I am a most mercurial person. One minute I may be happy and even tempered, full of calm and relaxed. In those moments, the world is my oyster, held within my hands, complete and sated. As if that isn't bad enough, the swinging back and forth can be so sudden, there is no warning. I go to bed feeling calm and wake up in the foulest and blackest mood. I storm around the apartment, yell at the animals, throw things around and generally act like I'm a baby having a temper tantrum.
What I find the most distressing is my apparent lack of ability to control my moods. My boyfriend says, "Think positive and good things will happen!", but in that moment it isn't within my capability to think positively. I can only focus on the crushing blackness that I feel. Sometimes I cry for a long period without any real reason to do so.
People will say that depression can be treated and I probably suffer from it along with my anxiety, but I don't want to give in and drug myself, creating a little bubble to live in. The world is hard; it is cold and doesn't give you anything for all the trouble you take. I'm not saying that to be dramatic or self-pitying...it's just a fact.
We had the sweetest older man on our ward and we have all watched as he has deteriorated from walking the halls and waving hello to barely moving from his bed. His wife is sitting across the hall from me, sobbing and wiping her eyes. The cycle of life is inexorable and grief washes over the entire unit as we all wait for the end. I wonder if we are ghoulish or just realists, understanding that this will be the story for each and every one of us.
He was walking outside in the garden last weekend and brought me three red leaves to pin up on the bulletin board at my desk. I loved the bright red autumn colours, contrasting with the stark sanitary look of the hospital. Life is beautiful even when it is fading away, those leaves seemed to say. When I came back after a couple days off someone had taken them down and thrown them in the garbage. Our actions and the things we find beautiful are so often reduced to nothing by those around us.
What do we have left otherwise? I am convinced that I will be more forgiving and flexible. I must be if I am going to experience all of life, red leaves and pacing the halls. Why should I waste my time being angry and frustrated, watching the time tick by, people growing old and passing on, life disappearing.
If I am forever subjected to simple walks with the dog or cooking roast chicken only to have it consumed by my boyfriend, I will learn to be content with it.