i just spent a little over a week trying to get my sh!t together. here’s a truth for any of you who have never experienced depression…it’s kinda like the flu. you can try to head it off with medication because that’s the responsible thing to do, but sometimes you catch the short-end of the vaccine stick, and you still get sick. i had something happen personally a week and a half ago that sent me abruptly into a tailspin. i call my periods of depression tailspins because that’s kind of what it feels like inside my brain. it’s like one of the bugs bunny cartoons when we were kids [if you didn’t watch bugs bunny, then you’re considerably younger than me, and i don’t wanna hear about it.], where the red and white pinwheel starts spinning out to the sound of porky the pig saying, “that’s all folks.” fade to black.
so that’s what happens, and that's what happened. i told my sister-in-law this morning that when i’m in the throes of the tailspin, it’s kind of like walking around in a catatonic state. i have a billion thoughts running through my head, and my brain is trying to sort between the logical, rational ones and the ludicrous, foundless worries and fears that it creates. so i don’t have the energy to socialize, to work, to engage, to be present. i mostly try to wait it out, practicing my breathing exercises, talking to my therapist [shout out to her, she is a.m.a.z.i.n.g], and trying to make myself walk the dog to at least get out of the house. i know it seems impossible to wrap your mind around if you haven’t ever lived it, but everything.feels.heavy. the effort that it takes to get up and brush my teeth is arduous. just thinking about getting up to brush my teeth requires effort. it makes no sense. i know. that’s the bewildering part of it. things that are normally second nature become almost impossible to fathom. i remember looking at my hands last week and thinking, “why can’t i make you move.” it’s like my brain takes a timeout from every function that it is in charge of except for negative thought processes. and that's a slippery slope.
i just had the most perfect weekend, though. tom was on a bachelor party [which he and all of our friends managed to escape relatively unscathed because #grownups], so i was planning on a few days of complete and utter social isolation. depression is miserable no matter which way you sling it, but it seems more bearable to face in solitude. i’m an introverted extrovert to begin with, so i need alone time to recharge and process as it is. when i’m in a tailspin, i take that alone time and then pump it full of air until it is a giant bubble of lacey’s space into which no one else save literary characters is invited. it’s the only way i know how to heal myself with as little collateral damage as possible. i’m not saying that it’s a perfect solution, it’s just my solution.
so i went into this past weekend with every intention of marinating. but then my best friend kimber made me go to dinner with her friday night. and then we came back to my house and drank wine with two other of our best friends. then the three of them showed back up, unannounced, at my house around noon on saturday [when alex hyde is involved, it’s amazing how quickly a quiet place becomes very not]. and they made me go on a spontaneous brewery/bar crawl [which was hysterical]. and then sunday they picked me up to go to brunch. and the next thing i knew, i had laughed harder for the previous 48 hours than i probably have in the past 4-8 months. and i needed that so bad.
i still feel pretty crappy right now, but i am undoubtedly improved from where i’ve been. no matter what you go through in life, be it depression, loneliness, hopelessness, fear, anxiety, illness, anger, or sadness, things always look a little bit better when surrounded by a supportive community. i learned a very important lesson this weekend. being a friend looks different in every season of life. sometimes it’s ok to be the friend that needs to be taken care of. and kimber, brannon, and alex may or may not have kidnapped me against my will, but they did it because they love me. because being a person looks different in every season of life too, and mine has been a harsh winter as of late. but the snow is starting to melt [figuratively of course, because it’s one billion degrees fahrenheit in alabama today, and that is not an exaggeration], and the snoozing bear is stirring. so today, in this season, i want to celebrate the people i love who cared enough about me to make me go to innisfree at 5 on a saturday. praise god for the decades of friendship i’ve lived with you clowns. i love all of you fiercely.