The truth is that I don't think I ever quite emerged from the dark when Eva died. Not completely. The pain receded eventually, but that's not the same thing.
And then this summer. I suppose I could go back and parse it out - this stressor on top of that one. Facing the boys' biological father for the first time in twelve years, Tre graduating. Everyone being sick for so long. Carmi dying. Tre leaving. Sophia starting Kindergarten. I'm having some health problems. Does it matter why? Somewhere along the line I went from grimly trudging along, to finding myself at the bottom of the ocean. The weight of all the water in the world on top of me, no light, no air.
During the day I was limp with exhaustion. All I wanted was to crawl into bed. During the night I lay in bed and stared at the darkness. Sleep was a bewildering puzzle, and there was no escape.
I am, by nature, a busy person. Lots to do, many details to see to. But all that busyness dwindled, just slowed and faltered and stopped. It's not just this blog I've neglected, it's everything.
About a month ago I was at a doctor's office, trying to figure out some of the aforementioned health issues, and mentioned that I was fatigued. Just. so. tired. She looked up at me from her note pad.
"Every day?" I nodded. She paused and made very deliberate eye contact. "Do you cry often?"
And dammit. Tears pooled.
Do I cry often? Whenever I'm alone. Or confronted about anything by anyone. When I'm in the shower. In the car. When Clay falls asleep and I'm awake, listening to the nightime noises of the house. I cry as often as I fail people, so. Yes.
She recommended antidepressants, which I know. A shocker, right? I said no at first. I insisted they don't work well for me. I cried about it.
A few weeks ago I went out to lunch with a friend. We talked and talked and shoved awkward bites of salad in our mouths (that part was mostly me). At one point she put down her fork and looked at me and said evenly, "So. How are you? Really?"
The tears. Again. I told her, mostly truly, how I was. Then I heard my own voice say, "I'm thinking about going on antidepressants." Because it turned out that I was.
Eventually, I even made an appointment to get the damn pills.
I just started them last week. I know it's supposed to take weeks for them to work, really. But shortly after my second dose, I was attending Mass. I always cry at Mass. I started to do what I do, which is to review everything to figure out where I went wrong. And when I say everything, I do mean EVERYTHING, the entire history of salvation. This, as you can imagine, takes a while, because that particular story is one of lovely and unmerited grace, and it's not easy to turn that into a tale of how this one person really sucks.
Not saying it can't be done, just saying it's tricky.
As I started on my own personal anti-litany, a thought pierced everything. All of it.
"What if it's all going to be okay?"
That may not sound profound, but if you'd been in my head recently, you'd know that it is. It's light and air and space, and it's wonderful. It just might all be okay.
I don't want to oversimplify things here. This not a happily-ever-after post. I am wobbly. I'm becoming aware of just how much I have let slide. Some of it I can fix, some of it I can't. I'm trying to make one difficult phone call or email a day. I've managed one so far.
But hey, for today, there is air. And light. And space.
And it all may very well be okay.