The depression is ingrained after so many years – there almost every day – but every day seems to have it’s own manifestation. I almost wish I was at my worst so I could hospitalize and be cared for.
I wish I was dead but am not suicidal, the ideation is there but not the plan. There’s this Marilyn Manson song from the 90’s from the record Mechanical Animals, the lyrics go:
They’ll never be
Good for you
Bad for you
They’ll never be
Anything at all
If things felt good, well they’d be good and I’d feel content, I have those days occasionally. Mostly in the summer. If things were bad I could react to them, rage against them, wallow in self pity, criticize them, something at least. But things are nothing at all. I can’t identify anything that is making me wish I was dead. Every moment of my life seems so pointless, so mundane and meaningless.
Here’s my daily roster of activities:
- Get up with the kids.
- Get breakfast for the kids.
- Get my 6 year old ready for school.
- Put my six year old on the bus (this one fills me with such anxiety I feel intense but momentary relief after putting her on the bus – I don’t have to step out of the house again for four and a half hours).
- Watch the Today Show for three hours while my 4 and 5 year olds have “creative play” – the show is mind numbing after the 1st 15 minutes of real news and creative play often involves spilled food and drink with cereal crunching under my feet, fighting over toys, begging to play with the tablet, running, making unholy levels of noise, stripping themselves naked and cracking themselves up – I just sit there and wonder what the hell is the point of any of this.
- Get the 4 year old ready for preschool and stress about having to leave the house to put him on the bus. Put him on the bus and feel relief at not having to leave the house again until 3pm.
- Hang out with my 5 year old. This has been an incredibly long winter in New England – it is snowing now, a week into spring. Normally we can go for a walk or to the park or for lunch, but with the bitterness of this winter we have been housebound. The alone time with Sofia is admittedly rewarding during the year but the crazy weather patterns have forced us into watching the same show on NetFlix over and over and I’ve lost all interest in it and this time is now relegated to “what’s the point” time.
- Get the kids off the bus, give them snacks, go through their schoolbags. The house becomes Crazyland, with me asking “What would you like for a snack” while they throw their coats on the floor and jockey for the tablet. I am starting to think I should get another two tablets but this would be enabling young children in this age of technology and electronic distraction at the expense of creativity. Finally I mete out the snacks but they just want to watch Disney Jr. I acquiesce. I have no energy to force them to play with their legos, their medieval castle with it’s knights and dragons, their coloring books. And god forbid I sit down and engage them in a board game or the dollhouse that I spent 4 hours assembling with my 20 year old one Christmas Eve. I just have no energy for it, the idea fills me with dread, I can’t think, my palms sweat at the thought of it. So they watch Doc McStuffins and play math or word games on the tablet.
- Maybe I prepare dinner, maybe I wait for my husband to do it. I cook real food – so only my husband and I eat it, he typically takes care of the limited taste of our children – chicken nuggets, mac ‘n cheese, spaghetti, raviolis. So we eat in our tiny kitchen while the kids eat at their table in the dining room – we converted it into a playroom for them so there is no big dining room table for us all to sit at). I enjoy the cooking and eating part with my husband. Somehow he is the only thing I am not detached from.
- I read for 20 minutes to the kids and we go through their bedtime routines – counting and jumping, kisses and hugs, lullabies from the 1950’s. I perform it all with animation and smiles but really I’m relieved when I can slink up to my husband and gently suggest that I’m gonna head to bed. It’s only 8 o’clock and the first moment he’s had to himself all day, and I’m deserting him. He understands and reads after I take my meds, pull up my blankets, plant the cat beside my pillow and promptly pass out.
The weekends are worse. I get up early with the kids while he sleeps – I have therapy at 11 every Saturday and then I run all of the weekly errands because I’m too afraid to leave the house during the week. I get home in the afternoon and he goes out and does the grocery shopping. I wait for him to return but the kids have a monopoly on the tv in the living room on the weekends and I can’t even turn on a hockey game so we sit in our uncomfortable, small kitchen and maybe play some music, watch comic videos on YouTube. Mostly we drink and don’t have too much too say.
Soon it will be warm and the Red Sox will be on almost every night and we can take the kids out on the weekends for our “adventures”. I’ll take them to summer camp in the morning for the weeks we can afford, take them to the beach, to our local wonderland Winter Island, or to the Science Museum during the week, the park when it’s not too hot, or set them up in the backyard with a sprinkler and watch them from the deck, cocktail in hand.
I hospitalize a lot the first week of June – I didn’t last year until August – but that’s a trigger time for me and 4 of the last 5 years I’ve become suicidal and hospitalized. I am currently operating from a serious position of weakness and I’m terrified that when the spring really arrives and the snow in my backyard melts I won’t be ready, I’ll still be stuck in this state of fear of leaving the house, fear of days without apparent purpose, fear of June 1st. In the meantime I’ll hope for that day that feels purposeful. The snow doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. And neither does this stupid, meaningless depression.