I stand at the edge of the precipice watching little stones and bits of earth from the edge make their way down the side of the gaping canyon. Bounce-off-the-side…Down. Down. Down. I wonder if it might not be easier to let go. Just stop holding on and follow them down into the deep, dark abyss. I am tired. Body, mind and soul. Tired.
Even in this enlightened day and age, there is still so much stigma surrounding anxiety, depression and all the illnesses affecting the brain that one is loathe to seem too desperate in seeking help. Getting medication for a heart condition is standard, but getting medicated for having dysfunctional brain chemistry, well that brings the strength of your character into question. We joke about it, to make it seem more acceptable. But it’s not funny.
A few months ago I was confronted with someone who clearly had no clue what it means to suffer from this malady. At a time when I asked for nothing more than the freedom to be a little sad (for a very valid reason, I might add!), someone thought it appropriate to bombard me with accusations of being ungrateful and having a “victim attitude”. That really hurt. Telling me to “suck it up” and instead count my blessings. It was nothing short of being bullied for being misunderstood – and that by a grown woman who deems to call herself a Christian! I have not forgiven. I cannot forget. So I thought I would focus all this nervous energy on something good. Maybe writing about it could educate someone out there, and stop them from affronting someone else in the same way.
I call it the lead curtain when it gets like this, but that’s not quite right. It’s almost more like being inside a fishbowl. Watching the world, being fully aware of everything around you, but being unable to partake. Not feeling, not caring, simply watching and waiting for it to end. And not knowing whether “it” refers to the sadness or life itself…
I never feel like I have enough sleep at night. I could sleep for 12-hours non-stop and it still wouldn’t be enough to cure me of this tiredness; this utter exhaustion that sucks the joy right out of living. I laugh it off as a result of having young children, but I know that’s not really true. Every song on the radio makes me want to cry – even the happy ones that only serve to remind of when I was not this sad.
Every second person who has a little pet-peeve over clean hands or tidiness, will jokingly tell you they have OCD. I doubt that they can begin to understand the true debilitating agony. I tell the psychologist of the day I lost 8 hours because I spent it obsessing about the pair of stockings I couldn’t find…”That’s not really …” she stops short of saying “normal” and substitutes it with a synonym that sounds less judgy but means the same thing.
I am tired. And sad. Mostly, I am tired of being sad.
I did not choose to feel this way. I am doing what I can to fight this uphill battle every single day. I don’t need your judgement.