In the last 10 days I have written nothing. I have had ideas. I always have ideas. No, it is not a lack of substance that has kept me from putting my thoughts down, but rather a lack of motivation. This lack of motivation has not been limited to my writing, either. It has applied itself to nearly every aspect of my life. Chores, cooking, reading, my growing to-do list. Even showering has been too tedious a task (though I have powered through and done it, for my husband’s sake). The only activity which did not completely lose its allure these past 10 days is knitting. My saving grace. I have knitted furiously since losing Clara, and perhaps even more in the last 10 days, when everything else seemed to lose its lustre. As is often the case, it has carried me through.
I believe what I have been experiencing this last week and a half would be considered pretty run-of-the-mill depression. I think my therapist would tell me that this is a perfectly normal side of grief, that it is absolutely acceptable for me to feel this way, and I would agree with her. Unfortunately, an explanation and permission slip does not make the depression any more tolerable. Depression is not my wheelhouse, you see. Anxiety is my nagging shadow. I know how to identify it, I have become fairly practiced at avoiding what triggers it and, when it’s around, it at least feels familiar. Depression is a stranger at my door, and its presence is uncomfortable and unwelcome.
The veil does seem to be lifting, for brief moments at least. It reminds me of the way a stomach ache will fade. What had been near constant discomfort will suddenly begin to come in waves, offering relief in between. Eventually the waves settle and the stomach ache subsides. Since I have no experience with depression, I don’t know if that is what is happening, but I like to tell myself that it is. The thought that the rhythmic troughs of these waves will draw out, leveling the landscape of my emotion and bringing me back to myself, is a hope that I cling to like driftwood. I am weary of the sadness.
Aside from being tired of my own feelings, I worry constantly about their impact on those around me. My loved ones have been so wonderful and supportive. I want to be better, for them. I want them to have the reassurance that I am okay, that I have come out the other side, that I am me again. What scares me is that I know, deep down, that I will never really be me again. Or rather, I am me. This is me. I know that things will get lighter and life will get sunnier, but no matter how much I want to wear my experience like a cape, it only seems to fit like a shroud.
In time, we will see how things fit. In time, we will see how the waves crest and fall. In time, we will see which Me I become. Until then, there’s always knitting.