There are mornings that depression feels like quicksand. Days where I wake up feeling that I’m already sunk; my arms pinned against my sides, knowing that the more I wrestle against this the deeper I’ll sink. When I realize that I have to give into it for today; knowing that when I relax and give myself space that it’ll release its grip. I feel somewhere between hopeless and acceptance; slightly nervous about giving in and embarrassed for finding myself in quicksand in the first place.
There are mornings that depression feels like a heavy blanket. I’m wrapped up and protected in it and, yet, I’m also pinned down and suffocating. I know that I cannot move underneath it and yet I know that it can be removed somehow. These are days that I look for solutions- a way to slip out from underneath, to shimmy and shake it off, knowing that these mornings just happen and that I can move on.
There are mornings that depression feels like a hangover. When I wake up feeling guilty and slow. When I linger in bed longer and wish I didn’t have to face the world yet. When my stomach and bowels empty themselves painfully- and without my permission. When I believe that this morning is my “fault”; that I did something and should soldier on.
This morning my depression feels like quicksand. I’m wide awake and I’m sunk. I’m deep enough in that I know I need to give in to in, and I know that relaxing is my way of “getting out”. This depression is not protective like a blanket. Unlike a hangover, I know that it is not my fault; this sometimes this happens to my body and brain. But, I do feel guilty. I do not feel guilty about the depression itself; I know that I didn’t cause this. But, I feel guilty that my self-care this morning, my giving in, involves canceling classes and having a “sick day”. I know that sick days are allowed at work, but in academia as an Adjunct, it feels difficult to have them. They’re not “official benefits” and I feel guilty about my actions. I am worried about “being caught”. I am worried about looking like a failure to my students. I am worried that they will see my absence as a lack of commitment. I am worried.
And yet, here I sit at 7:54am, six minutes before my first class would usually start. I have sent emails and posted notifications to all of my students about the cancellations. I am sitting here blogging, sinking into it this quicksand, and learning to be with this depression today. I have planned quiet time. I have planned baking and blogging time. I have walking time outside with dogs. And, perhaps, when this loosens and I move on, I will work. But for right now, I’ll stand, arms pinned against my sides, somewhere waist-deep, waiting for the particles to let go.