I said as we drove down the mountainside, Prince blaring on the stereo. The forests had a glow about them. The patterns in the foliage jumping out in 3D like one enormous zen tangle. I understood everything suddenly, it seemed. Everything was so clear, so fluid and golden. My body too. Liquid honey. Tastes, sights, feelings brighter and clearer. I squeezed his hand delighted to be here, to be alive. The Universe loved me. I was in love with every atom of life.
And then two days later as though a pin had burst my bubble. Numb darkness and despair. Except there was no pin. A this and a that, but nothing to justify this complete deflation. All was darkness. I felt detached, alone, despised. Everyone hated me. I hated me even more. Thoughts ran and ran through my head. Bad thoughts. I looked out the window at the breathtaking mountain view, snowcapped in the dazzling July sunshine. Nothing. I felt nothing. It was as though a gauze curtain had been drawn betwen me and the world. Its beauty could not touch me. It was just me and the darkness in my head. Nothing else could find its way in. I slapped myself around the face. Not something I have ever done before. But better than other options. Something, anything to be able to feel again. Come on, snap out of it. Nothing. I cried and cried. Numb darkness.
It became less intense, but lingers on weeks later. Sudden sobs envelop me. A lack of words. Physical tremors. A need to hide. To cower. To run.
This time it was clear to me. All too clear. The high. The low. And no reasons. I had seen it in others, knew all the signs... But just not in myself. Because my highs are never totally off the spectrum. Instead they are like falling in love. Or being inspired with a new project. Racing thoughts... Being full of enthusiasms. Non-stop talking. I'd always written the good bits off as creativity, as a rise in libido, as spiritual epiphanies, as finally fucking feeling good after my general grumpiness and impatience... But now I see... Oh so clearly what this is that I'm dealing with. Many previous events in my life have taken on a totally different colour now. I see them more clearly as the symptoms of an illness, not just feelings, events.... But connected. The up and down of the see saw. Two parts of the same program. If I own one, I must own the other. Or I must surrender them both for a different existence. Which at this point is my last choice.
I feel pretty foolish for not having seen it before. The great thing about us human creatures is our lack of clear seeing of ourselves. So now I see. And if truth be told I'm scared. Scared of the life sentence. Of the endlessness. Of the way it gets exacerbated by stress. Of not knowing how big the swings could get. Of the legacy I pass on through genes and environment. And of what this means for my kids and man. I know from personal experience what it's like to live around. And I feel scared and angry and helpless and ashamed. And maybe it's been obvious to everyone else but me for years. Maybe I was the only one who didn't know.
But now I do. I'm working through it. Getting clear on how best to manage it... To manage stressors in my life. To mediate the seesaw. I haven't told a soul except Mr DA. I want to hold it so close. I don't talk about this with anyone. The D word is something I have previously tended to talk about past tense, when it's over. But with this there is truly no over. Ever. Instead there's a label which feels like a life sentence... I hate both of the terms equally... So I'm chosing not to label it. It's not an event. A one off. It's a cycle. And endless one. That takes me and everyone I love with it. Sure, I know that there's no shame or fault in it. It's quite de rigeur to have a mental illness. But fuck. Fuck it. I feel like I've done my fair share of that sort of thing in this life time...
My first instinct was to keep it from everyone, to hide it, bury it. It's always been my approach when it comes to my adventures with depression. I dont want pity or attention.... But actually I think that openness is probably a better bet. In the long run. Otherwise in every conversation there is this gulf, this inability to broach what is currently the biggest thing in my life. But which I genuinely do not want to talk about. And its not something I relish doing face to face. With any of my peeps. So I'm doing it here. And reserve the right to remove this post at any point. Then those of you who know, know. So when I press the panic button, or wave a red flag you'll know whats up, and can be my angels in shining armour. And when you see a peak or trough you can hold the space with love, and keep a gentle eye on me.