I would love to write that everything is going swimmingly, but in all honesty, depression came with the surgery and doesn't want to let go. Nobody wants to hear that side of it. People will text with good intentions, and they just want to hear that you're good - hearing someone isn't doing well is just uncomfortable. It's just human nature. I get it. It's what I want to hear from people when I check in on them. We want the people we love to be crushing life, to be enjoying every moment. Depression has shown its ugliness in different ways. It has fed on the physical pain, the sleep deprivation, the vulnerabilities, the fear, the loneliness that comes with surgery. I think most people who have had surgery and/or illeness can relate in some way or another. It's of enough concern that it was a big topic, as part of the pre-op instructions. It was the only part of the pre-op appointment that they spoke directly to Brian, as if I weren't there. "She will need to get out and walk. Walk as much as she can. It's important to get some sun. Get her out as much as possible. It is necessary in keeping the spirits up. They will be low." Of course, I wasn't worried too much about it - after going through all I had with the illness, I knew I could never be that low again - after all, it wasn't mental illness it was caused by physical illness. Haha....while true in a lot of ways, I should've called me out on my own bullshit. Depression is something that lives within me. I work with it all the time. I do things to stave it off. It's something I'll always have to address, and yes, since the illness, I haven't had a true blue bout with it. Even now, through everything, I like to think I'm stronger than it, that I'm weak when it comes to visit. In fact, this time around, I keep focusing on the mental and physical improvements. Thank God, I am no longer spending entire days crying. Thank God, I'm not in terrible pain. It sucks that's what I have to measure against, but it is the truth. Also, the truth, is that I realized yesterday that I hadn't washed my hair in 5 days. (It is not comfortable, but I was much better about it in the beginning). I only realized this, after I was having the fight with myself in the morning to go brush my teeth. That's typically one of the first things I do, when I get up. Lately....every little thing is a struggle. It's funny, because I was reading "Girl, Wash Your Face," when all of this finally became apparent to me - when I finally admitted to myself, how much I've been struggling. I'm guessing there would be some sort of copyright infringement if I wrote, "Girl Wash Your Hair."
I write about these things, because I know I'm not alone, even when feeling my loneliest. You've told me I'm not alone. The words so many of you have written to me, make me feel like it is my duty to write my truth, no matter how painful.
This is my truth, but it does not mean, I don't try to fight it. I say try, because sometimes, winning is simply getting up from the near fetal position to feed my dog. Other times, it means, getting out and walking, when I don't want to do a fucking thing. I know I have to get better. I hate feeling like I do. It's like a weighted blanket, that I feel now, even as I type. I feel it in my heavy arms and eyes. I'm so lucky in that I've come through the worst and I'm at a point where I plan how I will fight it. As backwards as this is, this morning, it meant driving thru McDonald's. I know McDonald's is unhealthy as fuck - but I drove....which I haven't done much of (only cleared for very short drives), and I can't wear the brace when driving. Driving is far from comfortable for me at this point. Still, to be able to turn on the radio and do something so small. Tomorrow is a big day for me, Brian and I are going to Costco. I planned this last week. Being in a car for long, is not easy yet (even as a passenger- just uncomfortable), but I need to do things that make me feel more human. I love Costco - way more than any person should. It's about an hour and a half from here, and I know the day will wipe me out, but I need this. Each day, I plan things that will hopefully bring me out of this. I read and started watching Ozark (but really binge watching t.v. is just a way to escape, and I need to tackle) - so I don't watch many in a row. Yesterday, I spoke with two friends on the phone. They are both people that are really good for my soul. I hadn't told one of them about the surgery yet, so she was a bit shocked, but as always, we had a wonderful conversation with laughter and tears. We just get each other. I'm not entirely sure why I am unable to reach out a lot of the time. I think it's because I've started to think of myself as damaged goods and a burden. I want to be funny....someone people like to be around...being like this....well, it's not what anyone wants. Those friends were good medicine. I think the strength for me to make that call, and the other called me after some texts - started after a good morning. A friend of mine turned 49 yesterday, and she had taken the day off of work. She had asked if I would walk with her and then go to breakfast. I was honored to spend part of her day with her. She's a great person, and has a true, authentic view on life. We have planned for some fun things in her slide to 50. Getting out of the house goes a long way for me. I feel bad, that it always requires people coming to get me, and that I'm still limited on what I can and can't do, but big breath, it is a help, and I am trying to help myself.
I made comment to my friend that I know a lot of people with birthdays this week. She pointed out that Oct 6 is the most popular birthday - apparently because of NYE. You learn something new every day.
My friend bought Ed Sheeran tickets last October. The concert is next weekend in Minneapolis. I had been excited for the girls trip and concert for the past year. I'm unable to go, as the travel would be too much. If the concert were in Chicago, I would be all over it. A weekend away is just too much. I have been good about realizing a lot of what I can and can't do. I'm also unable to Caleb's meet this weekend, which is heartbreaking. Earlier this week, I did do too much, and had to dial things back again. Having so many limitations has been especially tough in my fight against depression. A lot of the ways I work through things are physical: hiking, cleaning, concerts, adventure. I'm having to find new, sedentary ways to work through things....a brain that replays the same things over and over.
I try and focus on the great things in my life. Brian is just coming off a week of working nights. I'm always so nervous when he works that schedule, because he's so tired and has so much driving. I'm glad we'll be able to spend time together today and tomorrow. Although, I'm sad about missing the meet, I'm also glad he and Cal will have that time together. They boys are both dong well, and make me proud in a lot of ways. Jesse is suddenly full of rainbows and sunshine. My good friend has been hoping to adopt through foster care and just had the cutest kids come to stay with them (4 months old and 5 years). A lot of people I love have birthdays this week (including my sister). Again, although I'm unable to do Ed Sheeran, I'm happy for my friend, who deserves that wonderful weekend. The list, goes on and on. I think about these and many other things every day. I think about how I'm getting better and my neck is healing every day. In 2 weeks, I should have this brace off. I should be able to move my neck and have my independence back.
Life isn't always as easy as we'd like it to be. My struggles don't even begin to touch what so many are going through right now - unimaginable pains. It's not as easy as it sounds - pulling out of it. There is no "snap out of it." We all wish it were that easy. Still, we fight, because we are worth fighting for - our relationships are worth fighting for. So, if you are in a dark place, please know you are loved. Know someone understands and is here if you ever want to talk.
From some of the greats: I've been uptight and made a mess. But I'll clean it up myself I guess. Oh, the sweet smell of success. Handle me with care.