember it’s super painful, but for some reason you forget how deep it runs. The memory of the pain is numb. Time places a filter over it… until it happens again. You’re shocked by how all consuming and terrible it really is. You get the wind knocked out of you. You’ve been through this before, so how could you forget the intensity of the experience? Hopefully, just like with child birth, there’s life at the end of the struggle.
What happened during those two days wasn’t a depressive episode, but I sure as hell was headin’ in that general direction. My mister came into our bedroom on the second day and said, “Beth, you have to get out of bed.” This is standard protocol. He hasn’t had to say this in a while. I was still tired, the kind of deep down in your bones tired that keeps you glued to the bed, tucked under the covers with your eyes firmly shut. I rolled away from my sweet mister and said, “One more hour.”
I set the timer on my phone for 60 minutes and didn’t go back to sleep. I saw the numbers counting down the time. Remember how Dorothy Gale frantically watched the hour glass when she couldn’t take off those ruby slippers? When the Wicked Witch threatened to kill poor, little Toto at the end of that hour? Dorothy didn’t want her dog to die any more than I wanted to stay in bed and miss my life. How was I supposed to get out of bed, save Toto, and escape the Wicked Witch? Judy Garland was having trouble with that shit and she’s Judy Fucking Garland.
I went on autopilot after while, giving myself little commands and obeying them without thinking. Put your feet on the floor. Walk to the bathroom. Take a shower. Get dressed. Go to the living room. Finally, I switched controls back to the Beth who loves her life. I’m not sayin’ it was a smooth flight at first. I’m sayin’ that strategy got me out of the damn bed and back out here. I even ate and interacted with my family. How’s that for not spiraling down into a land of flying monkeys melting witches?
Yeah. I dunno how this is gonna unfold, this thing in my life. Knowing it happened is a huge relief. Just knowing and droppin’ the Nancy Drew routine has given me a sense of freedom. I know I’m not alone. I’m not crazy. It happened. I have to get about the business of radical self acceptance. This is reality. Now, how do I proceed?
One way is working on the book. The book isn’t therapy. The book is my work, my words, my story. Writing changes me. The end product isn’t the miracle. Your experience, your transformation is. I came back out to my writing spot tonight. I sat down with the intention of working. This is what I will do.
Another way is to purposefully stay in the land of the living. Keep moving, even if I don’t want to move. And then, there’s always telling the ingrained negative self talk to go fuck itself by doing things I’ve been afraid to do. Being afraid is okay, friends. Being terrified is as well. I refuse to be frozen, inactive, stagnant because of it though. I will keep moving. I will keep writing. I will keep embracing my body. I’ll listen, be aware, lean on my family and friends, be a warrior by simply breathing. With nothing to prove, I can simply live. Peace, B.
I will not be at the South Georgia Literacy Festival this Saturday.
Well done, Sisterfriend. When I don’t know what to do anymore and just want to crawl back into bed, I get myself out by putting one foot in front of the other. One step at a time. Eventually, I have walked over that mountain again. Pssssttttt……..I hate mountains like those too. Love yourself today, Sweets! That’s all you can do.