When Dy Saturday mentioned to me that he would be having Guest Posts on Sundays (at least this is the goal he envisions for this place) I assumed I would be invited to post. I'm sort of big headed that way. I waited. Aaaand I waited. The subject came up twice more. Still waiting. So then I sort of hinted.
So one day I just said, "I want to Guest Blog on your Blog."
And now he we are, and I invited myself. Oh, yeah, folks this is Sleepy Bard from The Insomniac's Dream.
So, Dy's blog is still inventing itself and he is still searching for his blog voice. (By the by, I love his writing. I'm his #1 fan.) Being that it's a little more serious over here than on my own blog, I am choosing to write about a serious topic (with a dash of humor). (And I'm using a lot of parenthesis)
Some of you may know that I have been in a life long battle with not only Insomnia, but Anxiety and Depression, too. I have attempted to write about it on my own blog in the past, but I found that my blog voice is one of humor and I took the blogs down and hid them away.
I can go years without ever feeling Depression. I can live for a long time as a "normal" person and be happy, live my life as if nothing is wrong. Because it's not. When it's gone, and I am not struggling, I don't even give it a second thought.
But when it's here, it is all encompassing. It's an evil, evil thing that creeps up on me unexpectedly and wraps its nasty tendrils around me and pushes me down. I can't sleep. I can't function. I can't breathe. I am either listless and drowning in my own fears and sorrow, or I am anxious, crying helplessly and fighting down panic attacks. I feel hopeless, useless, and worthless. I struggle with the feelings of guilt that come with not being able to be a good mother at these times. Sometimes, I can't even get out of bed. I lie there feeling like the weight of the world is crushing me into the mattress and it is physically impossible to get up. I don't clean my house. I don't shower. I lie in bed for days sometimes, with my phone being my only connection to the outside world. I stumble to the computer to write, in hopes that it will be therapeutic.
Before we move on with this story, yes, I have tried medication. I have tried so many, I've been through them all. Every. Single. One. Makes things worse for me. I do not have suicidal ideations, or thoughts of hurting others when I am in an episode. On the meds? I have lots of bad thoughts, horrible, scary thoughts that frighten me. All the bad side affects get me, they get me hard and fuck me up.
I've tried talk therapy, and well, I can barely open up and talk to my friends and family, let alone a stranger. Therapists, "Shrinks", they turn me off, give the heebie jeebies and I just can't talk to them.
I like to think a lot of my episodes and issues are situational and as things in my life begin to look up and get better, I may be done with this forever. One can hope.
I am not looking for pity. I'm not looking for attention. I want to share my story in hopes that through writing I can release some of this pain, and find healing through writing. I want to share my story in hopes that someone out there who feels the same way will read this and not feel so alone in the world.
Because we're not alone. Many people suffer from Depression. It's not a bad word. It's not embarrassing. It happens to the best of us, to a lot of us, and we are not alone.
On Wednesday I had a particularly bad day. I did not sleep the night before and fell into slumber somewhere just after dawn. I cried myself to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and I was still crying. Uncontrollably. I couldn't MOVE. Not even to roll over, just enough to pull my legs up so I could be in a ball, under the covers. It was a big cry, with lots of sobbing, gasping for air, stomach clenched, my heart was aching to release all of the sadness the pain in my heart. I screamed, and I yelled. I hated myself for being so goddamn helpless. I had to fight down panic attacks, one after the other and struggle to breathe.
When I had finally calmed down enough to lie on my back and take in a few deep breaths, I stared at the ceiling and realized I had that crushing feeling. Something was pushing me down, down into my mattress and there was no way in hell I could move, or get up, or face the world outside my bedroom. It wasn't that I couldn't go outside, I couldn't even leave the sanctuary of my bedroom.
Resigned, I laid there and held my phone in my hand, staring at it, willing it to ring. Praying for a text.
You see, the two closest people in my life that usually check in on me throughout the day to make sure I am ok, the two people that I confide in, that I trust enough to see me in this situation, the two people I rely on when I am down this far, also suffer from Insomnia and battles of their own. Crazy Girl and The Writer.
