I just re-read last year’s March posts. I couldn’t remember how much I talked about depression and mental illness. Not too much, it turns out. March is my own private Mental Health Awareness Month, because it’s typically the month when I fall apart rather spectacularly. My depression worsens; my migraines intensify; my life implodes. The anticipation is killing me.
I kid. My migraines have been worse with all the crazy weather swings, but my mood has been stable. Bad, but stable. I’ve been depressed for most of the winter (all of the winter?). I’m imagining (because I’m too lazy to dig through my journals to see if this is correct) that it set in around the holidays, or maybe when my daughter and granddaughter moved out. I could track it by looking at my blog output. I know I wrote less, skipped more days. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that March isn’t going to be any worse than the past few months. I’m already sunk deep into the sticky depressive goo of my life.
I’m like this year’s spring—the air feels warm, but everything looks dead. The plants are all dormant still, and the ground is cold. That’s my life. My heart is beating, my breath is warm, but I feel dead. Last year, we had snow covering the yard and freezing cold temps. The longer days and brighter sun stood in contrast to the lingering winter scenes. I didn’t have the feeling that things should look greener and more alive. Yes, I wanted the snow to melt, but I understood it in context. It had been a long winter. The snow made sense. This year, the brown grass and bare trees seem out of place. Things should be brighter than they are. I should be brighter. More alive.
My life isn’t making sense to me. There are have been big changes—mainly my granddaughter’s moving out, which has forced me into a new role. I play my part still, and play it well, but it’s left me needing to redefine more than just who I am to her. It’s left room for more changes, highlighted the need for more changes; yet, I fail to act. I fail. That’s the theme, the song I sing myself. My lullaby. I wonder which came first, the depression or the feeling of failure. They feed each other, I’m sure. Each strengthening the worst of the other, until I cry out my surrender, too weak to fight.
A new song arises: why bother. I can’t win. It’s March.
WHY MUST I SPEAK
Why must I speak?
Is it not enough to listen
tortured as I am
by every breath
that breaks my silence—
crashing, pounding, pummeling
each fiber, every nerve?
Is light so absent from my eyes
you cannot see your answers
staring back at you?
Let that be your answer then.
Expect no more.
If only you would pause and
in the breaking stillness
listen as I do–
You would hear the ghostly voices
joined in harmonies so pure
as the demon chorus sings my lullaby.