For those of us that experience chronic, seasonal, sporadic, or any ebbs and flows that go hand in hand with endless opportunities for depression; let’s call it what it is, it’s a real bitch.
Let’s begin last year.
The beginning of the year was absolutely perfect. I went to another country for the first time and had the time of my life in Mexico, I traveled to Puerto Rico for a destination wedding, and I got engaged in the spring!
In the summer, my fiancé and I relocated to Delaware for a new job opportunity, my brother got engaged, and I got married in October; pretty much the best few months that you could hope for!
Then I got shit on. Life figuratively took a dump on me and my whole family in December when Jess went into palliative care and then passed away. (For more about this make sure that you’ve read Baking For Bereavement).
I don’t know if it was a combination of overwhelming loss or just the cold weather, but I proceeded to get violently sick for the entire last week of December and into the beginning of January with the flu and a sinus infection, as if I couldn’t be miserable enough already. I had been so sick that I missed Jess’s memorial service. It was crushing.
My husband and I were looking towards the future and trying to assemble some happier pieces into this horrifying brown shit puzzle. Getting engaged and planning a wedding within six months is psychotic so we decided to start planning our honeymoon a few months after our marriage, allowing enough time to save up and go somewhere truly special. Paris was the perfect escape. I have never been so excited for a trip and have wanted to go to Paris since the beginning of time. We were looking to take a little over a week at the end of spring and the light at the end of the tunnel was starting to feel brighter.
Then within the same week, my mother-in-law went into the hospital (and would end up staying there for weeks), the next day I lost my job that we had moved to another state for and spent a lot of money to do, and three days later the girl that killed my cousins in that traumatic Valentine’s Day car accident got parole. (For more about this make sure that you’ve read Bereavement Part 2).
What. The. Fuck.
Devastated is an understatement; I was completely defeated. I would lie in bed, in total darkness, and just stare at the wall.
The depression that I’m usually able to manage and not truly FEEL on a daily basis, was casting its black veil over my eyes and I stopped being able to see any sliver of hopeful light.
I was indifferent and unresponsive to my husband, I didn’t want to move, I didn’t want to think; and I certainly didn’t want to find a 9-5 soul-sucking job. I dragged myself out of bed every day and focused my attention on “tidying up”. I purged and purged all of the useless material possessions that did not spark joy and that I had mindlessly carried with me from place to place, state to state.
I started to feel accomplished and used the little energy that I had to make short trips to visit with various family members. This started adding fuel to my draining happiness meter and the positive gauge was slowly crawling higher.
My daily exercise routine had taken a nose dive but I was starting to feel the itch again so two to three times a week I started moving; reveling in the blood flow and the soreness.
It has been on my bucket list for quite some time, so I taught myself how to embroider. I started hand stitching and waves of calmness fell over me and the positive gauge was crawling even higher. The meditative quality and the preciseness enraptured my focus and all I could think about was the next stitch.
After my first completed project, I embroidered a hat for my friend’s birthday and she was OBSESSED with it. I spent the weekend reconnecting with her and other close friends and making a new friend along the way. The gauge was increasing and I started to feel like myself again.
The embroidery concepts have been persistent and I have found a new niche in my never ending list of hobbies and potential income streams. I’m starting to feel motivated again and although I still have bad days and debilitating moments of sadness, I’m still upright and I have that hunger to be better and do better and achieve that happiness again that I had worked so hard to achieve.
It is a constant battle and everything reminds me of what I’ve lost in the last two months but I am the only one who can control how I handle myself and my happiness.
I just need to remember to take each day or minute or second, each breath and each stitch at a time.