The flatness or light-dimming started to descend last week, but I thought I could ward it off through yoga classes. In fact, Thursday's class released a flood of tears, not easily wiped away, so I doubled my efforts on Friday, running before yoga. And I thought I was moving myself out of the danger zone, away from the edge of the Slough of Despond.
But Saturday morning, my birthday, I woke early, as usual, and found myself in tears with my cup of tea down by the beach. Some morning meditation. . . . Paul woke later, came to wish me Happy Birthday thinking I'd left behind the threatening sadness, and instead found a wife who was raining on her own parade. "It's my Birthday and I'll cry if I want to" to echo that old song. . .
Luckily, though, if a bit oddly, there was no triggering outside event to fuss over. The flatness felt more physical-emotional than psychological, and there was none of the horrid sobbing, general snottiness, and, above all, the self-loathing and real despair that have accompanied my dives into despond in the past. I suspect this is why I was able to cajole myself into yet more activity in an effort to avoid sinking further. Certainly, I know that it's not always possible, or even wise, to stave off depression by springing into action. For me, though, perhaps touched by the morning sunshine, it seemed worth a try.
So we did this. . . .
So Paul went happily to town for groceries. And I stayed home and did not much of anything.
and some birthday cake substitutes to eat, after a lovely dinner.
and some phone chats with my kids and a text message that began Happy Birthday Momma! which somehow made me inordinately happy, in one sharp burst. And Nola phoned and sang Happy Birthday dear Nana, trying unsuccesfully to get her younger cousin, wee Harriet, to join in. My ability to respond to all these cumulative joys reassured me and cheered me, almost as much as the joys themselves. I've only been skirting a depression, it appears, and seem to have avoided its quicksand suction. I'm not taking the warning lightly, though, and will be working on filling my reserves over the next little while. Trying not to feel guilty about not doing. . . .
And as part of that effort, today was wonderfully lazy in an indulgent way rather than in an I-haven't-the-energy-to-budge way. Some weeding and pruning, some knitting in the sunshine, and
and by the end of the day, I was feeling some of my usual energy returning. Relieved to find that I'm looking forward to going to bed with a mystery novel, whereas I haven't wanted to read all weekend (very unusual for me).
And noticing, just out the window after dinner, as the evening sunlight slanted sharply through the trees. . . .