Ethan has a remote control toy that talks. “Today’s shape is circle!” it says when he pushes a button, and then quickly launches into a counting song as his baby fingers push two buttons together. Sometimes it spouts out a weather forecast as if he were watching TV: ”Sunshine today, cloudy tomorrow!”
The voice for that one is female, squeaky. Overly cheerful, as though clouds tomorrow—the forecast is always the same—were a welcome thing. Although I suppose there’s something to be said for having a heads up that clouds are on the way.
My depression has materialized in almost every form possible – anger, anxiety, flat nothingness, extreme sadness that requires a large and close-by stash of Kleenex. Until recently, that sadness was a slow decline, a slipping, a falling in, something I could feel coming. My forecast would show the clouds moving in; it was a reliable source that would allow for some preparation. I would reach out to bat the depression away, then watch it soar like a badminton birdie that flies farther and smoother than its awkward form would suggest.
Earlier this year that changed. I started having what I call “mini crashes” – fine one day, not fine the next. The sunshine would, suddenly and with no warning, be replaced by clouds, and I’d stand there wondering where they came from and why my inner meteorologist had failed me.
I had one too many rainy days and had to do something about it. Thankfully, I’ve got it mostly under control now, but I still watch the clouds much more than I did before.
That’s the reality I’m left with, I guess. It’s been five years and the depression—or the possibility of it—isn’t going away. It’s in me. It is me.
It’s taken me a long time to accept that and be willing to deal with it and all its implications.
It’s okay, I guess. It’s manageable. Mostly, as they say, it is what it is. I’m better now, but if I need to I can batten down the hatches, ride out the storm, and wait for the sunshine to filter through again.
It always does.
[These pictures were all taken on the same day several weeks ago. The clouds where I live are beautiful - shocking and entrancing and sometimes downright menacing. I take pictures of the skies a lot, but the way the clouds developed on that day happened to be particularly eye-catching.]