In the last few weeks, my depression has been off the charts. A good friend sent me a post of Jordan Peterson that really captured how a shock that is normally absorbable can produce a “cascade” that shakes my entire foundation. I stopped eating, stopped writing, and could barely get out of bed. Sleep seemed like the only refuge.
When I started my Krav Maga journey, I had spent months in depression fog. Then I started this path, and it cleared up. The past thirty months, I had flirted with a few brief hours or a day of the Black Period of Depression, but it always passed after a day or so. This time, it didn’t leave.
I was helpless. I didn’t have work and hobbies to distract me. I just had endless hours to fill, and the only thing that was there was the dark thoughts in my head, reminding me how worthless I was and mocking how stupid I was to think I could escape. Oh, I had a good run but here it was, the monster in my own head, ready to devour me.
In this depression, I had doubts over whether I had made the right choice in trying to reach out to people. I used to be satisfied with primarily being alone. I was happy to be alone, with my books. I thought Simon and Garfunkel had it right. If I don’t love, I don’t cry. I was very happy to be a rocky island, who would feel no pain and never cry. Would I be suffering so much in Covid-19 isolation if I didn’t know what I was missing?
Alone with only my thoughts to ricochet off the walls, I felt this terror. What if it was all a lie? What if everyone was happy they didn’t have to deal with me? How could I return to facing the Fog alone, while mourning the friends I thought I had?
My mind may have turned against me, but my friends proved themselves. I want to thank the people who reached out to me, who reached out to friends to check on me, who called me and reminded me that they care.
The beautiful soul who invited me to a social distance and a Zoom pilates class.
The fascinating couple who never allowed me to feel alone for a moment and laughed at my terrible jokes.
The incredible couple who separately wrote to me, choke-full of advice and insight, and talked Star Wars with me.
The future star who video chatted me, and made me laugh so hard, I remembered what happiness felt like.
The angel who listened to me sob for hours without even knowing the reason why I was so upset, and listened and told me dirty jokes.
The complete strangers online who read between the lines and reached out to me, encouraging me and reminding me of who I am, especially one who actually reached out to friends to check on me.
My dear friends, thank you. I used to believe that if I didn’t give up on myself, others wouldn’t give up on me. But when I stopped believing in myself, you still believed in me. When I stopped believing in them, you reminded me how wrong I was.
I have no words for how grateful I am. Right now, I’m feeling like I’m finally alive again. I see color again. I have an appetite again. I don’t know how long this will last, but I’m a little less scared now.
Because when I walk through this valley of the shadow of death, you’re with me. Your words and your love comfort me.
Despite being in quarantine, I have never felt so immersed in friendship.