The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE SEVENTY NINE: It’s Always There…Waiting…
Oh, man….I love sleep.
When I can get it.
Occasionally, I have bad dreams. They might be about wanting to find something or somebody that’s lost or they can be about somebody dying. They can be about pain or feeling trapped.
I have that one a lot, the ones about being trapped.
Then I wake-up, most of the time too early, and my day is shot for a few hours. These dreams hold on to me like a big soaking wet blanket that takes too long to take off. It’s hard for me to shake that feeling of dread that comes with some of these dreams.
I think the reason for that is my depression. These bad dreams just add fuel to the depression/anxiety fire. Those fires do calm enough and just smolder during the day, sometimes for weeks.
I tell you that to tell you this.
I can’t speak for others with depression or anxiety, just for myself. It may affect others differently but for those that have ‘the dread’ (as I call it), might have some understanding in what I’m saying.
I have worn my heart on my sleeve for as long as I can remember. I was a sensitive child who turned into a sensitive adult. I openly show my happiness as well as openly showing my sadness. That, in itself, can be a good thing. To keep things bottled up inside is horrible.
Then you add depression into the mix and having that heart out there in the open, for the world to see and to abuse when they want, is a combustible force. The littlest thing can set it off, from missing a green light to having a bad dream I can’t shake.
I do have good days. I have days where I can sleep for eight hours and spend time with my family, sharing life-spanning memories, and seeing the good things that life has to offer. I might even have a day where I have the most wonderful feeling of accomplishment or feel like I have made a positive impact in somebody’s life.
But, somewhere, in the back of my mind, is the feeling of something bad is going to happen and the things I might have done right and was positive might all be a hoax. It feels like somebody I can’t see that is more powerful than me with their hand around my neck, just there, waiting. It’s there waiting for the right moment to squeeze, to keep me from breathing for a minute or two until it decides to loosen up just long enough for me to get some air in.
That’s how I feel.
It does make me appreciate the good moments, large or small. They become precious. I want to hold them in my hands, close to me, and feel their life-giving warmth near my heart.
Sleep can also be a catch-22. Sleep and rest is wonderful, when you get the right kind and the right amount. Then there is that ‘other’ part of me that is depression and anxiety that thinks about sleep as a time of not being awake and taking things in. That part of me makes me think it’s wasted time. As your time rolls on to its eventual end, time becomes more precious (my PRECIOUS).
That is what my mind does to me. It’s a constant tug-of-war between comfort and worry, happiness and depression, sleep and awake. Trying to find that grey, middle ground is a daily battle.
I love to take naps on Sunday afternoons but when I awake, I feel guilty. That was time I could have used for making something and it gets be closer to Monday morning and a job that does nothing for me, except put money in my pocket.
We must sleep, though. I have went without sleep for long stretches of time or sleep is broken up over days that gives no relief to a tired body and a worried mind. Then I am thankful for the exhaustion that comes that let’s me sleep for a long period. It may be dream filled with bouts of tossing and turning but it is sleep.
That adds to my sensitivity. When we miss sleep, our emotions rise and fall like hurricane winds make the ocean rise and fall. Anger, sadness, depression, just come with those waves. I think it’s scarred me over time. I say ‘scarred’ because over the years the constant up and down of my emotions has become the norm, even when things are well. Maybe if I experienced a steady ‘good run’ over a certain amount of time, the waves would shorten and wane and become gentle rolling waves, normal waves, not constant high surf.
But until then, ‘he’ will always be there, hiding in the fog of my mind, just waiting to screw things up. He can take a great day and then insert one bad thought, one worry that I hadn’t had earlier, or one bad dream in a restful sleep, and bring those hurricane sized waves. It doesn’t take much some days.
Can I be without any worry? Can I be without any sadness or depression? Can I be free of anxiety?
Of course not. I’m alive. I care. I love. With those things in your life, you’ll always have worry and sadness and depression.
But, if we’re lucky, we can cut out the needless worries, the needless guilt, the needless sadness.
Maybe we should all sleep on it…
August 18th, 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.