When Things Start To Build Up On You
Posted on March 23, 2015
Some weeks are better than others. Last week wasn’t one of them. I think it was a combination of everything building up from three months of taking on too much and not giving myself a break. My thought process behind not giving myself a break is that if my mother can handle all the stress she has, especially with dad, then I should be able to handle everything thrown at me. It seemed like a sound strategy, but I was mistaken. Sorely mistaken. I noticed there was an issue last week when it felt like somebody was pushing on my front, somebody on my back, and then someone had me in an icy grip.
It’s an odd moment when one sits back, thinks about things logically, realizes there’s nothing actually wrong, yet their body has alarms going off all over the place. I felt panicked, started to get sucked into thinking nothing was going to be better for at least five years—the potential duration of my father’s disease—and that nothing was going to change between now and then. Everything culminated during a disagreement with my little brother right before bed. My brain refused to shut down after that conversation for the eight hours I was in bed and I literally didn’t sleep that night. At all.
Sadly, I had to admit that I had entered into a depressive state. I felt overwhelmed by everything going on around me, the freezing ass winter weather hadn’t helped, and not seeing my husband for almost two months wasn’t making things easier either. A friend wasn’t aware of how things were going, otherwise I know things wouldn’t have escalated like they did. Upon learning about it later, he called and gave the epitome of Chinese/Vulcan support he could. “Are you depressed?” he asked. Yes, I am. “Well, don’t be.” Do you see now where I draw the parallel between Chinese and Vulcans?
My husband had scheduled a trip home this weekend and flew in late Thursday night. Even having him next to me in the car calmed me down. And sleeping next to him that night and three additional nights? Even better. He didn’t and doesn’t understand what this feels like to go through. I tried to describe it to him exactly how I see it; a living nightmare that’s a struggle to wake up from.
I’ve been taking too much on, plain and simple. Between trying to write and take dad as often as possible, I was also dealing with helping my grandmother, juggle being asked by one relative not to say anything to another relative, then being asked by the other relative not to say anything to the first relative (which just gets stupid), work on the anthology coming out next month, start and maintain going to the gym, cope with the anniversary of my father-in-law’s passing, cope with the anniversary of my mentor’s passing, try to be supportive of a friend who was going in for a double mastectomy, cope with not seeing my husband, consider my own mortality for the will/trust we’re having drawn up, and then trying to appease my friend. I just didn’t feel like I could catch a break.
I don’t wear the overwhelmed jacket well. My preference is simply not to put myself in that position and if I feel it starting to go that way, ask for help. I didn’t do that. I didn’t ask, so shame on me. Sometimes all it takes is that little bit of human contact. The hubby came home, took a shower, then crawled into bed and held me almost the entire night. My brain shut down and no little sleep demons got past him to get to me. It helped make the difference. A bit of normalcy with him over the weekend helped make the difference.
My husband’s advice about being depressed? “Well, don’t be.” I swear he and my friend are two peas in a pod.
If only their advice was as easy to follow.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
5 Responses to “When Things Start To Build Up On You”
JP Adkins says:
March 23, 2015 at 10:44 am
I understand the overwhelmed/trapped feeling. The gym should help some and also consider taking a walk outside. (The neighbors’ dogs might be a good excuse) It helped me immensely. As always, I am here to talk to.
You are loved.
March 23, 2015 at 10:51 am
It’s easy for people to,say snap out of it or don’t be depress u til it happens to them. It’s never easy when you are the caretaker you need time for yourself. I’m always here if you need to vent or to laugh.
March 23, 2015 at 11:27 am
As Monique said, unless you have been in that situation, it’s hard to understand the emotions involved. I have been a primary caretaker, I have taken on too much, too many times. And I’m not one to ask for help, believing I’m just bothering people with my petty problems. I know the advice, “ask for help”, but it’s easier said than done.
I have tremendous respect for you, my friend, for all that you do and cope with, and yet, you still hold onto a measure of humor. I’ve never been able to do that. Kudos, sweetie! And, like your other friends, I’m here if you ever need to vent, talk, rant, or just have a shoulder to cry on. <3
G. A. Hauser says:
March 23, 2015 at 12:12 pm
oh my darling Kris, i can relate…. I soooo can relate. I’m a skype away if you want to vent. Always here for you. <3
Katherine Trick says:
March 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm
I think you need a day to let off steam. Maybe a day of laser tag with a friend and some laughs could do the trick. I know doing something fun with a friend always helps me. Hugs to you.