It’s that weight balled up tight inside, that penetrates deep down to your soul. It’s the feeling of a darkness that looms over and around you, regardless of how bright the sun is shining. It’s not something you can out run. It doesn’t always respond to your therapeutic coping mechanisms. It can be strong, and in some cases, stronger than you are at that moment.
Sometimes you just find yourself living through it, pushing yourself along. So while on the outside you smile, you cross off “to do” items, respond to emails, whatever it is you find in your daily grind, the inside is a completely different story.
Such was the case tonight.
I found myself cooking a dinner of mac ‘n’ cheese, fish sticks, and honey glazed steamed carrots. Nothing major, but some of my favorites. Throughout this time, I feel that heaviness in my chest. I can’t shake it. I have no particular, justifiable reason to have this feeling at present either. My 2 year old is laughing at some random Peppa Pig nonsense, and I still can’t evade its hold. His laugh is so adorable, too! A funny meme sent by a colleague dings on my phone. It’s still there. I try to recall events earlier in the day – a charming Robin perched on a branch, singing me his song. A compliment about my hair. An invigorating conversation about standards-based grading, that I did enjoy at the time. Nope, nope, and still nope.
It’s locked up inside a vault and not leaving from within.
For my final dinner prep task, I watched the cheese ooze out of the silver foiled package onto the noodles, cooked with the most perfect softness. It was in this moment where I felt that heavy feeling ooze out of me and dissolve.
There really is no explanation to afford as to why that was the moment my disposition changed. It just did. Sometimes that’s the only way to describe how I’m feeling and how it absolves itself. That’s just how it happens. My depression lacks predictability, but over time, and with the right supports, I’ve figured out what I need to do during these bouts.
And for those reading this, please don’t feel concerned or feel this is a “red flag” slice. Sometimes I use the power of writing as a coping mechanism to help me through these feelings. If you’re experiencing life challenges and emotions, hopefully you have a power that helps you, too.