Today was depressing. I felt it coming on slowly for the past few days… it finally came to a head.
Yesterday I hurt my knee. Twice, in a 24 hour period I slammed my kneecap by accident into two different door frames. It hurt so much it took my breath away. You know that feeling??? You can’t inhale because your lungs are frozen?
Rolling on the floor holding my knee in both hands, muttering “shit, shit, shit”, with tears streaming down my face as the dog licked them was the highlight of my day. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. At that particular moment I didn’t care how ridiculous I looked… I HURT!!! It took a solid 10 minutes to pull myself across the floor and on to my bed. I felt like I climbed Mt. Everest!!
Slowly I pulled my pant leg up to inspect my knee. Ouch! The swelling had already started, and a bruise was forming… right next to the one I got a few hours before. I pulled the thin layer of ripped up skin off to get a better look. Hmmm… I wonder… can a knee cap crack???
Common sense and all my years of raising three kids tell me I need to take care of this. Ice… I need to get ice for the swelling. BUT the ice is downstairs… and I’m upstairs. No one is with me, I live alone. I begin to cry for real this time. Depression rears its ugly head. My chest begins to hurt… like something is stuck in the middle of it every time I take a breath. The stabbing pain in the middle of my back causes me to shift my weight on the bed… which causes me to wince from the knee pain… which causes more tears… then sobs.
I am lonely. I hate being alone… especially when hurt. The tears are flowing freely now. I am having a Pity Party for One. If my mind was clear I would have called someone to help. My brother lives a little bit north and wouldn’t mind coming if I called. Heck, my neighbors would be here in a flash too… all I have to do is call.
I don’t call any one. Not for a swelling knee. That’s not emergency enough. If I broke my ankle I would call… but not for my knee. Besides I am embarrassed I am crying like a baby. No… I will handle this all by myself.
Taking a deep breath I get off the bed and GINGERLY test my weight on the knee. Hmmmm… not too bad. Not good, but not as bad as I thought. Carefully I sit down on my butt and bump down the steps one at a time. In the kitchen I reach into the cabinet for some Advil, swigging some water to wash them down. Grabbing some ice and a towel I start to head upstairs. WAIT… if I’m smart (which I am sometimes) I would make a PB&J and take it upstairs for later. That would save me a trip back down when I get hungry for dinner.
Back upstairs I settle in for the rest of the night… and cry some more.
The morning light shines on my face at 7:00AM as usual. My eyes are soft and swollen. Stretching my muscles wakes my brain reminding it that I’m injured. UGH! So sore!!!
All in all my knee was much better than I imagined it would be. Swelling was down, bruise was darker, but it didn’t hurt near as much as the night before. I’m guessing I didn’t do any major damage, and decide to ‘lay low’ for the day to let it heal faster. That’s when the real depression kicked in.
Sobbing, sobbing, and more sobbing. I just couldn’t stop. I have so much to do at the house to get ready for out of town guests arriving the day after I return home from my daughter’s wedding in Florida this upcoming week. Everything for the wedding is done… except packing… and some food shopping. Oh… and getting my nails done, picking up my son’s suit from the tailor, buying a hand steamer for the dress, painting the ceiling and new wood work, cleaning my horrible bedroom, and so much more!! Waaaah! The pain in my chest has moved to my lower back and smack between my shoulder blades.
Taking deep , slow breaths and thinking happy thoughts usually get me out of this ‘funk’… so I give it a try. OK… it’s working. I’m gazing out my bedroom window at the lake. Ah… calming. Geese squawk by, herons take flight, and seagulls circle… then an un-wanted person walks past my window. My heart tightens, the bottom falls out of my stomach as my ex-boyfriend’s new heart throb not only walks past my house, but she is LOOKING at my house as she goes. ACK!!! Doesn’t she have a clue that the mere sight of her upsets me? Does she not think I am human… that I don’t have feelings? I was dumped so he could date her. Personally I have nothing against her… I am sure she is very nice… but does that mean I can’t live peacefully in my house? Seeing her reminds me he didn’t choose me, even though I chose him. My broken heart opens up and bleeds.
I begin to shake. My mind tells me I should go sit on my porch and wait until she returns and confront her. Instead a clearer head prevails, I get into my car and drive to the beach and sit on my favorite bench. Deep breaths of ocean air can cure anything. Waves crashing on the shore, the sun shining down on me. OK… this was a smart thing to do. I’m feeling better.
A young girl sitting on the next bench over and I start talking. It ends up she is having ‘issues’ with her current guy… so we end up talking for hours! We end the discussion realizing we both are looking for the same thing… a nice guy who loves us. After exchanging phone numbers we part ways. This is the second person I have become instant friends with while sitting on that same bench.
Back home I hobble up and down the driveway putting out as much trash for Bulk Pick Up as I can muster. There is so much more that has to be put at the curb… but I can’t handle it today. The construction debris will just have to wait until next month. It’s not what I wanted… but that’s all I can do for today. Hey… all I can do, is all I can do. I begin to cry again out of frustration at not getting done what I wanted.
Depression hurts… all over. My lower back is so sore I can’t stand up straight, and the pain in my stomach just won’t quit. Did any one get the license plate number of the Mack truck that ran me over??? That’s how bad I feel. Every joint is screaming at me. I decide to go to bed.
The radio is on, I’m relaxing… and crying… slowly… quietly. This too shall pass.
A lot of people take medication for this. I used to… however I found the side effects too difficult to work around. Besides… I am not depressed every day. My thinking is… Why take daily medication for something that happens sporadically??? Most of the time I can feel the doldrums coming and have learned to head them off at the pass. Sometimes I miss the signs… and other times I am blindsided… but I am successful most of the time.
Depression is a symptom of PTSD… which I had been diagnosed with a few years ago. It’s embarrassing to admit I have it. This is not a disease you can see on the outside.
Dating with PTSD is difficult too. Most guys run away once they hear I have PTSD. They are not familiar with it and therefore are afraid to be near me. No one will take the time to get to know me better and realize they only have to give me a little space for a day when I ask for it. Sadly I take it personally, thinking I am not worth the trouble to be put up with. Which then starts the depression cycle.
So… I have decided to not date. However… I WILL have burgers and fries with friends! Anytime!! And if by chance I have to cancel at the last minute, please don’t take it personally… just suggest another day.
This too shall pass… this too shall pass… this too shall pass. One day my prince charming will scoop me up and whisk me away to a castle in the woods where we will grow old together and I won’t have any more PTSD attacks. OK… reality check… I’ll settle for a nice guy and a winnebago (or boat) and we will live happily ever after exploring the USA… and I will be happy every day of my life. Hey, it could happen! I was close once… I just couldn’t reach the brass ring. Hopefully one day soon I will.