When the depression comes, it’s like a silent locomotive that explodes through the middle of my life without any advanced warning. It’s been a year and seven months since I lost Susan. I thought this would all be water under the bridge by now. I would well embedded in my new life with new friends, remembering my love fondly, but nevertheless, persevering onward. “Moving on” as people like to say. Well, I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way. Grief is a tedious, messy business. I’ve talked to many widowed people, and it’s always the same. They talk about their moods drastically bouncing back and forth. For some, it starts to recede after a couple of years, it seems. For others, perhaps not for several years or more. There is no grief timeline.
My shrink said that my own depression is not uncommon. It bears similarities to manic-depression, but it falls under the banner of bereavement in my case. Doctors tend to go easy on the depression diagnosis when someone is in mourning. They say that it’s such a natural part of the process, they can’t really label it as typical depression. It’s grief and it has it’s own set of rules.
Dr B. told me that the ebb and flow of depression will continue. But as time goes on the distance between the depressed periods will lengthen as I gradually become . . . better? Better at grieving? What a wonderful thing to look forward to.
Right now my life is one long, black tunnel with an occasional shaft of light shining through. I don’t know that this tunnel will ever have an end. I want to get back to writing about Susan, but I just can’t until I feel stronger. Less like a yo-yo.
In the meantime I guess I’ll just hang on. One more post. One more distraction. See what tomorrow brings. Tomorrow: repeat cycle. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. It must be better for people who have family and friends to turn to. I live alone with two cats. No family, and no local friends. It’s amazing how people shrink away from you once you’ve been labeled “widower/widow”. It’s they’re afraid they might catch it. They don’t understand the difference it can make having someone to go see a movie with you. Or someone to grab a beer and shoot the shit with. I don’t have those luxuries anymore. Those are things that I have to relearn how to earn back.
This is not living. This is enduring. This is Sisyphus pushing the boulder.
But part of me has to believe this tunnel will end before I die .