Depression sucks. So does anxiety. Boo hoo hoo.
Last week I was caught in this double whammy, sandwich from hell.
It was after a week full of major deadlines and important presentations. I completed a 25-page business case and sounded like I knew what I was taking about. I made a jittery pitch to a room full of strangers, whose virtue of their presence was to judge and evaluate me. I spoke to an aloof professor about business in an empty seminar room.
I survived all that and thought I was good. Turned out, I had merely duct taped the cracks in my psyche to weather the storms.
The week that just passed bore the brunt of all the stress bursting through the seams, overflowing as anxiety. The tightness in my chest, the difficulties in breathing, the gasping for air, the inability to concentrate, the racing of thoughts, the shut down of any normal functions. It was pure agony.
On Friday, my machine broke down entirely.
I lay in bed, awake yet unable to move my limbs, tears streaming incessantly down my face. Everything was a shade of dark grey. The anxiety had subsided. That’s good news. It had subsided because depression had faithfully taken over. That’s bad news.
Every time I experience such episodes, I am, beyond my mortal control, rid of any normal functioning capacity as a human. Things like getting up, making my bed, brushing my teeth felt like they required colossal efforts from my severely depleted battery. Attempts to seek a meaning to get out of bed proved futile.
Like Nemo who had forgotten how to fish, I had forgotten how to human.
However, this time, I made progress. I reached out to Rena. With much cajoling and enthusiasm on her part, she managed to knock some sense into me and proceeded to create an obligation for me to get out of bed.
It was a Friday and we had plans to celebrate the weekends. My depressive state had convinced me not to go out because what was the fucking point? Rena made herself the fucking point and it worked like a charm.
I took an hour-long nap after I got off the phone with her at lunch time. Before the alarm went off, I work up naturally and was surprised that I could muster some strength to get on with my daily necessities like showering and banging on my laptop, typing my report. It was a miracle I made it to the gym and was rewarded by the sweet rush of endorphin in my brain.
However counter intuitive it may seem, exercise begets more energy for the body and the mind. The hardest part of it was not the mass of the free weights you have to lift or the intense palpitations of the heart to keep you going. Instead, setting the intention to exercise is almost 50% of the game. Once you get your head in that, you’re basically on your way to attain victory over your inner demons.
I proceed to JCube to meet Rena (the obligation) and to carry out our TGIF plans as decided. Food, karaoke and beating the scores on the street basketball arcade machine. That all helped to bring me back out from the throes of darkness within myself.
Thank you Rena. This is an important stepping stone, a mini success David has pitted against Goliath. I’m looking forward to more of this in the future.
The ending is happy with this one.