I got up.
I got dressed.
I greeted the dog and gave her her treat.
And decided to go back to bed. No walk this morning.
It wasn’t the nausea. It wasn’t my aching knees. It wasn’t my sore feet, bleeding-nose, or even the night sweats that kept me awake all night. It was depression. My steroids wore off last night – and my body is feeling the effects.
I don’t know how my students did it. So many of them suffered from depression. Silently. Alone. But they managed to get up and out of bed. Some of them had children that needed to be delivered to schools before school. Some (most) had jobs after school. They lived their lives – they worked – they studied – all the while managing to do all of it through the haze of depression.
I remember greeting students at the door and welcoming them into the classroom – even when they were late. I smiled. I tried to accommodate. I listened to them, I encouraged them. I accepted late or incomplete assignments and tried to be a cheer-leader. I heard their stories of how hard their lives were. I sympathized. I even accompanied some of them to the hospital when they needed some intervention. But I didn’t get how profound of an impact depression took. I do now.
It is disabling.
It is demotivating.
It is all encompassing.
I know it is day 5. I know this is temporary. I know day 6 will be better. I just need to get through day 5.
I’m not sure my students could think the same way – this is almost like an “artificial depression”. It is a lesson that I am learning from which I can escape. I am lucky and thankful for that. How horrific it must be to be trapped. How powerful and courageous are those who live with this terrible mental illness for life. Thank God there is medication. Much like my chemo – which has saved me so far – so too do the drugs for mental health.
Today – my goal is to make broccoli soup. It has to be organic. I am craving broccoli. So – that’s what I’ll try to do. One thing.
Day 5 has taught me about depression.
I would be a much better teacher now because of day 5.