He asks me, “Are you okay?”
I text back, “Yeah.”
How else can I answer? “No” just doesn’t seem like an answer one can give via text message… and I just don’t have the proverbial spoons to come up with a better, more authentic response to his inquiry.
He can tell something is up. He senses something isn’t quite right. And, of course in true asshole-brain fashion that depression likes to speak in, I think to myself… wow, I had to pull back THAT FAR in order for him to realize?
Like an abusive lover, it can hit softly or hard as a brick, may escalate or come without warning, and can send you running or leave you crumpled on the floor.
These last few days, it’s been creeping up. Slowly. Ever so gradually digging in its claws, sinking in its teeth, and taking hold. And now, it has me fully in its grasp – like a hungry predator stalking and claiming its prize.
Depression causes chemical and physiologic changes in the brain that affect logic and reasoning; although I suspect this will wane with time, I know what is going on… and I don’t like it. I know this won’t last forever – nothing ever does – but acknowledge that the past week felt like an eternity.
And so, I take a deep breath and text him a little later, “I’m not ‘okay’… but I will be.”
I pray he’s able to understand, accept, and support. I explain what is going on with the reassurance that I’ll come out on the other side eventually – always considerate of others, even when I’m the one hurting.
Asking for and receiving support are hard enough when the person is near you… But the distance makes it excruciating – especially when it’s likely part of the reason for feeling disconnected in the first place. Having run out of steam, I acknowledge I no longer have the energy reserve to be “in his face” or initiate contact. After perceiving myself to be consistently reaching out for my own needs, I recognize that I have run out of reserve. I’m tapped. I was hungry and am now starving… yet the idea of eating turns my stomach.
Suddenly, I am reminded of who and what I am – and it all begins to make sense. This IS about lack of connection and isolation – in the most DIRECT of ways. I’m in a draining situation where my net is less than my gross. Energy is going out, and not enough coming in.
I’m constantly expending energy… and have few resources to refuel. My usual methods removed from me because of distance from partners, lovers, and chosen family and financial constraints making rectifying it nearly impossible, I find myself in dire straits and in need of creative solutions. But, I have other ways of feeding – of restoring the energy that sustains me.
And so, with Michelle Belanger’s words and the teachings from House Kheperu echoing in my head, I set a plan in motion.
It will be okay.
Yes, it will.