I don’t know what it’s like to be diagnosed with depression.
But I do know what it’s like to be depressed. Listless. Devoid of joy.
Today was a bummer day.
You wouldn’t know it, though. Not at least on my radio shows. But I did tailor my programs around looking for the one thing I was missing so much of today – sunshine through happiness. I was looking for joyful posts, and the listeners – you – delivered.
I was inundated with pictures of holiday notifications, of babies, of puppies. Of loved ones. Of good news. Of smiles, and happy places. Of places to breathe, and people to see. Of things to do, and things to remember. Today, you brought my joy.
And that’s when I went looking for it myself.
Today, my Program Director asked me – are you okay? And I wasn’t afraid to say – no. No, I’m not okay. I’m having a bummer day. In fact, I nearly called in a mental health day. And he said: do you need one? And I said: I can hold off until my five days off in a week.
Because we should be able to be honest with our employers. And they should care about our health – mental, emotional, physical – always.
Today, my partner messaged me multiple times – how is the day? Are you feeling better? And later he said – go get your nails done. He also reminded me to eat lunch, drive safely, take time for me, and that he loved me. He never expressed his disappointment that I’d not be accompanying him out, or joining him later to hang with him at work. He just encouraged that I take care of myself.
Today, I went to the clinic and learned that the splotchy rash marks I’ve been gathering on my ankle and leg are, in fact, eczema. Stress-induced eczema exacerbated by a life time of asthma and allergies. I’m now scheduled to see an allergist, and back on steroid topical cream. I need to take care of myself. And today, I was seeing to it.
Today, I made like Elle Woods and dropped into the salon to spend an hour purely pampering myself. And my nails are fire. My partner saw to it that I’d get an hour of selfish, precious moments to myself. I haven’t been to the salon since early December. It was the one small luxury I afforded myself. He saw to it that I went back and enjoyed it.
Today, I came home, and I ate butter chicken, drank lemonade and ate m&m’s for dinner. And they’re my favourite.
I drove slowly. I sang loudly in my car. I messaged someone from my past for a doover. I fluffed my hair, and I told jokes with co-workers. I emailed a groom for a quote. I changed over my laundry. I convinced my boss of a pizza week, and I took time for myself. I had Aaron put together a playlist for me, and I turned it to 11. I paid bills, and budgeted and all I wanted to do was crawl under the covers and cry myself into a stupor.
But then I did the one thing I fought against the hardest of all.
I pulled on my kicks and killed it on Boss Billy – the affectionate moniker for our treadmill. 45 minutes, 2.5 km, Whitney Houston and Bon Jovi and Tegan and Sarah screaming in my ears. And it was hot, and sweaty, and infuriating, and awesome, and DaRude saw me through to that final click, and I thought – this is how we give ourselves a fighting chance. We take it back. We take back our joy.
I lost my way today. I woke up telling Jan how much I loved him, and how much he saved me, and that he was my best friend. I woke up laying in bed wondering how I could be so in love, yet so depressed at the same time. I blogged, and showered, and drove, and worked, and yet, so sad and morose, and sullen at the same time. And at the same time – I wanted to feel better, find light, and peace, and an overall calm that would see me through till bedtime.
Someone told me today that I was brave for sharing my truth.
Truth is, that’s all I’ve got. I’m not afraid to showcase that I’m a human. And I refuse to wear a mask pretending I’ve got whatever it is that I’m supposed to have got all together. I’m not gunnin’ to be a crusader for wokeness, or empowerment over ourselves or our bodies. I’m just a truth teller. If someone feels compelled to own their own because of what they’ve read here, then that’s only going to ever be a good thing. I’ll keep writing, if you keep reading.
I’m showered, in Jan’s shirt, in our bed, where it all began this morning. And my hair is clean, my teeth are brushed, and Grey’s Anatomy is begging to be binged.
Listen y’all. Bummer days happen. But they remind us why the good days are worth waiting for.
— c ☆