Forever ago I found a cable knit sweater at Target. It was mustard colored and I loved it. It fit well, and it just had a sense of comfort. I went back and over a few weeks collected as many colors as I could find. Blue, green, beige. Sad I never found a red. The off white sweater was one size larger than the others but that made it even comfier.
I wore it all winter. I wore it to work and I wore it at home. In the summer I would find the lamest excuse to wear it. When I went into the “grippy sock jail,” aka hospital it was one of the few items of my own that I had.
Wearing that sweater gives me comfort and security. It was armor and it was what I knew.
Depression, for so long, feels like that too. It still makes me want to die, but it is also familiar, something I know, and at times, something that keeps me warm.
Last week, I visited my sister, who lives in a kind of remote paradise. My daughter was living there for part of the summer, and some of my trips purpose was to help my daughter move back home. It was an amazing visit. I spent time with my daughter, but also with my sister and her wonderful family. I took walks, I sat on a porch and read, and just sat there appreciating peace. I wrote about my childhood and about canoe trips, in an actual book.
I had two days of.. Nothing. Depression and anxiety weren’t there. At the end of these days I would be so exhausted that I could feel them, but it was only as I was going to sleep.
The closer I got to home the more the anxiety grew, and the depression poked its head out. Remembering that I had nothing to be, except broken.
“Getting better” has always scared me. So this development is very overwhelming. I worry that people will see me being more alert and active, and think “Great, he’s better now!” I worry the life I awaken to will be so very different from my old life. I will have to recreate myself, learn who I am and how I live my life.
I do know that I have more energy, but that a lot of it goes to wearing my “human face” and interacting with others. Ironically, the better I look, the better I’m putting on a good show. It feels a bit like I’m just going back to the time I was depressed but able to convince others I was fine. Back into the sadness closet.
I’m not there (“Better”) yet, obviously. It’s a long road. And I’m still not sure how I feel about walking that long journey. Or even if I’m willing to.