By: Jana Greene
I’ve been watching a lot of Anthony Bourdain shows during my recovery from surgery. For those of you unfamiliar with “No Reservations” (his finest show, in my opinion) Bourdain trots about the globe in search of both culinary and cultural discoveries. He often visits rural pockets of Asia, where people live in jungles that stay wet for months at a time.
He and his film crew will be chugging along in the bright sunshine of Pasay City in the Philippines, and BAM! Torrential rains come out of nowhere. It will rain for the duration of their entire shoot. And everyone who lives there, films there, and visits there concurs with Anthony Bourdain’s ironically dry narration that “It is now the Rainy Season here.”
That’s it. Queue The Rainy Season.
Everyone on film is totally resigned to the fact that it is now officially rainy season. It wasn’t five minutes ago, but now it is. So deal with it. It isn’t going away until The aptly-named Dry Season. Suck it up and learn to survive wet ankles.
Nobody tries to argue with The Rainy Season. It is what it is and there is no negotiating with it. It reminds me so much of depression. When the conditions are just right, it is sudden and debilitating.
I am an individual on mild antidepressants, and sometimes those antidepressants hold the tears at bay. Even times that I WANT to cry, I often cannot. But when I start? Torrential tears. I get the sadness everywhere, between my bones and cartilage. Between my toes.
There are perfectly legitimate reasons that I am feeling depressed.
My body is recovering from the dual surgical insult of general anesthesia and 500 stitches. Major surgery. I hurt, inside and out.
I stay tired.But there are things to be done all around me that I cannot do quite yet, and that’s frustrating.
And worse, someone I love very much hurt my feelings to such a degree that I it crushed the little corner of my spirit blanky where I first look for solace, the silkiest edge. Stomped on. It’s been a long time since someone has hurt me so much, and that’s not by accident. I will build a boundary quicker than you can say “Aw HELL no.” I’ve had to learn how to do that to survive. But this was someone with whom I have no natural defense and didn’t ever for-see having to build one against
But then there many, many other hope-stealing soul sucks that aren’t helping at all.
The world is a mess. I’m tired of hearing about aborted babies and their brokerage, tired of having everyone’s sexuality shoved down my throat (Ok, we GET it now, move on with your life, whatever that life looks like!) I’m tired of being made to feel less-than by women’s magazines. I’m tired of the Emperor’s New Clothes atmosphere surrounding this presidential administration. I’m tired of hearing about mothers leaving babies in hot cars. I’m tired of addicts and alcoholics being stigmatized and dying of their legitimate, treatable diseases. I’m tired of pretending that Christians don’t get depressed.
Yeah, I’m really tired of that one.
Oh, and menopause. ‘Nuff said on that one.
I’m just so tired. Overwhelmed.
I guess I should become resigned to the fact that it is now officially The Rainy Season. It wasn’t “five minutes ago” but now it is. So deal with it, Jana. It isn’t going away until The aptly-named Dry Season. Suck it up and learn to survive wet ankles.
I’m writing about this bout with The Rainy Season because I refuse to deny it’s fury. Giving voice to The Sad keeps it from taking over. I will not allow it to be a silent coup. Identify your enemy, profile the ever-loving shit out of it. You cannot fight an enemy you deny exists.
Talking about depression hastens the arrival of The Dry Season – a place of sun, and sane happiness, and making the best of things, and NOT crying 24/7, just a little earlier. Best of all, talking about my depression hastens the arrival of the spiritually nutrient-rich LAUGHTER sooner.
I also know that I’m not alone in experiencing this. Depression is a bitch, and not a ‘resting face’ bitch – a true vixen of vexing viciousness. Depression isn’t just kicking a dog when it’s down, it’s kicking a whole litter of dogs when they are down, and making sure they fall off a very steep cliff and into a briar patch. Or at last that is how fatalistic and hopeless my own personal depression bitch is.
I woke up a couple of times during the night last night to pee, and ended up crying. Couldn’t even get up to pee without crying! I cried waking up this morning, and decided that being awake was too sad and I needed more sleep.
Then I had bad dreams. More crying.
I love to laugh so very much. I absolutely love to laugh, even at the really frustrating things. I’m radically silly.
But I can’t seem to muster that right now.
Depression is SUCH the Drama Queen! It tells you that you will never muster laughter again. It’s all too hopeless. But that’s a lie. Call it OUT as a lie.
This season too shall pass and I will be the happy, silly, hope-filled person I am at my core. And I know that my God has not forsaken me, nor will He ever.
But He does allow my ankles to get pretty wet in The Rainy Season.
Which is, after all, still just a season. And seasons pass.
Until then, I will crawl up in God’s lap and cry already. Cry because I’m sad. And because it’s not FAIR! And because I’m so tired. There is no shame in crying to Daddy. He cares and He listens, and He soothes.
I’ll try to focus on all the things I am grateful for, which are more than I can count. Oh the loving people God has put directly on my path, how I adore them! I’m so blessed, I know. My sphere includes people with whom I can ‘be real’ and they just love me any way. Go figure. They are weird that way.
Oh, and I will re-read for the 100th time Allie Brosh’s “Hyperbole and a Half” – a colorful graphic novel that manages to address depression in the most colorful, poignant, honest and hopeful way possible. I highly recommend it. It is not a “Christian book” but a very, very funny and relate-able one.
(Here is one of the graphics, which I think I might blow up poster-sized and hang on my bathroom mirror…)
And I will keep the faith.
THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.
Because moods and feelings come and go, but faith is eternal and eternally only good.
God bless us, every one.