I started deflating at the beginning of November.
I try not to write about the shrivelling because I don’t want my blog to be therapy (my writing is, but that’s another story for the commitment hearing) or a place to wallow. Sometimes that means I withdraw from it and other things I care about for a while.
The funny thing I’ve discovered about depression is that it’s not always weeks of crying or anguish. Often it’s softer and more insidious. It’s a shrinking from life. It’s feeling a soft, wet, layered flannel strait jacket wrapping around you and not feeling the muscle power to push it off. And, for me, it’s a lifetime of wondering why I can’t just shake it off and soldier on.
After all, it’s all my head, right?
If it weren’t for the plastic boot encasing my foot propped up on the pillow-padded recliner, I’d still be wondering that.
But things happen. Sometimes you find yourself surfing a couch for 3 to 8 weeks, ceding control of your life but still telling yourself you should just shake it off. You tell yourself you can handle the grocery shopping again and that driving home at night with one good eye is just as safe as it was with two eyes right up until you slam on your brakes to narrowly avoid that deer that you swear wasn’t there five seconds ago. And then you find yourself sentenced to another night with your foot in the air and your derriere in the chair because there was a whole lotta shaking going on that day.
Then you realize that you can’t always shake it off because bum legs aren’t necessarily just in your head and, neither, possibly, is a bum brain. All you can do is ride it out, holding on for dear life and reminding yourself that there will be long, unimpeded walks again. There may even a time when you can once more differentiate between your bum and your brain which, while it literally is in your head (if you’re lucky), doesn’t really respond well to being shook off.