Do you ever get the sense you’re on the edge of a break down? As though you’re nearly ready to fall apart? That you’re a train chugging closer and closer to the edge of a ravine?
The feeling sort of comes upon me, like a shiver settling on my skin. At first, it’s a light drizzle, then the winds of my internal storm shake me up until I’m not sure what to think or feel. Every once and a while, I take a deep breath and feel the very oceans rush into my lungs. I am drowning.
I am not, of course. My logical brain knows this as surely as it knows its way home. But when a person feels like this, it’s not about what you know. It’s about the present truth and eminent fall. My depression has been like this the last few years – pawing and stamping on the ground like a herd of wild ponies wrangled in a corral. Every once and a while, a particularly ornery one jumps the fence. Then there’s the whole fiasco of chasing the fiendish colt down and reining it back in again. My depression is like that. Most the time, I am aware it is close, hiding behind my eyes and in my nerves, but it is caged away and in control. But sometimes…
Yesterday, I received a free sample of infant formula. If life had gone according to plan, it would have been a welcome surprise. But I am not seven months pregnant – I am four months post miscarriage and two months trying with no luck yet. The last thing in the world I want to see right now is a beautifully bundled package of infant formula. And I broke.
I shoved it at my husband and told him bitterly, “Get rid of it.” Not understanding, he asked if I wanted to keep it for the next one. Shaking, I responded, “I can’t. I can’t right now. I just can’t.” And, finally noting my condition, he got rid of it. But I couldn’t move. I literally felt as though something was hovering over me, slowly sucking in my lifeforce. The fence faltered a bit. A pony leapt out. I cried.
Depression tears are at the same time more sweet and more sour than regular ones. They sit inside you and age until you can or will let them fall forth, and for all its trouble that moment brings such relief. But only for a moment. What quickly follows is the gruesome, uncontrollable, unstoppable feeling of coughing your lungs out and crying until you could sooner swim than breathe.
It only takes the smallest of things to unbalance me. Even today I feel the ripples of an oncoming storm….