I love rainy days, now and then. They totally agree with me, especially during the times when all I want to do is chill right out and not have to worry about catching a bus into town to sort out the seemingly never-ending tasks that need sorting out. There’s no pressure to deal with copious amounts of washing, and when you look out the window and see its raining for the hundredth day in a row, you don’t feel so guilty that your lawns are starting to resemble a jungle fit for monkeys. You let your baby take charge of the DVD, the house, and let her run rampant while you crank up the heater and snuggle under the blanket with a book and a plate of oreo’s. Its beautiful. Marvellous. I love rainy days. Now and then.
NOW AND THEN being the operative word. Because, come on. Even you gotta admit that being stuck indoors, day in and day out, and day in and day out, and day fucking in and out, is enough to drive you craaaaazy. (Which I already am, but that is well and truly BESIDES the point.)
Yesterday was the third rainy day in a row. I woke as usual to baby slapping my head and yelling at me to get up. After peeking out the curtain – and then holding back the urge to shout ‘FUCK’ – I force myself to the kitchen, have a coffee, give Her Majesty weetbix for breakfast, then dump her in front of the TV. I then proceed to perform all housewife and motherly duties with about the same enthusiasm as a zombie. I mope. I drag my feet as I vacuum the house. I don’t even bother yelling at baby when I snap her pulling the AV cords out of the TV, then inserting them back in the wrong holes. I just stare at her and sigh. I feel bored out of my brain cells. The mundaness of everyday life and having no job – as well as being stuck within the confines of four brick walls thanks to shitty weather – AS WELL as having no human interaction with anybody else besides my baby and two men who are too tired to entertain me when they get home from work – all of it is well and truly getting to me.
And then my cousin showed up, with the niece in tow. I pounced upon them as if it had been a year since I had last seen a human. When I saw them walking through the front door, I was all “Hiiiiiiiiiiiii,” and sounded as high pitched and as squeaky as a mouse. Probably desperate too. I was so happy to see them. Beyond happy. I couldn’t have been happier if it was Beyonce that walked in. But then, on second thoughts…that is actually a very outrageous lie. Haha.
So I spent a good hour yarning to my cuz over coffee and hundreds of smokes, and I am aware I am talking way too much and way too fast. It strikes me that we are yarning about some very sensitive topics – but it also strikes me that I don’t care. I was just glad to be talking to somebody. I was glad that she had come over. Glad to feel not so isolated from the world. My cousin, she is easy to talk to. A beautiful person, inside and out. She’s one of those girls you’d want as your best friends and if I wasn’t so into myself and up my own arse, she would probably be one of my best friends by now.
Anyway, when they left, I felt pretty good. For about a good hour or so. I was washing dishes and staring out at nothing but grey when I felt the blues coming on. And I’m not talking about the rainy day blues either, but the other blues, the kind that use to chew me up and swallow me whole. Maybe it was my cousins visit that emphasised just how lonely I really was. Maybe it was the fact that my baby was hanging off the edge of the couch, chocolate smeared all over her face and clothes. Maybe it was the silence that engulfed me as I washed the dishes. Either way, I didn’t see it coming. I never do. It creeps up on me silently, like a stealth cat, then pounces and grips my throat, squeezing tighter and tighter, until I can’t breathe.
This is…a thing that I go through now and then, especially on days I don’t feel so good. I don’t think its depression anymore. More like low-level anxiety and a kind of ominous sadness. Back in the day, I believe it was fully blown depression, and I was pretty good for letting it get the best of me. Swimming around in a pool of self-pity and walking around with all these fucked up thoughts in my head, convinced that there was no-one on this earth that loved me, that was the norm for me. I could spend days on end locked up in the room, crying, writing, hyperventilating, yearning for mum, hating the world, feeling sorry for myself and just basically wondering if I’d be better off dead.
But that was THEN. Things are very different now. Sometimes, I still get accused of looking back too much. One of my sisters, who shall remain nameless unless she decides to out herself, is constantly telling me to get over the past. What she doesn’t know is that I was over it a long time ago. ‘The past’ and ‘depression’ are two very different things. And if you have never been through depression, then you can never understand what it is like. It pisses me off when people say things like “you think too much” or “you dwell on the past too much” or “just get over it, Freda, its all in your head.” I don’t dwell on the past, but I don’t deny it either. To deny it will be to deny a big part of who I am, and that’s crazy. Whats even more crazy is YOU telling people like ME that I need to get over myself, and that’s just not fair. People with depression don’t need to hear that shit, man. They already know what they need to do, and when some asshole is always on your case, trying to ‘snap you out of it’ that just makes things worse
I’m not perfect, and neither are you. I don’t berate you for your shortcomings, so there’s no need for you to berate me for mine.
Arrrgh. Time to STOP I think. So anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, things are very different now. Very different. I’m a bit more settled, and a hundred times more happier, and I have a family that needs me. But I’m aware that I have to be very careful of myself these days because my brain, its kind of set in its ways now. So when I felt those ‘blues’ coming on this morning, I dealt with it on the spot. To drive away the silence that can sometimes be as deafening as a trumpet in my ear, I went around turning all the TV’S on, plugged in my laptop and played my music on full blast. So if you have ever come over to my house, and wondered why all the electronics are blaring – well now you know why. Silence is golden, or say they say. But to me, silence is an opportunity for those ‘blues’ to grow into a big fat avalanche. Silence is a trap. And one that I have no intention of falling into ever again.
My writing, that helps too. Aside from writing all sorts of ramblings on this blog, I am also writing a book, so that keeps my mind occupied. But more than anything, its my baby that keeps me on the straight and narrow. Me and her, we did some Pilates together not long after my cousin left, and I had to chuckle to myself as I watched her struggle to perform the moves, seeking out my approval now and then with her big brown eyes. After that, I chucked on her High Five, and sang and danced with her to the song Robot Number one, and we frolicked on the floor and I let her jump all over me, all twenty plus kg’s of her, and in no time at all I was laughing and happy again and the sadness that had engulfed me a couple of hours before just slipped away. And, you know, even though it was still ugly and grey outside, suddenly it wasn’t such a big deal anymore. Because once you can find that light inside yourself – it doesn’t matter how dark it is on the outside.
And YOU can find it too. YES YOU, reading this post. If you have read up to HERE, then I’m either a fucking great writer, or you are possibly going through the same thing. Either way, I’m going to end this post by leaving you with this – that you can overcome it, just like I continue to overcome it everyday. That you can find answers too. Not in the world. Not in some six hundred page book written by some lady with a PhD. Not even your shrink can give you what you’re looking for. It’s all within yourself. Thats where it all begins. Have a look there. You might be surprised what you find.
- Depression does not have an on/off switch (syllableinthecity.wordpress.com)