Housekeeping: I suffer from depression. I have multiple triggers. As of lately all my triggers seem to stem from managing my single motherhood while managing my Sarcoidosis in tandem. So this is a topic that I plan to revisit often. Sorry, not sorry. It’s my life, I refuse to apologize for it.
I’m writing again in the middle of a depression “episode”. This one is very mild comparing to other’s I’ve had in the past 3 years. I have identified my triggers. I have explored the negative self talk. I have debunked the negative self talk with lists of things I accomplished in my lifetime, with kind moments from my family and friends, with moments in the now with my kid and my dogs … I work through the dark clouds very slowly. — And sometimes it doesn’t seem like it is enough.
This depression episode was triggered by my need to change multiple canned light fixtures in my house. Now that I’m divorced, all the home maintenance falls to me. I’m learning how to be handy (somewhat…). I’ve been divorced five years now and it has been slow going. All my chores or my “honey-do-it-for-yourself” list is piling up and it is overwhelming. I think about how he was the “outside guy”. I handled all the stuff indoors. So I was the “inside girl”. When our marriage was dismantling in front of my eyes, he stopped taking care of the repairs around the house. When he stopped caring for the house and me, it made me feel so unloved and honestly, helpless.
The last repair he never addressed was the soffit on the front of the house. I can remember it was raining really bad and I turned to him to say “it is getting worse, please repair the soffit”. He turned to me to tell me how he was going to help another woman with her garden. Hmmmpf, guess my dumbass can’t take a hint. That was the beginning of the end. The house, our kid, our dog and the life we built no longer mattered and most importantly he no longer loved me. To quote the Roots — “Things Fall Apart…”.
Fast forward to last week, I needed to change some bulbs. I had left them long enough. I finally made the time to change them after work. Usually my fatigue from Sarcoidosis leaves me depleted. Yet this day, I pushed myself and used the last of my energy to do the bulbs. As I climbed the big ladder, I heard all the negative things in my head about my divorce.
“Men don’t leave their wives, but his ass sho’ll left you – holding the kid, the debt and feeling unloved.”
“Women have no value if they aren’t loved by men.”
“Dark skin Black American women are the f***ing mules abused by their community, used by everyone and then left to get sick from financial ruin, stress from racism, PTSD from colorism — then die.”
I was having a rough time of it on that damn ladder in my head.
As I climbed up and down the ladder throughout the house, I started to tell myself the following:
I AM BRAVE BECAUSE I AM SHOWING MY KID THAT BEING IN AN EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP AND BEING CHEATED ON IS UNACCEPTABLE.
I AM ALONE BECAUSE I REFUSED TO BE CHEATED ON AND LET A MAN THAT NO LONGER LOVED OR RESPECT ME PUT MY PHYSICAL HEALTH, MY FINANCES AND MY MENTAL HEALTH AT RISK.
I HAVE PEACE, JOY AND LOVE IN MY HOME BECAUSE I STOOD UP AND MOVED FORWARD REFUSING TO ACCEPT THE HEAVINESS OF SOMEONE ELSE’S BROKENNESS.
MY DARK SKIN IS BEAUTIFUL TO THOSE WHO VALUE MY HUMANITY MORE THAN THE SICK COLORISM AND RACISM THAT IS INFUSED INTO EVERY LEVEL OF SOCIETY.
I AM HEALING AT MY OWN PACE AND I AM NOT PERFECT. YES I AM STILL HURT, BUT THAT’S OKAY.
After repeating those things over and over and climbing that ladder for cardio, the negative self talk was completely drowned out. I thought I was going to cry – BUT I DIDN’T CRY. YAY ME!!! (… Because we all know I’m a giant ass cry baby and I will cry at the drop of a hat…) I was sad and I was depressed, but I didn’t cry. I put the ladder back in the garage and I retreated to my bedroom. I let out a loòoooooooooong sigh, a tear welled up in my eye, I wiped it away and I sank into bed with a lump in my throat. I was still thankful for the day and I was optimistic about tomorrow because I faced my depression head on like gotdamn Goddess that I am.