One of the things that I did before I this part of my path ever showed was also one of the most life-changing: I got help.
I’ve fought with depression and anxiety since I was a child. At the age of 10 I told my father I wanted to die. By 13 I was cutting. My first counselor was completely ineffective, as was the Prozac my GP prescribed (this was before the black label). Not the best first impression of the psychiatric world.
I found the counselor who worked with me in my 20s, after a particularly nasty episode that scared me. I underwent 18 months of therapy and was eventually prescribed Lexapro, at the lowest medicinal dose possible. It works as long as I take it every day.
I missed two days.
The first of those days I spent time with Himself; it ended with some much-needed processing.
The second, I was ground crew for a major Work kickoff involving items removed from sacred sites in the 60s.
I should not have been without my medication for this shit. I got through both just fine, but the fallout has been bad.
I took my meds yesterday, and again properly today. However, two days makes a massive difference in my reactions and moods, and it carries for another few days after. Add this to the fact that my hormones are out of whack – I’m one of those on birth control to keep my hormones level. Pile on top of that the Work, and then some less-than-happy discoveries about our youngest’s schoolwork. Mega-Bitch, activate!
I had the worst crash last night than I’ve had in a long time.
The Black Cloud, as I call it, is very, very persistent. It needles at me, reminds me of all my failures. It shows me the times I’ve screwed up as a partner, as a parent, as a person. It shoves in my face all the times I could have but didn’t, all the things I should have done but didn’t. It bears down until I end up the way I did last night – curled up in a ball in the shower at midnight, trying not to howl in despair and sorrow and pain.
Times like this are hard for everyone. There is little Kit can do to bring me out of it – one of the times he tried was during that last nasty episode. There is just as little Cernunnos can do, because the Black Cloud is so pervasive that I can’t Hear. I took today off to rest and reset; I’m just now starting to Hear properly again.
The difference between the Black Cloud now and the Black Cloud then, though, is my own reaction to it. I don’t stew under it as long as I used to (two days instead of a month or more). I make more active choices to pull myself out of it, such as choosing to be productive (dishes, laundry, vacuuming) rather than stew in front of a computer or game all day. I had another flare this afternoon and started pulling out craft supplies to make more pendants for the business instead of falling asleep to escape it.
It’s still hard. In spite of O/ur relationship, Cernunnos can’t help me much with it. Nor can Danu my Mother; neither can Ganesha my Friend. They can’t help when I can’t Hear. But the fact that I can pull myself out of it today, rather than a month or two months from now, reminds me just how far I’ve come.
So, Black Cloud… get the hell outta here. I’ve got shit to do.