Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ground Zero

The sun is shining. The air is warm. It is the perfect fall day. Seated on the terrace at Le Tassé, I have a view of Dolor-Biron Park a short distance away. The leaves on most of the trees are green with a tinge of yellow. High up there is a patch of red that is vibrant and bold. That reminds me of a time when I felt vibrant and bold, when I had a certain zest for life. Lately, I don’t feel alive in the world, or excited about much that life has to offer.

So this afternoon, smack-dab in the middle of my day, I will walk to my doctor’s office. The ten-minute trek may take a little longer because yesterday I injured my foot while running. But once at my doctor’s office, I will wait to see him. It’ll feel like the long wait at the grocery store check-out, a wait that I’ll have no choice but to endure. I have been putting this visit off because I didn’t want to go where the truth lies.

If I am to follow the advice of the writers who have come before me, then today I must write from where I actually am, and not from where I wish I could be. I must find my ground zero and go from there.

At ground zero, I am scared. Actually, I’m terrified. Unlike the brightness of the day before me, I’m caught up in a looming darkness, an encroaching malaise. Having “successfully” battled through a depressive episode that began in October 2010, I came off my medication this past May. I felt like my old self, curious about life and willing to be teachable all over again. The summer was abuzz with creative projects and visits with friends and family across Quebec, Ontario and the East Coast.

By mid-August there was a shift. I felt it but I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I was restless, and overwhelmed. There was a heaviness clamped to my heart. My sleep was intermittent and not restful. I didn’t have the energy, or the will, to get out of bed in the morning. And when I finally did get out of bed, I had to work in twenty or thirty-minute spurts. That was how long I could hold my concentration to one task. Life felt like a struggle, and I was battered black and blue by everything that life was throwing at me.
That was, then, a light misting of depression that has since morphed into a category one hurricane. So today I am going to my doctor in the hopes of avoiding a complete meltdown. Will it mean a return to medication? I don’t know. Maybe. I had hope that I had “licked”depression back in the spring, when I came off my medication. Still considered “taboo,”mental illness is not something that is talked about in my family. I don’t know if there’s a history of depression in my family but it seems to be, bon gré mal gré, a permanent part of my life. My job now is to learn to cope with it, and find a way to survive.
At ground zero, I know that I am not all here. Part of me is trapped in yesterday’s blues, and I can’t seem to pull myself loose. The chains, secured tightly around my ankles, are cutting off my circulation. And so, while I try to make my way in a world that I feel completely at odds with, I also try to see the beauty that surrounds. At ground zero, I will keep pushing on, hanging on to hope and faith, and maybe, just maybe, the sun will burn through this greyness.

No comments:

Post a Comment