After a few hours I couldn't hold my water anymore, as they say, and I stumbled through the dark apartment (we have thick curtains and keep it very dark in here. Probably part of the problem) to the bathroom. Deciding I felt dehydrated, I grabbed a glass of water and returned to the bed. Under the covers, I clutched my phone, that lifeline to my support system (Crazy Girl and The Writer) and prayed, prayed, they would wake up soon, one or both, and check on me.
I attempted meditation, I tried to talk myself down (up?) but I cried all day on and off and finally I couldn't take it anymore. The following is the text I sent Crazy Girl.
"I need some serious help. I can't get out of bed. I can't move. I feel like the world is crushing me into this spot in the bed. I'm dizzy, not breathing right, anxiety. Feel like I'm going to throw up, shaking. I need to get out of this fucking bed and shower and clean. I am not getting up. I hate feeling like this. I can't keep living this way."
She inquired if I had least had a drink in there with me, and as to where the boys were (living room) within five minutes she was here, in the bed next to me. She brought me a cigarette and started what she has always done for me in the past, what she has to do so often (she is truly an amazing friend, I am so blessed to have her). She began the talking me up. She made me sit up to smoke, drink some water, and inquired about supper.
"No, no," I shook my head. "Can't. Just can't." Calm, so calm, she handed me my phone.
"Order them a pizza, then. You have to feed them. You don't have to get up."
She tried for awhile to get me up, to motivate me. It wasn't happening. I pulled the blankets over my head and cried into my pillows.
I found out later, she was texting The Writer. She was texting him and telling him what was going on, and that he needed to start talking to me, too.
Eventually I peeked my head out and started talking to her. In an attempt to make me laugh, she pulled up this silly soundboard app on her phone and played sound effects to match my statements, what I was saying.
I did laugh. I laughed so hard. Life is so much better with sound effects.
Soon, I had her talking to me, I had The Writer texting me, and I was feeling better. Still couldn't even face the daunting thought of getting out of bed, or leaving the room. Crazy Girl called her husband and had him run to the store to get me more cigarettes. I had cigarettes delivered to me!
Tiny Bard took care of the pizza guy, made his little brother a plate, then came into the bedroom us. He had two plates. My son brought me dinner. Silently, he climbed into the bed, underneath the covers with me and handed me a piece of pizza. He laid his head on my shoulder, "I love you, Mommy. It will be alright."
But will it?? Is it fair to an eleven year old that he had to get dinner for his brother? That he has to see his mother this way, that he had to bring her food? That he understands enough that he knows to just be there for me? That he lives in a cluttered house?? It was enough to make me cry all over again.
The cats came into the bedroom. My beautiful, loving, sweet, adorable, therapeutic cats. They climbed into the bed with us and snuggled me.
Tiny Bard and Crazy Girl comforted me, made sure I ate something. Drank something. The Writer continued to text me through it, in the way that he can.
I was surrounded by support and love, from all sides. Cats, friend, son in bed with me? Check. The Writer on the other side of my phone? Check.
I sat up so I wouldn't choke on the pizza (see? no thoughts of hurting myself) and I gestured with the slice in my hand and Tortie (that bitch!) snatched it in her mouth and dashed off the bed through the apartment. Bitch stole my pizza! I just laughed. Too much to get out of the bed and chase her down.
Tiny Bard ran after her and brought me my pizza back. Guess what folks? Yeah, I ate it. She had it in her mouth, and it was probably on the dirty floor (I don't clean when I'm like this) and I ate it. Cause I give no fucks.
Before she left, Crazy Girl texted The Writer to let him know she was leaving, and I would be alone.
So, The Writer called me on the phone and we talked until he had to go to work.
I got through it. Another episode. A really bad one. But I made it out the other side and I am so thankful to my friends, Crazy Girl and The Writer for knowing how to deal with this, for knowing what to do and say, for being there for me. For loving me in spite of all of my crazy and never giving up on me. You are amazing, both of you, and I love you so much.
Also, thankful for such an amazing kid. He has to take on burdens beyond his years, but he does it without complaint, he does it because he loves me, he does it because I'm his Mother
It's still the same day as I write this now (I believe Dy is putting it up on Sunday). I am out of bed. I am motivated. I am going to wrap this up and get into the shower. Yeah, it's late, but time is not of essence when you're an Insomniac. I'm going to shower and I'm going to clean my house.
Through it all, The Writer will text me and keep me going.