It doesn’t begin suddenly. An overcast, a drizzle over my mood means depression is on its way and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Knowing the tempest to come, my stomach starts to hurt.
The rain moves in slowly – an irritation at small things around me.
The drops bear down harder in the form of moodiness, drowsiness, unclear thoughts.
Briefly, the sun makes an appearance. I feel okay, things are looking up.
This is the most ominous of all. In the countless cycles of this happening, I know that this small warmth is only the ocean receding before the tsunami, the calm before the storm.
I’m so tired all I want to do is sleep, but no matter how much I get, I am never rested. I cover the circles under my eyes with more concealer and move on with my day.
The unclear thoughts have turned into a jumbled, zombie state of mind. Talking to a friend, enjoying a moment, being present is not comfortably possible.
My mood darkens. I’m angry, prone to snapping at friends and family for the smallest perceived transgression.
My marriage, my friendships, my work all suffer.
Introverted tendencies are heightened. I turn inward to the darkest part of myself and indulge in it. I’m sad, I’m insecure, I’m paranoid. In a room full of people, mid-conversation – I’m lonely.
There is no sign of how long this will last. If the universe favors me, there will be only bad days or bad weeks. It could be months though, and in the back of my mind is the gut-wrenching dread that it could keep going.
I hate who I am when it hits. I pick myself apart, my inner dialogue is abusive – I’m a bad wife, a bad friend, a bad employee, unfunny, untalented, unlovable.
I don’t crave happiness, just to be on an emotionally even keel. Eventually, the fog will lift and I and everyone around me will get some reprieve from this miserable, hazy depression.