Saturday, January 24, 2015

What Doesn't Show

Today was a pretty awesome day.  Though I was out of the house on this Saturday morning well before I'm even out of bed on a week day, the workshop I attended was worth it.  There is something kind of magical about spending three hours collaborating with colleagues on who have also chosen to give up their Saturday morning to learn and share!  I've gone to enough of these workshops over the years that when I walk in, it's almost like a reunion - hugs and hellos to those you see at each workshop and have become friendly with, maintaining a connection between workshops via social networking. 

Today in particular, I participated in a session that overflowed with ideas and energy and enthusiasm in regards to STEAM education - that is, science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics.  It was such a lively conversation we went well over time trading ideas and encouragement.  For me, somewhat of an outlier in my building who does things slightly, well, slightly different, it is almost necessary for me to connect like this as often as possible.  It's as if the support from my peers at these workshops reinforce that while what I do in the classroom may be drastically different than what others do in my school, it's awesome.

Outwardly, the day looked like it was a fantastic one.  After a lively and satisfying morning workshop I went home for a light lunch and a long nap with the Pup. 

Inside...... Inside it was and continues to be a very different story.

I'm in the middle of another depressive episode.  This one's been percolating for almost six weeks.  That's what happens with recurrent major depression.  All is relatively neutral for a while, and then slowly the blues start floating in, getting heavier and heavier with each passing day.  Before you know it, the world has turned dark, and you're once again drowning in oxygen. 

It can be challenging, appearing completely neutral, and even "happy" on the outside, while on the inside you're praying that no one will be able to tell that you wish you had never woken up.  No one realizes how you've been beating yourself up for the last twenty minutes because you don't deserve the compliment someone paid you earlier, and that you continue to cringe with each positive word sent your direction. No one can tell that you feel a fraud, and you fight tears when someone acknowledges your skills.

Daily.  I live with these thoughts daily.  When I'm not mid-episode, things are a little less dramatic, a little less dark, and a little easier to manage.  When things are like this, mid-episode tragedy, everything is harder.  Episode triggers vary, and I can never tell what will send me into the darkness until I'm already there.  Depression like this absolutely sucks.  At least for me, therapy is an absolute must, and on most days, the secret to my survival on the dark days depression delivers.

(A peek into my world that rarely sees light outside the walls of my treatment team's offices.)

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