She felt it start at the top of her head. It started to slowly, insidiously take hold. Like a blanket one might use to put out a small fire. It cut off the life supply and put out all the lights. She knew when it was coming. It started to reach her throat and constrict her breathing. It was an evil bloody monster. It was hateful.
People talk about black dogs. That sounds almost tame, almost something you could run away from. But this blanket, this shroud of inertia, the alternative mind of the chronic depressive was only ever a short distance away. Waiting for her to call for it. Because she did call for it. Only she didn’t know she was doing that. To her life was pretty normal. Everything was okay. But somewhere deep down she needed to retreat to the known corridors of the pain that reached in and grabbed her soul.
And once it came like that, she couldn’t fight it. It could be put in abeyance for a time, with company and laughter from friends, with a well behaved child. But when all that had gone, and the child was tired and testing, testing, testing one, two, three. She couldn’t fight it any longer.
It made it’s journey from the top of her head, through her contricted throat, to it’s resting place in her heart. And there it stayed. In partnership with the anger that went with it. The evil twins of the depressive mind.
She was lost for a time. She was out of reach and out of all human contact. Those people who loved her (did they really love her anyway?) were shut out and hurt. This knowledge brought guilt to the party. The pain, the anger and the guilt. What a merry bunch. All residing in her breaking heart.
Like a boil that needs lancing it grew and grew until the pressure was so great it threatened to erupt. She had spent twenty odd years searching for a way to release the pressure, but nothing worked. She just had to ride the wave, let it do it’s worse and leave her shaking body, tear stained face and broken spirit.
Her greatest fear was that her children could see it. They seem to pick up so much; a mood, an atmosphere. Was she damaging them with this self indulgent illness? Surely their childhood in glorious ignorance of mental illness was what she should be aiming for. Surely she could find a way to manage this monster.
And then it passed. A day, a week, maybe longer. But it always passed. She was grateful for that.