When I was young, and I could not face the world, I would go to my room and I would hide beneath my blanket, sitting on my floor, with my blanket pulled over my head. In my head, no one could see me, I was safe, and I was in my own world, numb to whatever was on the outside causing a ruckus. It was my way of protecting me, giving myself a timeout. As an adult, I still want to be able to hide under a blanket and disappear from the world at times.
One of those times was this morning/afternoon. We changed a medication or two and I am struggling. I am coming down from a very high manic episode and I would like to think of the descent as something that could be compared to that of a kite slowly descending from a beautiful ride upon the wind waves, putting on a beautiful show, but in reality it probably looks like a three year old having a tantrum because her leg is stuck in the string of the kite and she’s kicking and screaming down on the ground as her mother attempts to get the string dislodged from her ankle while not getting kicked in the face after she herself has had a few cocktails. The key thing that’s missing is grace.
I really am struggling today, as I have all weekend. The fatigue is intense. I fear being away from my bed and I loathe having to be in clothes that are not ones that could count as pajamas. I nearly had a panic attack today thinking that I would have to actually work and did not have the opportunity to sleep all day.
“What do you mean, work??? I want to sleep, not work!
How can I work if I can’t even think today! Will I be able to drive?”
This was part of the internal monologue that I had with myself today. I lost the fight by the way. The practical part of my brain won, and I took a shower, and dressed in reasonable clothes, did my hair and makeup, even threw on some jewelry.
But, a mere hour into my day, I am in the middle of a vacant parking lot, crying on the phone to my mother. And it did not take her long to figure out that I was “hiding under my blanket”. And she called me out on it. In her high pitched, sweet and loving voice,
“Bella, are you hiding under your blanket?”
And I answered with snot being slurped up my nose and with my right-hand swiping across my face, yes (it is no wonder I have only gotten pink eye once, with all the tears and swiping that happens to me and my face).
“Are you done hiding?”
So we talked some more….
Depression is a mother fucker. It robs you of so much. I shared that it feels like I am carrying around my weighted blanket and wearing shoes with sand in them. It is heavy and causes oppression. It takes me extra effort to get up out of my chair. I have to will myself to get up, and to go pee. Like I am sitting here thinking hard about it, and making sure that it is something that I really have to do and going to fully commit to and just not some willy nilly have to pee thing, because I am not getting up for some tinkle, I am only getting up for a full fledged if I sneeze I am going to flood this seat kind of a pee.
“Bella, are you ready to come out now?”
“Yes mama, I will come out now…”
Life must continue and we must move on and keep things in motion as hard and dragging as it is. Today is a grueling day for me. I have much to do, although I have zippo energy to do such things. I will be kind to myself and I will cut myself a break. But I will also realize that I can not hide under a physical or metaphorical blanket all day. I need to be brave.