* I just want to put it out there now that this post is about an unpleasant topic, in which I share graphic details. I wrote it mostly to process my own thoughts...a purging of emotions, I guess you could say. I know most of my readers come here expecting a good laugh but not this time. If the topic of depression is difficult for you to read about, you might not want to stick around today.
I peer out the window and feel my heart drop as I see nothing but a gloomy, overcast sky for the third day in a row.
My soul cries out for sunshine. It craves the brightness, the happiness, the natural high that the sun's rays provide. I desperately need it to lure me out of this disheartened shell, which holds me captive.
The booming sound of children arguing downstairs makes me cringe. Closing my eyes, I wish it were possible for me to lay in bed all day and do nothing but stare at the ceiling.
I've come so far, only to find myself back at square one again. What was once postpartum depression has now become clinical depression and it still hurts.
With a heavy sigh, I head down the stairs and enter the war zone.
"Just push through the pain," I tell myself. "Be strong. You'll get through this."
But, somehow, I can't be strong today of all days. There is simply no more fight left within me.
My head feels blurry and begs for relief as the phone's shrill ring adds to the chaos. A friend is leaving a message, "Hi, it's me. Haven't heard from you in awhile. Just wanted to say hello."
Lacking the desire it takes to fake the blissful front I put on for the outside world, I choose not to answer it. I need to conserve what little energy I have left for my kids today.
As the hours pass and my endurance fades, I want to throw my hands in the air and give up. There's an itching within me that begs to pack my bags and run away...far, far away where I'm no longer a threat to my children's happiness.
But a good mother wouldn't run away. No, she'd stay and fight the monster....she would fight it so courageously and she would win.
I'm trapped. Trapped between desperately wanting to be that good mother who will fight no matter what it takes and that bad mother who would easily give up her family for just one measly hour of solitude and peace.
Only one thought continues to run through my brain and that is "You are such a fuck up. You have no business being anyone's mother."
I've raised the bar much too high this time, even for myself. My feet are grounded to the floor...there's no desire to jump as high as I can to reach it. Instead, I want to sulk and lay in a dark room where I can contemplate ways to escape.
The pain is unbearable and menacing. It feels hollow and dark...twisted and sick...lonely and ambivalent. It's not easy to understand how one can feel this way in a home full of people...amidst children's joyful laughter, a husband's loving arms, pets who can offer warmth and unconditional love.
There comes a point where it becomes a fight or flight situation. The finality of the darkness can be alluring, especially to someone who feels trapped and weak. It beckons to the deepest part of your aching soul and promises to relieve the pain.
But even then, there is still some little bit of rationality inside me, in which I can see the long-term effects of a permanent absence.
I turn to the only immediate yet temporary form of relief I know of as I hold the blade of a knife against my skin...just piercing it enough to release the pain. As the blood dribbles out slowly where my skin gives way, I can breathe again.
There's an instantaneous euphoria that gives me a sudden burst of liveliness and pulls me forward out of the darkness long enough to evade the thoughts which had haunted me merely a few minutes prior.
However, soon enough, that euphoria gives way to shame, guilt and disappointment...which only feeds into the negative self-talk once again.
I know what I need to do and that is to force myself to reach out for help. Better sooner than later.
So as uncomfortable as it is, I take that first step...and then another and another until I can see light at the end of the tunnel.
Good always conquers evil, so they say. You just have to dig deep within yourself to find that good, sometimes.
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