About 5 years ago I had the deepest and longest episode of my life. I suppose when you’re younger you’re more resilient so back then I would just take to my bed a few days at a time in state of hibernation; awake but feeling nothing, not sad just frozen (like your body is filled with Novocain), unable to lift an arm without feeling exhausted.
With depression if you look in the mirror your eyes look like cold shark eyes. (I only wish teachers were trained to spot those eyes - they would immediately be able to pick out who was just in a bad mood and who was mentally in trouble, saving lives and heartache). I had many bouts every few years as a child but doctors couldn’t figure out what I had, though I had every blood test and x-ray known to man. While I was growing up I used to watch my mother clean walls and furniture multiple times a day while screaming was diagnosed as ‘having a turn.’ Back then no one thought some had mental illness unless you were literally setting your hair on fire.
When I had my third child in 1993 the kindest act anyone ever did for me was give what I had a name; clinical depression. Finally I knew I wasn’t crazy, I had a disease, which hopefully could be treated. Of course, I embraced medication even though I believe it’s archaic but it’s all we’ve got. Using drugs is like a tree has got some disease; to cure it you burn the whole forest down. But I would take anything, no matter the side effects just to never visit that country again.
Medication isn’t foolproof, if it was, everyone on an anti-depressant would never become ill again despite cramming themselves with multiple pills - I take so many I crunch when I walk. In the end you don’t even need a trigger to fall back into depression. You can analyze as much as you want, but when this beast jumps on your back, you’re helpless. After the last bout, six years ago when I had a hard time leaving a chair for 3 months, fearful of everything, even the shower, I would have to pep talk myself out of the chair, “Come on Ruby you can do it just take one step that’s it ok, now back to the chair.”
That’s when I thought "I’m going to take this seriously and research what’s out there to help me get early warnings, to hear the pitter patter before the tsunami crashes over and breaks me, the way animals have their ears to the ground before an earthquake,"