Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~ Oprah Winfrey
I take a deep breath, sucking in every ounce of happiness my lungs can hold. I breathe in the spring flowers, the walls of my majestic white farmhouse, the tropical smoothie I had for breakfast. I breathe in the wet dog scent that pervades the downstairs this morning, my conversation with a close friend, and I breathe in the musky odor of sports equipment that seems to linger in my nostrils long after the kids have headed off to school with their gear.
I breathe in the soap and cologne left behind in the bedroom from my husband’s morning rituals and the brewed coffee cooling and growing stale in the coffeemaker. And when I feel like there’s no more space in my lungs for anything else, I breathe in thoughts of my sister and her children coming to visit this weekend, and the gas fumes of the boat we will tow the kids behind on tubes and skis during Memorial Day Festivities. I breathe in margaritas and the damp, mossy smell of the lake air and my parents’ smiles at having their five grandkids around for the weekend. I even make sure there’s room in there on that breath for my happy color — the bright spring green that greets me every time I look out the window; that covers my bed via oversized pillows and the bedspread that lies folded at the foot of my bed; and that covers an accent wall upstairs, where a few of my favorite oversized kid photos are hung.
It’s all stuffed in there. The happy moments, sights, smells and memories — and the NOW — are all crammed in there in the expanse of my lungs and chest. I can feel them creeping between my rib cage and settling there comfortably much like Twin 2’s rear-end did in pregnancy, when Twin 1 needed more room. I hold it all in there for as long as I can, praying that some ounce of that brief feeling will remain long after I release those breaths.
And then I let it go …
I am left with emptiness and anxiety in all the places that were so full of life just moments ago.
This is my struggle everyday.
Intellectually I am happy. My memories, my senses, my brain all tell me that. But this constant cloud of depression doesn’t allow me to feel it any longer than I can keep my lungs full and that breath inside.
I want to make this cloud above me disappear.
I know when I am getting bogged down with depression, because my life loses order. I can’t find the time to write, to clean, to exercise, to shower. My house becomes cluttered and so does my mind. I sleep more, I don’t have a choice, my eyes just seem to fail me when I try so hard to keep them open. So I surrender to sleep, until my husband’s calls or a slamming door wakes me up again.
I am happy. I’m not depressed. Honest.
I just can feel the happiness inside.
That’s how it is with depression, and it’s the battle I fight every day.
It helps to write, which I have neglected.
It helps to declutter and make lists and organize, which I will do as soon as I finish writing.
It helps to have support and increase my meds at these times (which I don’t always like to do because it causes a cloud of another kind).
But I will do it all. …
Because I want to feel as happy as I know I am.