Thursday, October 24, 2013


So, here's (one of) the thing(s) that's been bugging me ever since I officially got my "Depressive disorder not otherwise specified" diagnosis.

How will I know when I'm better?

"Oh, you'll know.  One day you'll know," people tell me.  Y'know, just like they said I'd definitely know when I was in labor with BG.  Ahem.

"You'll feel like you again."

But which me will I be exactly?

Will I be the me that wore penguin socks and a fluffy pink tiara to teach Antigone to tenth graders and made everyone do spirit fingers every time they saw a tragic flaw?  Who pretended to be so sick I had to leave school when I had to meet with my principal to discuss an observation during which my eighth graders had been bouncing off the walls?  Who ate lunch in my classroom with crying students almost every day?  Who was overwhelmed by papers and ducked emails from parents wanting to know why that essay from January wasn't graded yet?  Who went to happy hour and talked about nothing but my students because I didn't know what else adults talked to each other about?

Will I be the me who lived in the tiny apartment with my grad student fiance, substituting to keep the bills paid, going to the library every week to get a new book to keep me busy?   Who made my own bread and salad dressing and ketchup and read The Tightwad Gazette cover to cover?  Who went to the gym and got a CSA vegetable basket and planned a wedding and didn't have any friends in the whole state of Indiana?

Will I be the me who read a book on the bus on my way back to my campus apartment so I didn't have to make eye contact with anyone?  Who made excuses and gracefully demurred when invited out for drinks by classmates and then regretted it?  Who stole a wet floor sign and ate too many chicken nuggets while watching Star Wars with her roommates on Valentines Day?  Who loved words and college and getting A's and wondered all the time if maybe she wasn't doing it right?

Will I be the me who stayed up way past when her parents thought she was asleep, scribbling bad poems with convoluted and paradoxical lines like "I can't see because of the light" which I thought were both fresh and deep?  Who did my friend's algebra homework in the cafeteria because I knew her mom had had chemo the night before?  Whose friends threw me a thank you party just for being me, and pitched in and paid for my yearbook when I didn't realize I needed cash?  Who skipped breakfast and lunch every day for years just because no one was telling me not to?

And the me who is sitting here right now, with my laptop in my lap, Daniel Tiger on the TV, a baby on my boob, a three year old wearing a candy necklace laying on my shoulder wonders what exactly it would even look like to be me again, knows that none of those things are things I could even go back to if I wanted to.  I just don't know who exactly I'll be.

Maybe I'll be someone better.


  1. i don't know how you'll know, of course, but i do know that even though it doesn't feel like it a lot of the times, you're still totally you. the you who's supportive and funny and wise. but i also love reading about all the different yous in your history, because all of those yous combine together and are part of it now, even if they aren't. (also this makes me want to go through this as a writing exercise to remember all of the different mes. because there are a lot of them, and i sure don't know what the now one looks like yet.) xoxo

  2. For me, I knew when I started singing along with the radio again. And when I got a little bit excited about anything. And when I slept well again. But then, I wouldn't want to sing, or be excited, or sleep. And I realized that better is a process - for me it was/is very 3 steps forward, and then 2 steps back. Enjoy the journey & savor the moments you feel better, even if they are fleeting at first. xoxo

  3. I'm with Tiffany on the music. I noticed colors, blue skies and crisp fall days. I think that we are all a sum of our past selves. This experience rocks you to your core, and then you're reborn.

  4. Oh, honey. I want to hug you. The thing about being you is that the girl you were, she's in there, but so are all the versions of you you're ever going to be. We change. It happens. Depression, life, motherhood, all of the experiences, they change us. So whomever you will be, you will be you.

  5. The way I know that I am getting better is that everything that I see has definite edges. If that makes any sense whatsoever. Like I feel present and not locked away in some recess in my head.
    Colours are real...and the world is so inviting and I want to...WANT TO be apart of it.
    I can't tell you when that will happen for you, but I can promise you that you will get there. As for being yourself, we all evolve whether we are sick or not. We are still who we were before falling and we won't be that "sick" person because you will have life infused in you. You may find that things that made you happy, might not be so. And things that didn't make you happy, do. Does that kind of make sense? xoxo