the Big D.

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Depression is awful. Trust me, I been there and done that. Shortly after the Monkey was born (8.5 weeks early) I fell into a pit of the Big D that took me almost two years to pull myself away from. Somehow I managed to get a good Game Face on and pretend that things were working themselves out. Two years after he was born and when the mayhem of the custody battle got into full force with the Bio I finally sought therapy. The Big D is in my mind not something that has a cure, much like the other programs I work because of the Bio’s recovery and our continued involvement as co-parents, I think the Big D is something we learn to maintain and live with daily. One Day at a Time. Once it has creeped into a life, like mine, it is forever in the back of the brain. It is so easy to slip the Big D on when times get tough and for me, it is ever present. And so I choose to therapize myself to continue to learn how to live with it and not let it consume my life.

I am in a constant state of recovery from the Big D and the codependent nature that I’ve learned.

With the recent loss of a dear friend, I almost slipped into it this weekend. Sans Monkey and with no big plans that couldn’t be cancelled, I forced myself to move and get out of my own head. Rummaging through my parents garage for pieces of furniture for my casa, running on the dreadmill and avoiding the tears. Then getting my plans cancelled that I was so desperate to keep sent me into a downward plunge straight for the couch and whiny tear inducing films. Luckily, my good friend called and rescued me from myself. Love her. Then Sunday came and my bed was too comfy to leave…I watched trash TV, Packers football (we killed the Eagles! Sorry, Mr. Awesome…but umm, good game!) and then more trash TV. Only showering at halftime and going downstairs for sporadic food consumption. The Big D was on it’s own pleasant rampage into my heart and was aiming for my soul at that point. Dragging me away from my life straight into the depths of despair. Then something happened. New Guy called and then I called him back after the Packer game. And I broke down in tears when he suggested we skip going out. WHAT THE FUCK, RIGHT?

After I sobbed for a bit into the phone. Knowing full well that I would’ve been miserable company anyway, and should’ve told him I need some me time to come out of the funk. New Guy let me in on his own personal story. It hit me hard in the moment. What was happening and why it was happening. He asked me if he could talk to me and be honest…enter my own brain, waiting for him to tell me it was too soon for my Big D to be entering and effecting our relationship and he was not up for being my sounding board at this juncture. The fact of the matter? The truth? My comfort with sharing my sadness with him and being able to just cry and feel this loss in his presence, even if over the phone had given him the comfort to talk about his own troubles right now. How he gets down. How he’s dealing with something he never has before. How happy he is that he’s found someone he can be honest with about it. How he felt like we needed to get through this week together and see each other once the dust settled on it.

The mind does shitty things with words like this when the Big D is in da house. My mind wanted to hate him for not coming to see me. My heart hurt because I thought he was bailing on spending time with me. My whole being was ready to jump off the cliff and build the wall. As he talked I was ready to blow him off, and then it hit me. A cold chill and a hand on my shoulder as I sat on the stairs and starred at the mirror walls in my staircase, watching myself freak out and panic and become unbearably insecure in just a few moments. The chill crawled up my back and into my brain…it settled on my the tiny portion of rational thinking I had left at that moment and woke the me I’m used to being up and brought me back to life.

Often in my case, the Big D comes with judgement. Snap judgment. Unkind judgment. Not good stuff. And it takes every single fiber of my being to work past it. But, I finally saw what I was missing. This person, man or not, was telling me something he might not have had the courage to do if I hadn’t let him into my own pain. Did it suck not seeing him? Fuck yeah. Would I have most likely drove him off on purpose even if he had come to see me? Fuck yeah. ‘Cause that’s how my Big D functions. Honest to G*d self-sabotaging professional is what I become during the Big D. Like credentials and shit. It is sick.

We talked for 48 minutes about what we were going to do. Agreeing it was better not to get together that evening. How we felt. How it was a rotten moment. How we’d get past it. How we each function in these cases. How neither of us wanted the other to hide it. How in a month’s time we’ve grown fond of each other. How we can help each other. How good it feels to have someone listen. How we’d make plans for next weekend…post-funeral services for my friend.

Today, I feel like I accomplished something huge. I let someone in. And someone let me in. Someone who isn’t family, isn’t the Rachel or Switzer or Mr. Awesome or Mr. C or Nomad…who are really chosen family if you ask me. I let him get close enough to smell my chewing gum. Okay, well metaphorically, as we were on the phone but if you can name the movie reference I might have a prize in my desk drawer. Basically, by sharing and being a mess during this time of mourning, I showed someone that it’s okay to be vulnerable and terrified and that every one has these moments of sadness that we can’t necessarily control…but we can learn to muddle through them with the right support system if we just let the right people in.

It is something on my list of things to find in a life partner person. A person who can be honest with me. Tell me when things are bad for them. Why they think it is. And what they need to do about it. What they need me to do to help. It is what Mr. S couldn’t give me or himself for that matter. Communication.

I’m working on getting through this week. I’m working on how I cope with loss. I’m working on how I handle the Big D and the relationships in my life…all of them.

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