The Fire That Burns

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the universe. It’s been helping my world seem smaller and less significant, and that usually helps. It puts things into perspective, if only for a little while.

Coming through yet another really nasty episode of depression has ransacked my bones and body and left me feeling vulnerable and raw. My soul exposed and set aflame with raw unimaginable pain, thoughts that left me breathless with their audacity and horror. To live, to really live, can we not say that life as it is, is brutal, and ugly, and painful and one mess after another until the sweet release of death?

Thoughts such as these pass through my mind like a deranged carousel every day.

It’s been a little over a year since my diagnoses. When I heard them, all the sounds of my world went silent with a defining ‘click.’ Major Depressive Disorder. Panic Disorder. General Anxiety Disorder.

It made sense. I was even trivially vexed because I missed the opportunity to be able to diagnose myself. The words sank into my mind, deep and dark into the crevices of my thoughts and dreams and there they’ve been since they were spoken to me. It’s not normal to hear a little voice in your head whispering the various methods to help you to your death no matter where you are. It’s exposure to the inevitable that I am uncannily aware of.

Knowing that two out of three of my disorders are eligible for disability on the government’s dime was kind of liberating though. Going to work became a battle of wits between myself and my three inner demons. Some days, they won, and it was all I could do to get on my feet, brush my teeth, and move to the couch. My limbs would feel like impossible-to-lift lead blocks, my eyes slow to response and heavy in the lids. I even gave this phenomena a name: the crash.

Hiking in Oklahoma is a new favorite hobby.

Feeling this way became a part of who I was—or who I thought I was. Persistently tired, unable to focus, transitioning between entirely too much sleep and not enough of it, coasting from week to week in the trudge of exhaustion and defeat.

I’m not saying I don’t ever feel like this anymore because that would be untrue. But several life changes made sure that rock bottom stayed the hell away from me: moving across the state, actively acknowledging and speaking about my symptoms to family, friends, and my husband, getting on a medication that made the crashes somewhat bearable, adding horses back into my life, and most importantly, forever leaving a job that vampirically was sucking the life from my eyes.

The journey is never over, but each day lived is in inglorious victory. The battle goes on to another day.

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