First of all, thanks for dealing with my insanity last night. Got my period today, which explains a little of the extreme moodiness, but it’s been rough for about two weeks– longer than PMS. I never used to have PMS like this, but when I got my period back and started up on the Zoloft and Wellbutrin, it just happened. It was even worse when I was on birth control while I was restoring my weight. Baby steps?
About halfway through Mad Men last night, I got a text from my friend P (who was sitting on the couch behind me) that said, “You okay?” I almost started crying. He noticed. He noticed and he cared enough to say something. I have to say, I was pretty obviously “in a mood” all night, and desperate to share, I tried somehow to talk to my girl friends J and R about it. It didn’t really work… “real talk” doesn’t really flow so easily in general, and especially while washing tumblers for party prep while stuffed to the gills with tea sandwiches and pastries from the tea party we’d attended. My friends know when I’m depressed. But what to say?
The answer? Exactly what P said.
I felt a bit better after this, and then once the episode finished, I bounced immediately, wobbling home in my heels and party dress, eating leftovers from the tea party on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. I fell asleep with detritus around me, a goner the second my head hit the pillow.
And this morning… I was okay. I cleaned up, did a quick vacuum around the bed, and moving slow as molasses, brushed my hair, put on makeup and my favorite shirt and my boots, packed a lunch, and calmly, without a word (or breakfast…) headed to my chiropractor. And from there, calmly headed to Shakespeare class, not having done any of the homework. And there L comes, with a coffee, and slides in to sit near me, our “usual” spots. And we make small talk and I don’t feel bad– my heart doesn’t ache, I don’t feel the welling of shame in my chest and burning in my cheeks. And I tell her again how bad I’ve been the last few weeks, and she agrees, and we are, as though nothing is different… just two friends, neither more needy than the other.
I moved through work on a wave, barely there. Only an hour today. My boss leaves, and my friend N arrives to help me film a short film audition video that I don’t care about at all. I make it through. I go to PetCo, still gliding. At home, starving, (a dangerous place), I made a big salad with tuna and homemade peanut sauce. I don’t binge. A few hours later, while I’m scanning and emailing Course Inventory Forms for work and tax forms for my parents, I pull some frozen gnocchi out of the freezer and begin to nibble. It’s not real food, or good tasting– just binge behavior. But then I stand up, after gnawing on two tasteless gnocchi, and make a small serving of the pasta on my stove. Once it’s cooked, I eat it, along with a mug of tea, and then I’m done.
This. Is. Remarkable. I ate ENOUGH food today. A little less than enough considering I didn’t have breakfast. But still. It’s been a while. And I may feel a bit “out of it,” but at least I’m not cutting myself. At least I’m accomplishing tasks. At least I was hungry and fed myself appropriately. At least I’m not sobbing and at least I’m not scared and at least I’m not devastatingly, horrifyingly lonely.
And part of it is because of this, from R.
I am surrounded by support– and the world of blogging and the technology of texting and the way that we can find a way to eke out an evening surrounded by one really good television show.
And how when I look back at the posts this week, I will see my progress, see my strength, and see how everyone in my life helped me. And that they will again. Because this is my life. And it will happen again.
And they, and you, will be there when I come out the other side.
“Some friends don’t understand this. They don’t understand how desperate I am to have someone say, I love you and I support you just the way you are because you’re wonderful just the way you are. They don’t understand that I can’t remember anyone ever saying that to me. I am so demanding and difficult for my friends because I want to crumble and fall apart before them so that they will love me even though I am no fun, lying in bed, crying all the time, not moving. Depression is all about If you loved me you would.”
— Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)