In case you haven't noticed, I haven't posted anything in almost a month. To be perfectly honest, I haven't done much of anything in almost a month. I've been rather a lot more reluctant than usual. I look at my crocheting and I go "meh." I try to clean and I manage maybe six dishes before I'm so overwhelmed that I have to give up. I sit down to blog and I discover that I have literally nothing interesting to say (this post alone took me nearly three hours). I haven't even managed to bake. A box of cookie mix has been sitting on my counter, mocking me, for almost three weeks. A box of cookie mix. The kind to which you just add water. And I haven't been able to put forth the effort to add water and turn it into cookies. To put it plainly, I've not been well.
In my most recent post on October 8th, I mentioned that it was Mental Health Awareness Week, and touched briefly on the fact that I've been struggling with anxiety and depression since I was a teenager. This is pretty common knowledge among my family and friends, and it is not something I'm ashamed of. It's a genetic, biological fact, and I'm no more or less ashamed than I would be if I had come down with the flu. I don't talk about it very often, because the people closest to me have already heard it all, and people who don't know me well get kind of uncomfortable when I mention that I'm something of an emotional whack-job. But it's time to tell you all a little about my emotional whacky-ness.
I don't know how many of you suffer from some sort of mental illness. The statistics say at least one in four. For those of you who are lucky enough to have no experience with depression specifically, let me sum it up for you--it fucking blows. It sucks every ounce of motivation out of you, convinces you that nothing will ever, ever be better, and leaves you uninterested in doing anything other than climbing into a blanket fort and alternating between sleeping and crying, because you're a shitty person and no one could possibly want to spend any time with you anyways. Including your dog.
For me, my issues come in spurts and waves. I'll be going along swimmingly for a while, and then BAM--out of nowhere, and typically (although not always) for no reason, I get so depressed that I have a hard time getting out of bed. That lasts for however long it lasts, and then I'm okay again for a while. And then, suddenly, I'm having anxiety attacks over stupid, minor things like whether I left a light on for the dogs or not when I left the house.
Lately, my old frenemy depression has been hanging around a lot. I'll be perfectly honest, I'm nowhere near as bad off now as I've been at times in the past. I get my shit together in the morning and go to work. (Tiny human snuggles are actually a great temporary mood lifter.) I eat, sleep, and bathe. There has yet to be a single day when I literally don't get out of bed at all. Things could be worse.
Also, this time around, I can pretty much pinpoint the reasons behind the tailspin, which doesn't help much, but it's nice to know why. I always get a little blue after I visit home, which I did two weeks ago. I love my husband, and my friends and life in Georgia, but as far as I'm concerned, the light at the end of the Army Wife tunnel is the day we get to move home. On top of that, it's fall, which means Daylight Savings Time ends, and suddenly it's dark at four in the afternoon, which pretty much anyone who suffers from depression will tell you was the worst fucking idea in history, bar none. And on top of THAT, I'm going through some pretty serious and time-consuming shit in my personal life, which I'm actually not yet prepared to spew all over the internet.
So, to make a short story very, very long, this is why I've been so scarce this last month. Other than my trip home, which I'll eventually manage to post about, I haven't really done much of anything worth blogging about. And even if I had, I probably wouldn't have been able to drum up the effort to write about it. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), my brain chemistry will level back out and I'll be my old self again. But until then, you're all just going to have to bear with me. I'm chugging along as best I can, and as one of my favorite bloggers would say, I'm trying to wrastle some demons. So some things, like blog posts and delicious from-scratch baked goods, are falling by the wayside. I apologize for that, but you've got to do what you've got to do, and I promise I'll be back around eventually. But for now, I'm taking a break.
To my wonderful, supportive family and friends--I really am okay. I'll bounce back like I always do. Thanks for loving me in the meantime.
To all my other readers who've never met me and just read this post that was way too deep for their comfort level--feel free to back away from the crazy woman now. I won't be offended, I promise.