Musings and Snoozes

The stormclouds in my head

on March 10, 2019

I’m fighting sadness at the moment. Which might not sound all that surprising for someone who has depression, but this is not usually how depression works for me. Usually it’s a numbness, a lack of enthusiasm, of motivation, but not usually a sadness.

It’s been all-consuming the last couple of days and I don’t know where it’s come from. Because I’m not sad. I’m not sad *about* anything. I just feel sadness. Sometimes I can pin these things down to my cycle, my hormones, a specific event that’s happened or is happening, but none of them seem to relate this time round.

I cried a lot of it out last night. Since I’ve learned that “happy puppy stories” help me cry (as opposed to “sad puppy stories”), I binge watched New Amsterdam and cried at almost every episode. It helped. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last six months or so, it’s that being able to cry is a literal life saver. But I still woke up this morning feeling the same, and I can’t spend all week watching Netflix as a coping method.

So here I am, trying to write it out instead. Trying to put into words what the storm clouds in my head look like.

It’s not an angry storm. Not violent or scary. It’s the colour the sky goes just before a storm is about to start. That kind of bruised yellow colour, that’s both comforting and intimidating at the same time. You almost don’t want it to go away, it’s that ethereal, in-between kind of nothingness and everything at the same time. You know the sunshine was there before, and you know the thunder and the rain are going to come, but you’re in this limbo, the time between the two, where both magic and fear exist. Do you give into it? Dissolve into the clouds and become lost amongst the yellow. Or do you fight it? Desperate for the storm to break, for the rain to pour and the thunder to growl. Or do you wish for the sunshine and the light that’s no longer there? Wishing for something that cannot be, it’s like fighting the impossible. You cannot change what has already passed.

It’s exhausting. It’s like a whirling storm inside my head – from the sunshine, to the yellow, to the thunder going round and round, repeating on a loop, never stopping to let me breathe and just be. I don’t want to constantly be waiting for the next cycle, the next feeling. I’ve done a lot of work over the last couple of years on identifying and naming emotions, and then just moving on. And I’m good at it. But it only works when I’m not being bombarded with feeling after feeling after feeling. It’s no good identifying an emotion, letting it go, only to have the next one appear straight after. It’s like a constant stream of trains whooshing past, never stopping to let anyone on or off. After a while the passengers on the platform become dizzy and lost, unable to move forward or backwards, seeing nothing but the whoosh around them, unable to focus on anything.

So maybe it’s not sadness I feel. Maybe it’s exhaustion. Maybe it’s just an overwhelming sense of being. Of everything. Identifying it is half the battle, but the hardest half for me, always. Now I have to figure out how to calm the storm clouds. How to get them to just rest, for just a little while, to take a break and maybe give me some time to breathe. I haven’t quite worked out how to communicate with them yet, but I’m a writer and a linguist, I’m determined to learn their language and be at peace with them one day.

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