My last few posts have been, well, depressing is one word that comes to mind; a little disturbing since now, looking back, I see the progression towards the rabbit hole I’d tried so hard to resist and avoid. But there it was, lurking just beyond the forest as I made my way through. Or at least I thought I had.
I’m not going to repeat the past months here, only to say that I had hoped I could stay at White Feather for at least a year. Turns out I could not. Turns out I had six months, which would have had me looking for another place to rent in the midst of snowbird arrivals and holidays. I couldn’t face that, so I started looking for a rental. Again. Everything was overpriced, overly small, or just a room in a house. The fact that I looked at Facebook Marketplace at all still surprises me. But again, Mom is up there guiding me in ways I’m not aware of until afterward. On there I found a 2/2 condo on the third floor of a 55+ complex on the outskirts of Ormond Beach – yes, I now have a Daytona Beach address – but it overlooks the pool and the Intracoastal and I have it for a year, at least. I again started packing. I arranged for movers this time, and in mid July, I got the keys to my current place. I’ve had to start completely over again. Oh, I had some kitchen stuff, a lamp or two, my office. But no furniture to speak of. No bed, no dresser, no living room, dining room; nothing that makes a home livable. Thankfully the place had some very old, very dated things in it that got me by until the house sale when I was finally able to hit some used furniture places and start filling it in.
I think it’s so interesting how we perceive ourselves. I’ve gotten through some pretty difficult times going back to my teens, and usually, at the time, I’d wonder how I was going to do it. This past year is almost a repeat of the period my dad died, though I won’t go into that. Suffice it to say, this wasn’t my first rodeo. And while my head was going in a million different directions still waiting on the house sale, still waiting on the divorce, planning a move again, juggling all that, my days consisted of going through the motions of putting one foot in front of the other, falling into a fitful sleep, and repeating that the next day.
My friend Anita and I share a common experience with what we call ‘the rabbit hole.’ It’s a dark place that gets more comfortable the longer you’re in it. Comfortable to the point where you don’t want to climb out, you don’t want to interact with anyone; not your friends, not your kids; you just want to lay down and be miserable in your misery. That’s where my good friend Chris found me the last time. After sharing her experience and how she finally came out of it, I decided the next day to contact my doctor who suggested we try an antidepressant. He said it could take two to three weeks to see results. Silently I wondered if I could make it that long. He called it in. It was a low dose, so I wasn’t expecting a miracle. I know about depression and chemical imbalances in the brain. Again, the rodeo thing. I was loathe to go back down this road, but I knew I had to do something.
Morning came, and it was as if a fog had lifted and pulled me out of the hole. Just like that. I woke no longer feeling the heavy weight of sadness and despair that had plagued me. It wasn’t as if I were high or giddy. No. It was an evening of my mood, a balance that wasn’t there before. My tolerance and patience came back. I wasn’t crying or tearing up suddenly. I was … relieved. If it hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t have believed it could happen that quickly. What it suggests to me is that the stress of the past six months had taken its toll on my body, both externally with the eczema, and internally in my brain, knocking out whatever that pill replaced so that I could function again, live again, enjoy the sunrises and sunsets again.
I think I’m on the other side now, or at least pretty darned close to it. It’s been less than a month that I left Flagler Beach, but it seems like a lifetime ago. If you’ve never experienced a deep depression, first be grateful, but second, don’t underestimate the seriousness and scariness of it. I don’t ever want to go there again. If I have to stay on these, I will, but we’ll see. I will be forever grateful to Chris who most likely saved me from either being Baker Acted or not being here at all. I think there’s only so much one body can take. When this happened long ago, I had family around, lots of friends, my kids were younger and more dependent, and my mom came to my rescue. It was different, but it was still scary. This time it was just me. I’ve always to believed that I’m strong, that I have what my dad used to call MOXY. And maybe I do. I’m still here; right?
Now I need to look forward and stop dwelling on what was, on what happened. It’s in the past. Everyone has problems. Everyone goes through hard times. Some have people around them, but some do not. I’ve learned to be more compassionate, more patient. I don’t judge. If you have been lucky enough to avoid the rabbit hole, be very grateful. Too many people don’t make it to the other side.