Winter is prime time for depressive episodes to show up. For those of us who struggle with depression, myself included, the endless grey days can often sneak their way into our being. I’m not immune to it, and lately I’ve been feeling the grey-ness from the inside out.
If you’ve been following along in my Instagram stories for the last two weeks, you know I’ve been struggling with my old friend depression for most of February. Luckily, it seems that this depressive episode only decided to stick around for about two weeks, and I can already feel the clouds lifting.
Lately, the words “I’m lonely” seem to be on this quiet murmuring track in the back of my brain anytime distractions subside and the fog re-emerges.
I’m lonely. It whispers. My heart beats and it sounds again. I’m lonely
I catch the thought and try to shake it away, and focus on the present, but it comes back into the rhythmic reminder that something is missing.
I think I had what they call a breakthrough.
Since my breakdown two weeks ago… things have been eerily good. A few days after the PTSD flashback that sent me into the waves of grief that I had been avoiding, I felt lighter– calmer even. I’ve felt like more myself than I’ve felt in a while, as if my perspective went through a literal shift. It feels weird to feel so okay, so good that I was actually concerned that I’d have nothing to talk about in my therapy session.
I’m a little suspicious of it. But maybe that’s normal.
PTSD doesn’t go away in the same way that an anxiety attack can go away with a Xanax. PTSD likes to hide under layers of “I’m fine” and “Look at how good I’m doing now”, but underneath the surface, and perhaps far below that shield, it waits for an opportunity to remind you to deal with your shit.
That can sometimes take the form of a breakdown. And sometimes the things we do to breakthrough, like therapy and EMDR, make break us down further until we can begin to build ourselves back up.
Depression is a funny thing.
It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Some days, you forget you ever had it. You forget it was there, you forget that it pays rent somewhere deep in your brain. Depression can be a quiet, easy tenant– paying bills on time, never throwing parties and always taking out the trash.
And then again, there are times when it shows up in your living room. It waits until you’re out of the house, and when you aren’t paying attention– it comes up from behind you, pushes you down, and sits on your chest.
Go back to bed.
But wasn’t I just frolicking in daisies, sunshine and rainbows yesterday?
Sorry, mother fucker. Today you get a visit from your longest tenant.