I’m glad it is finally April. I look forward to the new life, new growth, and the promise that comes with this “fresh” season. And in effort to grow myself I am going to return to a topic I have avoided the last few weeks, my personal depression journey.
For me, depression has always been a cycle of bad days and better days. There are good moments, even great moments, but I cannot recall what a good day — or a good week — feels like. You may thinking, wait Kim, of course there are good things. What about the day you got married or the day Amelia was born? And you’d be right. Those were good days, but they were exceptions. They were extremes. If I look at my life, my day-to-day life and not large-scale events or occasions, good days just don’t happen. I don’t know what “good” is aside from “not bad”, and this became especially apparent last month.
I had high hopes for March. I had a few feelers out there, drawings for my running and contests for my writing. I felt confident something was going to pan out. I was certain that, after an entire year of struggling simply to stay alive, things were finally going to turn around. Unfortunately, I was wrong. My family and I encountered personal struggles (there was the death of a beloved family member, financial hardships, and new medical concerns) and all of the “hopes” I had failed me. Late last week I received a rejection letter — which, as a writer, is nothing new — but it was the last bit of bad news I could take.
Normally I would be overwhelmed by depression. Instead, this month sent me into a manic spiral, and the last week has been the worst. I have an immense amount energy. Electric, heart-racing energy to the point of anxiety. While I have been exceptionally productive (I have run nearly 25 miles in five days, written three blog posts, started a new narrative, reworked and resubmitted my recently rejected piece, and continued working while caring for my daughter) my mind is splintering in a million little pieces. I can’t sleep, but I am always tired, and even my body is beginning to betray me.
I am afraid because I know what comes next.
I will crash. I will come down and, when I do, my depression will hit me harder than before. How do I know this? Because it has happened before. Not since college have I had endured such emotional extremes, but I know what is coming. I know even good things, like sunshine, are dangerous in high doses and I know sunshine always spoils the milk — I’m just waiting to see what expiration date has been stamped on me this time.