A cloud of sadness – instead of sleep – came over me last night, and stayed.
I’ve been here before. As someone who has dealt with depression throughout my life, I am fairly clinical about it. Sometimes it’s an imbalance issue; sometimes a true and good reaction to what life hands out.
I look to possible reasons. Lack of sleep or exercise, tiredness, and a feeling of being overwhelmed could all play a part. There is also the “teeter-totter” effect. When my mood is chipper almost to the breaking point, when everything seems perfect and I laugh harder than I’ve laughed in years…I can expect that the balance will shift, and I’ll want to cry.
I’ve just finished a five-day work cycle. Business has been brisk, and the hardware was a little under-staffed. In addition, I’ve had meetings and interviews, writing, bookkeeping and banking and a dozen other extracurricular activities. I’m tired. I’m behind in everything. I don’t know which task to tackle first. Of course, I can’t sleep!
Two dear friends lost their mother yesterday. I know how devoted these brothers are to their family, and what a wonderful presence their mother was in their lives. Feelings of sympathy combine with empathy, and the loss of my own mother – almost five years ago – is brought right up to the present, as my heart goes out to them.
I had a meeting last evening, with a lively, young and beautiful family. We talked and laughed and exchanged ideas. Their life looks much the way I expected my life to be like when I came here with my family nearly forty years ago. The long list of things that changed the course of those plans could cause anyone a bit of melancholy. Also, as often happens in those circumstances, I shared more personal information than I am comfortable with. I was cringing about that, by the time I got home. Finally, the outcome – though not bad – was not exactly what I’d hoped for. Any of these things could have contributed to my change in mood.
I know the things to do, to lift the cloud of depression. There are baby steps to help alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed. I make lists, finish one task, create a plan. There are distractions that sometimes work. At three o’clock this morning, I made a cup of tea and watched a movie. At five o’clock I decided that a few hours of sleep – if sleep would come – would be better than none at all, and I took to the couch.
Now, here is Monday.