With Darkness Falling and one flare left, Could Armando keep the coyotes from his leg?

Monday, October 24, 2005

I called in sick today. Soul sick.

Depression, much like the Spanish Inquisition, is never expected.

I was trilling along life - tra-la-la- and for some reason - late Saturday, my depression crept up and slid in next to me.

I expect that depression feels different for every person, but has similar attributes. Like I expect orgasm's must feel for each person. Different, but the same.

For mine, the best description I ever came up with was something that happened to me when I was five.

We were living in North Carolina at the time - on Camp Lejeune. I was walking along the beach behind my mom, who was chasing my brother ( who had some kind of infant death wish to be dragged out to sea). I was most likely looking for treasures - starfish, conch, sand dollars.

I stepped forward and fell into something. A very, very deep hole. I can only guess that this was a type of sinkhole caused by the currents on a beach. I went down so fast, and so unexpected that I didn't have time to yell. One minute I was walking along, the next I was floudering in a deep giant hole that I had no idea was there.

I could see my mothers back moving away as she chased her son. I was the dependable child. I could be trusted to not go too far away, or too deep.

But there I was. I gasped and sank down - trying to find the bottom to kick off from. When I did, and kicked off - trying to grab the side of the hole to pull myself out, it all disintegrated in my five year old hand. I went down at least three times - each time watching my mom's back move farther away - each time having the side of the hole disappear as I tried to pull myself out.

Magically, just as I had the five year old thought that I was about to drown, I pulled myself out.

I lay next to the hole, panting. Quiet. On my back. I did not cry. I did not move. I looked the way I have seen other children look when they have glimpsed that they are mortal. That wide eyed fear.

Then I picked myself up and caught up with my mom. I never told her about the hole. I think I felt it was my fault for falling into the hole. A pattern I was to repeat my whole life.

And that is depression for me. A hole that keeps changing shapes. Every time I get out I lay beside it, shocked and wide eyed. I am always shocked when I fall in. I try to figure out what weather patterns have caused this to occur, like my own Weathercenter, and map them for future reference. But it is never the same - the falling into the hole, nor is it ever expected.

So now, I try to recognize when I am in the hole that is my depression, and take a soul sick day to get out of it.

6 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

Dawn -- as someone who's suffered from postpartum depression (which hit later and has lingered longer with my 2nd child), I think your analogy is extremely accurate. It is like a shifting hole that turns up suddenly and you're never quite sure the strategy that can bring you out.

I hope your "soul day" helps to pick you back up. Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hope the day serves you well and taht tomorrow is better.

Cindylou said...

I fell so friggin' normal someitmes, I don't know hwat it is like to have serious depression, postpartum or otherwise. My devils wear different clothes. But my heart goes out to you and I hope that the ever sifting sand becomes firm beneath your feet again.

Table4Five said...

Dawn, that was a very eloquent way to describe how it feels to suffer from depression. Mine is mostly Seasonal Affective Disorder, which for me feels like being trapped under a heavy blanket.

I can't imagine what it's like to have something so profound happen to you at such a young age. Did you ever tell your mother what happened?

Be good to yourself.

Sarah said...

Hope your soul day helped. Hope you took another one today if needed.

Julie Marsh said...

That story scared the crap out of me. Good analogy.

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