History of depression and anxiety in self? Check.
History of responding well to SSRIs? Check.
And yet I'm off my meds. Well, not off entirely, I'm switching from one kind to another. But I knew going in that switching meant letting the prozac go out of my system, and waiting for the wellbutrin to kick in. AND it's the holidays. AND I have lovely but still out of town guests for the next 2 weeks.
It was weird this time - the return of depression. It feels like passing through a fog - sometimes it almost lifts and I can almost imagine that it's gone and then out of nowhere it returns and I find myself feeling totally unable to cope with anything beyond ensuring the basic survival of my kids until bedtime.
The first fog came on Thursday. I was so angry at my husband, my kids, my parents, just for being. If I stopped feeling angry for long enough to try and figure out what was actually bothering me I was immediately overwhelmed by tears - the kind where if you take a deep breath and let them start to slip out you are shuddering and heaving with snot running everywhere within seconds. My son, whose behavior is often hard to understand and harder to deal with, had a typical tantrum about his sox being too loose (or was is slippery?) and when I couldn't help, or calm him down (which I can't, which no one can,) I felt like a failure. Not an "Oh, I'm having a bad parenting moment" failure, but a total and complete failure who will never be good enough for anyone or at anything and who is failing the people who rely on her and whom she loves more than anything.
And then poof, it was gone. The sun was out, I was once again enjoying and enjoyable. And then this morning I woke up with this tight feeling in my throat. Like the feeling when you are trying to hold back tears. Every time Jeremy or my mom said something to me I cringed inside, hoping to be able to answer them, to hold a conversation, without either screaming at them or melting into a pool of tears.
My mom and I got the kids geared up to go out in the snow, and the lump grew. My jaw clenched, I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of 2 kids, 1 sled, and all the fucking winter clothing I had to get everyone bundled into. We got outside and it was all I could do not to scream (really, actually scream) at my mom, who wasn't actually doing anything wrong, "just go away and leave me alone!" - at least when it's just me and the kids there is no one to talk to, no one to notice I'm feeling bad, no one to ask me about it and cause the lump to rise dangerously close to the front of my throat, wanting to escape out my mouth.
Sitting at the computer typing I can feel it receding. My jaw is unclenched, the tears are not in the corner of my eyes waiting for a blink to send them streaming down.
Unfortunately this is not the catharsis of putting feelings into words. This is the up and down of my emotions, the switching on and off of the chemicals in my brain. It feels so good right now, to feel that fog slipping away, but it's like driving through the Himalayas in the morning in the back of a dilapidated pick up truck; one moment you're filled with the joy of the wind in your face, the exhilaration of feeling totally alive and like you can conquer the world, and the next moment the truck has plunged into a fog and you can't see the cliff next to you or the cars careening towards you but you know they are there and you grip the rusty truck bed hoping that you survive to the next patch of sun.