“Is everything okay?” Anne asked me. She sat at our counter, and I stood on the other side, next to the microwave, watching my bowl of soup slowly turn around inside it.”
“No, it’s not,” I said, “I’m having a terrible day, and I know it’s because my brain is fucked up and I know it’s going to eventually get better but right now I just want to fucking scream because I feel irritable and anxious and overwhelmed and I know that there’s no logical reason to feel any of these things, but I also know that it’s my fucked up broken brain and I can’t do anything about it so I feel helpless and angry.”
I am, as you can tell, the master of the run on sentence.
“I’m trying really hard not to blow up at you for something you didn’t do, or yell at the dogs for barking, or just freaking out at everything … but it is really fucking hard and I’m just sick of this shit.”
The microwave beeped and I reached in to take the soup out.
“OUCH GODDAMMIT MOTHER FUCKER SHIT COCK FUCK SHIT FUCK!” I shouted, which is “Wil’s having a bad depression day” for “This bowl is very hot and I should have used something to protect my hands before I touched it.”
I yanked my hands out of the microwave, and took several deep breaths. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m really struggling today.”
“It’s okay,” she said.
“It’s not okay, but I appreciate you being patient with me.” I thought about the years — at least a decade — we were together before I got help for my depression. I thought about all the years that Anne and our kids had to deal with me freaking out at stupid things for no rational reason. I felt guilty, like I always do, even though I know that it wasn’t my fault.
I got a hot pad, and took my soup out. I waited several minutes for it to cool off, and I ate it. It was delicious.
Anne went to bed a little earlier than I did, and Seamus was snuggled up next to her when I got into bed. I slept soundly through the night, and woke up to Marlowe’s little puppy face just a few inches from mine. I kind of love it that she gets it into her head between 930 and 10 every morning that it’s time for me to get out of bed, so I get to wake up to a happy puppy every morning.
I pet her little face, and took a sort of emotional inventory. I noticed that all my systems were running normally, and the Very Bad No Good Day of Depression had passed. I felt as close to normal as I can feel, which is probably about 97% of normal (but who really wants to be completely normal anyway? Normal is boring.)
I got out of bed, made some coffee and oatmeal, and started my day. A few hours later, I went to a very important meeting. I can’t talk about the meeting I had, but it’s for something I love, something I’m super excited and proud to be part of, and something I hope I can talk about soon. The meeting could not have gone better, and as I walked to my car after it was finished, I was grateful for the incredible creative team I’m working with, and excited for our future together.
So I got better, and that’s the reason I’m putting these words down right now. I have depression, but depression doesn’t have me. I have bad days, I have really terrible days, and I have MMMMMARRAAAHHH days, like I did yesterday. Those days suck, but they always pass, and knowing why they happen, even if I can’t control them, gives me a great deal of comfort on the truly awful days.
If you’d told me yesterday, when I was at the nadir of my MMMMMARRAAAHHH that I would spend significant time today sitting in a room with people I like, alternately laughing my ass off and marveling at how clever and creative they are, I probably would have told you to stop being mean to me, because there was no way I’d ever be happy again.
Thank you, hundreds-of-thousands-of-people-I’ve-never-met, for being kind to me when I was having a really MMMMMARRAAAHHH day. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.