I’m going to do something a little different here, bear with me?
I lost my father about a year ago. He died of pancreatic cancer. I was his baby; the youngest. I also happened to be the only one mentally, emotionally and physically able to take care of him. When he died, I had it all together still. My sisters lost it, either reached to anger or detach themselves altogether. I didn’t. I put together the memorial service, I took care of everything on the legal side, I kept a smile on my face and decided that my family didn’t deserve to feel such pain, and I was able to handle the pain. I wanted to take every ounce of their hurt and wear it; own it.
Soon after, I ended a very tumultuous relationship that quite literally ripped me into the very small pieces I quoted a few months ago. Losing my father, and then the person who is supposed to be your backbone was too much to handle. My life had fallen apart and I didn’t realize it.
It wasn’t until about two months ago that I was sitting with my mom in my parents living room and I started crying. And I told her, I knew something was wrong with me. Because, you see, I have these moments that come in very small 30 second memories or realizations of my dad. And my whole body is washed with emotion, and that emotion turns into a mood that will last for days.
I told her that I missed my dad, and that I wasn’t happy, and I told her, “I don’t think I’ve been happy for awhile.”
My mom has been known to be the mother with literally no opinion for anything. And yet she looked at me and she said, “I know. I know you haven’t been happy. I think you’ve been depressed for a few months now.” And like a train wreck that I was, I fell apart.
I used to joke that I was broken, just totally and completely fucked up. And I would turn on a very charming smile and laugh but it was a ploy to get people off my back. I guess I’m a liar, since I can carry on a facade for months of being “okay.” In reality though, I am broken. And I know now that I am clinically depressed. I’m finally grieving my fathers death and every day is an overwhelming struggle.
To add insult to injury, now I’m on medications that make me want to sleep all day every day. I like being alone, unless I’m with my family and even then I just want to know that they are there, not that I want to make conversation. These medications put my emotions in a tailspin as well. I don’t have an appetite. In fact, I force myself to eat just to digest the cute pink little pill. Do you know how hard it is to maintain a relationship with someone when they don’t know your current “ailment” or my favorite, “disability”? It’s impossible. That’s why I prefer my relationship with the gym and Netflix. Because having to breakdown and tell someone that, “Hey, so, I’m a pretty fucked up person these days. And I’m gonna be pretty fucked up for awhile. But I like you (enough) if you want to stay around (when I feel good enough that day to see you).”
Just to break it down for you, in the movie, Silver Linings Playbook, the two main characters played by Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are at dinner with friends/family and they joke about the medications they’ve been on. “You ever take Klonopin?” “Klonopin? Yeah!” “Right?” “Yeah, Jesussss.“
Yeah, that one. I’m in the big leagues, for sure.
So now, I wake up in the morning and find a very small reason to get out of bed. Now I have to make sure to check in with my family because they worry about me. But to be honest, I’d worry about me too. Now, I struggle to make relationships work with people, and that comes after even wanting to have a relationship to begin with. Now, I’m given homework from my therapist to talk to my family about how I’m feeling and what I’m doing, because it’s easy for me to choose to not talk to anyone about anything. I have to find a new normal.
I’m different. This is me, now.