Working from home has lots of pros. I can prepare my non-sugar non-dairy non-gluten non-joyful lunch with anything handy here. I can run errands whenever. I can sit in the recliner with my dad’s ancient laptop and ice my back while writing. I can work with my students at 5am or 8pm, whenever’s convenient.
But I’m with my own thoughts aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the time.
And with depression always lurking on the edge, this isolation can get nasty.
Take this morning.
The heater goes wonky.
I’ve got fifty posts from students to sort through, not including their projects. This all needs to get graded in the next few days.
I have an interview for a full-time position to prepare for.
I have a novel that needs serious course correction.
Will the boys be sent home again?
How will we afford Bash’s ER visit from that damn lego up his nose?
What if the heater breaks?
What if the roof starts leaking from all that heavy snow?
Blondie so badly wants to spend time with animals. Where to do that, when to do that…
I have to go to choir tonight on these shitty roads and I HATE driving on slick roads, I’ll spin out, I’ll end up in the ditch and how will we afford that?
My heart starts going nuts.
My breathing rushes.
I get light-headed.
I KNOW WHAT THIS IS.
NOT A HEART ATTACK. A PANIC ATTACK.
I WON’T LET IT GET TO ME.
I stagger upstairs, call Bo. He talks about work, about the roads, about anything as I slowly get up, open a window. Breathe.
Breathe, Jean, breathe.
Panic attacks fucking suck. They have a strong ally in depression.
But you won’t beat this lady. I’ve faced postpartum depression twice without meds. I’ve battled my own body. I faced the Monster who abused me. I’ve overcome loss and pain and FUCK you, panic, you will NOT own me.
I’m gonna keep breathing. Fighting. Mothering. Writing.
Never give up, my friends. Never, ever, give up.