One day you wake up and somethings not right. Whatever you do all day, however you try to distract yourself as soon as you let your mind rest it’s back. Not a noise or the light or your stomach. Just, something. Something is off.
What it really is, is a mild sense of foreboding. It annoys you, you think maybe it’s your period. I know we roll our eyes whenever someone says that, but come on. You do. Because it accounts for so many different things. Then you think maybe I need a coffee? But no. It’s not that. Have I got a headache coming on? Then all of a sudden, your stomach drops as it hits you.
Shit. It’s back.
You start to try to wonder about why it’s back. Is the baby Ok? If him running around the room in shoes, hat and a nappy, roaring like a dinosaur is ok then yes. Are you up to date on all your bills? Well, is anyone ever, really? Is your partner being a bit of a dick? No more than usual. Are you happy?
Are you happy?
And you want to say yes but you know that’s a cliche, because as anyone will tell you nobody’s ever really completely happy with everything are they? There’s always room for improvement. That’s human. But at the same time you’re not unhappy so you can’t say No.
Are you happy?
You start to obsess with the question, turning it over in your head. You change the wallpaper in the living room, you move the furniture around, you reorganise that drawer but nothing gets rid of that question. Or the foreboding.
Over the next few days you gradually fold in on yourself, trapped in this steep downward spiral. And the whole time you know exactly what is happening, because this must be the hundredth time.
You stop eating properly, or at all, because you just aren’t interested in food. You’re hungry, you can feel it, but it doesn’t bother you. It’s like having gas, you can feel it rumble but there’s no great pain. Just a numbness. A dullness to everything. The tiniest thrills from stepping outside on a cold but sunny morning, cleaning up with the radio on or getting a hot shower seem to have been snuffed out altogether.
At night you start to cry. Sometimes the crying comes before the pain. Sometimes you cry over nothing. Something on TV, something you broke or lost. Sometimes you cry because of something you dealt with a long time ago. But in the end, what it all boils down to is that you cry because you don’t understand how you keep ending up like this. You don’t understand it from that first day of foreboding. You don’t know why it keeps coming back and you don’t know when it’s coming. It just does. And it consumes you.
The only thing you know for certain is that this is part of you and it will probably always come back. You can have great months and years in between, but at some point it shows up again. For a while that idea is such a crushing weight you can’t move, the sheer despair. Forever feeling a burden to those around you, forever needing support. Why can’t you just get it together? Once and for all?
Eventually, after years, you accept that it will probably always come back. You prepare yourself in the good times. You make hay while the sun shines, you make good, solid friends and you try to make sure that when it comes, you are ready. And you’re not ever really ready, but wasn’t that the same line of thought that got you here in the first place?