I’ve been trying to write a post for about a week, now. It just sort of fizzled out on me. I didn’t really feel like writing. Come to think of it, everything sort of fizzled out on me. I haven’t felt like baking, or crafting, playing with DB or well, much of anything.
I spent most of my waking hours doubting myself. As a parent. As a wife. As a friend.
I felt angry. At nothing. At everyone. But in reality, for no good reason.
That is what the lows feel like. Everything loses its luster. The air feels heavy in my chest. I walk around confused and lethargic. I can’t trust my feelings because they may change at any moment. And everything I know to be true seems like a lie.
It has been a little over a year since a low mood swing has stuck like this. Usually I can shake it off, attribute it to PMS, or start again tomorrow. But this one took hold.
I wish I knew what triggered it – maybe the interminable winter here in New England? Maybe DB’s teething crankiness? Hormones? The time change? (I love that the time change becomes March’s scapegoat for all kinds of things. Every year. I, for one, would like to blame the time change for all those M&M’s I scarfed down during the toddler’s nap today.) I wish I knew because some part of me foolishly believes that then I could have prevented it, and can circumvent the next round.
But at least these days, I can see the low for what it is. I take things more slowly, I ask for help, and I don’t waste time trying to “figure out what’s wrong,” because I’ve learned that nothing is wrong. I remember to ignore the crushing guilt because it’s not real – just a symptom of the mood swings. It’s a bit like a snow storm. You can prepare for it, you can stay inside, you can clean up afterwards, but you can’t stop the snow from falling. In the end, you know it can’t snow forever, so you curl up on the couch and wait it out.
This morning, a long talk with a good friend helped me shake off the last of the low. She’s the kind of friend who really hears you when you speak. And because she’s known me forever and sees me for who I truly am, she can help break the cycle of confusion that comes with my depressed mood. After talking with her, I had enough clarity to give my doctor a call and bump up my next appointment. I felt motivated enough to take DB to swim class, and then I cut myself some slack for the rest of the day.
And while I don’t feel 100% myself again yet, the hopelessness is gone. Time to grab that shovel and get to work.