I woke up yesterday and immediately knew something was off. I didn’t feel right. I couldn’t tie it to anything I’d done the day before. I’d gotten a decent amount of sleep. There was nothing glaringly obvious. I vaguely recalled having unsettling dreams and waking up in the middle of the night. By morning, I couldn’t remember a single detail.
As I got up and started my day, the feeling in my stomach persisted. I felt empty, like there weren’t any emotions in me. I did some errands that proved tedious as well as obnoxious. I went to the bank to get quarters for the laundry. I like to get four to six rolls at a time. I waited for over an hour only to be told I could only have one roll due to a change shortage.
This threw off a phone call to discuss an upcoming event I was planning. I let the person know I was running late and they said they too were not quite ready. That should have washed away the feeling of being rushed, but it didn’t. This string in me was being pulled taught because my plan was going as it should have. I was no longer empty. The emotions surged up as I pulled out of the Post Office parking lot.
I was stuck in a few years of depression and this event is a big deal for me. I have slowly been leaving the house again for reasons other than groceries. (And we’re talking pre-covid not leaving the house.) I didn’t choose an easy topic to create an event around, but it was something that mattered to me and I felt pulled by a higher power to do.
The phone call didn’t go well for me. My mind was scattered. The person on the other line seemed bothered with me. Sometimes I annoy my sister and I know why. I don’t mean to and as soon as I get the sense she is annoyed I stop. I’m able to identify what I’d doing. I know some of my annoying tendencies.
On the phone call, I didn’t know what I was doing to annoy the other person. Was it me? Were they also having a rough day?
I like to think about things before I make a decision. When I am having an off day, I like even longer to make decision. The person on the end of the line wasn’t feeling this. They wanted to move things along. My logical brain knew where this person was coming from and that we needed to move forward, but I couldn’t get my anxiety to push trough the need to think about every aspect of each decision being made.
I got off the call with the event going in a different direction and feeling OK about the progress. The person I’m working with took charge and gave me an action step. I felt bad because this event was my idea and the person supporting me wasn’t supposed to be leading the show. Did she want to lead? Did I force her into a position she didn’t want to be in? Did she regret agreeing to work with me on this event? Did she like me anymore?
I dove into my task when I hung up the phone, but couldn’t finish. I cried. I thought about scrapping the event. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to come to it. There are plenty of events out there similar to mine, so why would anyone want to participate. My idea was disjointed, without a clear purpose, and I was annoying my partner who might end up leaving me.
I kept crying. My therapist has told me to let it happen and ride the wave of tears versus fighting them. So, I did.
But they wouldn’t stop. All day I kept having bouts of tears. A day has passed and I’m crying while I type this.
I was angry that I felt this way. I was angry that I could wake up and feel like I wasn’t worthy of doing anything. That no one would care about what I had to say at the event. That I was going to embarrass myself. That I couldn’t reach out to anyone for help because no one wants to hear me complain.
I lost the day. I didn’t go anywhere besides the errands I’d already ran that morning. I was now trapped in my apartment because I couldn’t face the world. I couldn’t fake happiness or contentment. I had to suffer through the rest of the day as best I could, go to sleep, and try again tomorrow.
I’d lost a day. I hate losing days.
I am actively in therapy. I have a psychiatrist I pay a shit load of money to prescribe me pills that are supposed to help me. I’m doing all this shit, yet still losing days.
I went to bed last night terrified. Thursday, I felt on top of the world. I felt like me. Confident. Content. Happy with my life. Cuddly with my dog. Friday, I woke up a different person. What would Saturday hold?
I set my white noise machine for seven hours. That wasn’t long enough because I was woken up by the people upstairs being loud despite two conversations about specifically what they are doing to create the noise and how to manage it. I asked for them to be extra mindful before 7am. Is 7am too much to ask? Can their large dog not pick up large bones only to drop them over and over again on the floor right above my bed at 6am? Is that too much to ask on a Saturday?
I turned the white noise machine back one. I don’t think I slept anymore, but I rested a bit. When I finally decided to get up because I wasn’t sleeping, I said a prayer to the universe.
Please let today be better. Please let me be able to go to the BBQ I was invited to. Please let me be the Emily that can be around people and engage like the rest of them. Please let me not melt into the couch because to get off it seems akin to moving mountains. Please let me not lose another day.
I’ve been told I’m bipolar, have major depressive disorder, or just a generic mood disorder. I’m a disorder.
This is what that looks like. I don’t wish it upon anyone, but it would be nice to have someone who understands those days when you wake up and everything is wrong, and not in a minor way. In a debilitating way. I don’t reach out to anyone because my friends say things like “cheer up” or “go for a walk” or “why don’t you sew something” or “it will be better tomorrow” or “I know how you feel” or “just think positive thoughts.”
Do you know how I feel?
Will it be better tomorrow?
If I could cheer up, wouldn’t I have done so already.
I can’t get off the couch let alone make it to the sewing machine.
I’ve walked the dog twice today and I’m still sobbing into a kitchen towel.
I’ve lost control of my thoughts. All my coping techniques have escaped me and the shit in my head is overwhelming me.
So here we are. I walked the dog, sent some emails, did a load of laundry, sewed a new shape of mask, and typed this. I know I am better than yesterday, but the fear of losing this day is ever-present.
I’m scared and I don’t want to be.