Into the Lion’s Den


“I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
And I don’t want to see it again” – Dire Straits, “Telegraph Road”

Something bad is coming. There’s something pulling me under that I can’t control. I see my patterns and routines changing for the worse. I’m not sleeping. I don’t want to interact with anyone. I don’t have any energy or tolerance for routine annoyances. My temper is short and I’m frustrated, anxious, angry, and above all, scared. Of course, if anyone asks, I’m fine. I don’t go into detail, and I don’t want to talk about it.

I wake up and don’t even have the desire to take my meds; any of them, not just my psych meds. I’ve been missing two or three doses a week for the past two weeks, including medications for heart problems, ulcerative colitis, and diabetes. These are all signs that depression is setting in. I’ve been kind of waiting for it to happen because of several recent stressors and triggers.

I had major oral surgery two weeks ago which left me with four teeth in my mouth. It will take several weeks for my gums to shrink and I can be fitted with dentures. I can’t chew any real solid food and I can’t speak properly. I am angry and frustrated. These are two simple, basic, everyday needs that I can’t perform. I’m embarrassed to say anything, smile, or laugh. When I do, I keep my hand over my mouth. I refuse to trim my moustache because it further prevents people seeing my lack of teeth, although I know full well they can hear the difference. I don’t want to speak to anyone, especially on the phone because I’m difficult to understand. I’m embarrassed to go out in public, but I have to because I have to take care of my son while his mother is at work, and that includes taking him to the park, his martial arts class, and starting soon, swimming lessons. I have to interact with people. There’s no way around it.

There have been several domestic arguments. I’m not going to air dirty laundry and go into to detail, but they have led to a deafening silence at home. The silence is broken internally by that voice in my head, the one that tells me I’m alone, unloved, worthless, unnecessary, and broken. I hurt, mentally and physically.

These have all contributed to an uncontrollable sadness. I want to break down. I want to give up. But I won’t. I have to dig in and try to find a way around the depression. I’m seeing the nurse practitioner this week and will discuss a change in medication. I’ll keep my weekly therapy appointment and try to figure out how to handle this. Unlike previous episodes of depression, I’ve been tracking my moods and patterns, and I can see this one coming. I don’t want to be pulled under like I have before. Because of this, I feel almost like I have an advantage and, despite the lack of a support system, I can still make it through this. I am cautiously optimistic. I’m not broken, not yet anyway. I’ve been through this before and survived, despite what the statistics may say. I may very well wind up being overwhelmed, but not yet. The depression doesn’t have a full hold of me yet, and I’m doing my best to keep it that way this time.