This morning, I wrote at the depth of the wave. Or the height. Whichever. I was deep underwater, as deep as it gets.
Later this evening, after a day of encouraging and caring calls and notes from people in my real life world and here in bloggyland, I was feeling better.
It was like in high school physics class. Mrs. Davis would explain the formulas, explain how the calculations worked, draw them out on the board, and we'd all dutifully write them down in our loose-leaf notebooks. I could do the problem in class. I concentrated, to be sure, but Lisa Doherty and Bonnie Colby and me and someone else ... Mary Manley, maybe? Holly Light? but anyway, our team would figure it out, work the calculations and come up with the answer we were supposed to get. Something to do with the coefficient of friction or something. The little wooden block car with wheels traveling down an incline at X rate of speed and Y rate of acceleration maybe.
The bell would ring, we'd pack up our gear and head off to lunch or literature or whatever, assignments carefully noted for the evening's labors at the kitchen table.
Where it all disappeared.
All of it.
The numbers, the formulas, the coefficient of friction, the methods, the reasons, all of it evaporated as soon as I walked out of Mrs. Davis' class and was long cold dust by the time I opened by notebook six hours and many miles later.
I would sit and look at my notes. They were foreign to me. I had scribbled arrows and notes in margins that had something to do with inverting fractions or multiplying something with an exponent or something, and now it was all gone.
That's what the sadness and depression is like.
I can remember nothing of the competence and happiness and security I feel when I am not in it. Like day six of a bad cold, I can no longer remember what it feels like to be healthy. Only this has been happening a dozen times a day or more.
So tonight, while I understand what is going on, I am writing it down. Hopefully, the act of writing will put the knowledge into my long-term memory where the clouds of sadness will not obscure it completely.
A friend today suggested that I ride out the wave, to dance it out in a chaos rhythm. I like that idea. Sort of a participatory Zen approach. Let it flow, ride with it, let the madness spin me round round like a record and leave me gasping but unharmed at the end of the dance. It is not a bad image to contemplate.
I do not know how I will approach the next wave of sadness when it hits. I'd like to hope that I can remember what I have written here and that I can just ride it out, relax and let it flow around me like water around a stone in a stream (that's the Zen part).
Whatever happens, I have made progress today. I have done no harm to any human being, including myself, and I have received some solid and useful advice for the next tide. I have cared for myself, fed myself, set a couple goals and achieve one (washed the dog - she smelled foul!). I have nurtured myself with a soak in the landlord's hot tub and am now heading to bed at a reasonable hour. Tomorrow I will give this thing another shot. Stay tuned. And thanks for your patience.