Each morning I woke up ten minutes before the alarm, stomach in knots, heart racing. The fear of facing the day. The fear of waking up late if I got the last bit of sleep I felt like I needed. Knowing that I would need to leave the warm bundle of blankets and curled up next to the man of my dreams made getting up even worse.
Out of bed and getting ready, sometimes accidentally throw-up some while brushing my teeth. Feeling the knots continue. Gazing, with a look of desire, at the white comforter laid neatly on the bed.
In IOP they always recommended that you make the bed when you woke up, 1. because you would feel like you accomplished something for the day and 2. because you would be less likely to crawl back into it. I could live with an unmade bed. I could live with getting back under the comforter, tucking it under my chin and around my shoulders. Creating my own personal cocoon. I’d turn back to the mirror and continue getting ready, putting my make up on, brushing my hair, getting dressed – remembering how these things used to make me feel better about the day and now they feel like another mundane task. I continued to make my way down the stairs, dragging me feet on my way out the door.
Every single morning.
Then I drive. I drive to the job that what I don’t actually really like. The job that I kick myself about because I traded one devil for another; I left where different things were bad and in the end landed somewhere that feels like it equally sucks. I would spend each day looking at my To Do List wondering, where do I even start? What is even the point? What am I doing? I spent the week cleaning out my inbox, filing messages, organizing folders.
My stomach would continue to turn in knots as the day continued on. Each moment that ticked by felt like another weight pulling my body down. I could feel the skin covering my body stretching to its breaking point.
It all feels so familiar and that scares me.
I walk out of my office. It is dark as the day has turned to night. It’s black. It’s time to go home, so I drive. I open the door, walk the dog, shower, cook dinner, eat dinner and go to bed.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Friday finally makes its way around like the hung over friend you weren’t ever really sure would show up.
The combination of stumbling and floating throughout the week that continues right through till quitting time.
The last two weeks were full of literal shit. Shit spewing from the poor cat’s butt all over the house, all over the bathroom, four plus litter pans later, six towels, two baths. Cleaning shit is becoming the unfortunate new norm. All I wanted was a quite night at home, no shit to clean up, late night cuddles on the couch and maybe some time to finally pay the bills.
Drive, pick up the dog, go home, walk dog, feed pets, shower, fold clothing, pay bills, look for new job. Kevin is finally home.
I am mad, hurt, upset, frustrated, annoyed – I feel like I can’t show any of it. I sit, I smile, I nod, I tell him how much I love him, I tell him that I am okay, I eat dinner and eventually go to bed.
…At least there was no shit.
The warmth of the weekend spills in through the windows, coupled with the alarm telling me it is time to take Dodger out. I roll over, turn off the alarm and curl back up in bed because today, today it is okay to keep sleeping. Morning grabs my attention, the sunlight continuing to catch my eyes and soon I found myself surrendering to the start of the day.
Pull myself from bed, pee, brush teeth, nearly vomit, blow nose, wipe tears from eyes – all part of the morning routine.
I attempt to get the dog up without making too much noise, head down the stairs and towards the backdoor. The dog comes to a halt at the bottom of the stairs. Not waiting to go out the front door, but so surprised by what he saw that he couldn’t fathom to continue on. “Come on Dodger, back door,” I grumble, still quite awake. I stop dead in my tracks. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I say under my breath, “Fucking cats… Come on Dodger! Out back!”
There on the floor sat the litter box full of shit. Moist shit released outside of the box, dried shit scattered across the floor, splatters on the wall.
The day continued; it had it’s ups and it’s downs. That night, we hit the road to head down to a concert. My mood switched from fine to terrible and back again with the simple release of a breath.
“What do you want to name our first child?” I asked
“What would we do with Dodger if we had kids?” I asked
“How many kids will we have? Five?” I asked
I felt tension building, so I stopped with my silly questioning.
“If he is mad then he doesn’t want to have kids with you,” my mind said, “and if he doesn’t want to have kids with you, there is no way he wants to marry you,” it continued.
This is all going to be like it was before. This is it, this is as far as it is going and then it is all going to end. What tel hell is wrong with you? Why do you think this is okay? Where did you learn this was okay? Do you look for this kind of relationship?
A half hour or so goes by.
“Hey babe, you know how when we first started dating I was always worried you would leave?” I asked softly.
“Well, I don’t do that now,” I replied, feeling somewhat confident in the statement. “… except when I am having a break down…” I continued with embarrassment in my voice. “I think now I worry that this is just how things are, that we aren’t going to go anywhere else…” I whispered almost wishing I have never started this conversation.
We fought. I cried. I wanted it all to stop. I wasn’t trying to start a fight, I was sharing what was on my mind. He felt attacked, like I didn’t value the things he had done, that I was saying he hadn’t done enough, that it was his fault, that all the things we had done and had met nothing.
“Not you! NOT YOU!” I screamed, “I said WE! I said we, I said we…,” I began to whisper with tears streaming from my face. With my head hung low, wishing I had actually just kept my mouth shut, I told him how I was sorry for yelling.
This is why you should never say anything. Someone always gets hurt. Your pain, discomfort and upset is always topped by the pain your feelings have caused someone else.
We parked in the venue with minutes to spare before the show started and I kept trying to wipe away the tears flowing from my eyes.
Told you it was pointless to do your make up. Thank god you finally got that water proof mascara and eyeliner that actually works.
We missed half the show sitting in the car as I realized depression had shown up when I wasn’t looking. That I had let it seep back into my life, filling in the cracks and empty space. In all of the discomfort, it was a familiar feeling. It was okay, because it was a feeling I knew and it was easier to feel down then it was to be happy.
With my face hung in shame, I told Kevin how I wished my mind wouldn’t stay hooked onto one thing, one piece of a conversation from over a year ago.
“You told me that if it ever got to the point that I was going to want to ask you to marry me because I was tired of waiting to let you know and you would get on it. I have asked you over and over again, I feel like I have told you that I am at that point and nothing happens. And, if nothing has happened, then maybe you don’t actually want to be with me forever, that you are here because you made me a silly promise that you feel the need to fulfill because you are a good guy and once you do, why would you stay around? That I will have gotten to meet your family, that I really like, and they its all going to be taken away, its all going to leave…”
I attempted to choke back tears, realizing how many wounds were still open, how much they still hurt and how afraid I was if having salt rubbed in them.
Kevin looked me in the eyes, told me that yeah, he was keeping his promise because he loved me. That better didn’t mean the depression and anxiety were gone, but if it did – great, that better meant that I knew how to cope with it in my own way. That he knew the good inside of me, the happy person I am and it kills him to see this happen to me. That I deserve the best, that I deserve for it to be right, that I don’t deserve anything less. That he deserves to do it right, to not rush into it. That he does want to marry me, that everything he does is with me in mind and thinking about our future together.
As I tried to speak and counter his points – how could I be happy if these were internal conversations I know I have always had? – he told me not to go down that rabbit hole…
.…looking for Peter Cotton tail.
While I continue to search for the piece that needs to change, the piece that will magically make it all better, I know I will never find it. I know that a new job, marriage, family will not make this all go away. I know not feeling financially stressed wont make the depression leave, just like I know no mater how many times Kevin tells me that, yes, he does want to marry me and yes he wants to be with me forever, that my anxiety wont magically go away.