I had another rejection yesterday and as much as I’ve gotten used to applications and submissions not working out, today I feel like I can’t move. I know that getting up and eating and drinking something will help. I know that showering and leaving the flat will help. I know that phoning my spouse will help. Yet..
As I lay in bed and the sweat gathers and dries under my legs and the knot in my stomach tightens all I want is to sleep and not wake up. This is what always happens, it may be a rise in blood pressure but the shrillness of my tinnitus, the thumping of my heart (visible on the surface of my skin) and the pressure in my clenched jaw prevents me from sleeping… pinning me to the sheets.
It all feels pretty hopeless, even if it’s light enough for me to be able to write to you. Light enough? We grade our depression like monochromatic colour charts and this particular patch still has enough grey in it to allow me to type.
Please excuse the morbid beginning to this letter but I could never write to you without acknowledging that I still live with this. This feeling hits me all too regularly, though not as often as it used to. It doesn’t feel like it right now but I would be lying if I said I hadn’t found ways to cope with depression and speci*cally feeling inadequate or less than.
During my most recent stay in a secure psychiatric unit I was encouraged to write letters explaining how I felt as I’ve always been an expert in bottling-up my emotions. When the lump in my throat is preventing the use of my tongue I still occasionally write letters to my spouse to communicate my sadder thoughts. I feel like the detachment from the moment they read the letter allows me more freedom in my words. Freedom to be more honest knowing that I don’t have to be there when they read it.
There is something about the act of writing that seems less burdensome on the reader than talking directly to them. There is more time to consider what I want to communicate and I know the reader is free to take a break if they wish, which in turn allows me to be more open about how I’m feeling.
However, I would never be able to say any of this to you, today, in person. I haven’t seen or spoken to anyone all day and the only words that have passed my lips have been involuntary outbursts to combat intrusive thoughts.
The depression that leaches through my brain tells me I’m alone with this but my lived experience reassures me I’m not.
I will get up and eat and shower and maybe even call someone but laying here, smelly and miserable seemed like the right time to talk to you. (My apologies.) As heavy as you feel in your body or mind right now, I believe (so hard!) that you can get through whatever it is you’re feeling right now. I’ll spend the rest of the day focussing on the moment rather than the future or past and drag myself through this storm.
You can too.
My heart, to you.