Those Days When You Play Self-Disrespect Chicken

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It’s one of those days when I’m really not doing okay. The good news is that I rarely have them these days. It’s been a while, but there was a time long ago when I had more bad days than good.

In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had a day this bad. It’s a confluence of factors. I’ve had some medical stuff going on (not COVID, chronic mystery illness stuff that’s requiring some workup and experimentation). I’m fairly certain that I’ve been thrown out of whack due to all that.

And my mood collapsed like a sinkhole. Suddenly. Without warning. I’m not feeling like myself. Not acting like myself.

I manage to write through it, while crying cartoonishly large streams of tears. They literally collect in my glasses lenses and sit there, sloshing around whenever I move my head, like leaky goggles when you come up from snorkeling.

If I felt better, I’d probably clean out my glasses. But I find myself playing a kind of self-disrespect chicken. Seeing how much I can tolerate. How much I can just not fix and let happen to me. Because today I feel like I deserve it.

Cripes, it’s embarrassing to share that. Oh well. Depression is rather whiny. This is the physiological variety — an endocrine attack — glandular melodrama.

I know that consciously. Can even laugh at myself a bit. But my belly still feels like it’s full of rot. Like I’m rotting from the inside out. Like there’s something deficient about me and defective that’s eating my insides and will soon end me.

Dark thoughts follow. And follow. And follow. It’s hard to shake them when they start following you, you know? It looks so much easier in the movies to lose someone who is tailing you.

Anyway… I’m frank with my partner about it as soon as I realize what’s happening. And he blows me away with his kindness, with his patience.

I have no kindness or patience for myself at the moment. I get frustrated because I’m not terribly helpful to other people today, between my mood and some strange physical symptoms.

But he’s gracious. And so are my other friends, when I communicate that I’m going through a rough patch. That it’s kind of touch and go. That I frankly don’t know what I’m doing.

They’re all so kind.

But even so, I’m seized with a fear, however, that this is the part where I let other people down — this is the point where I’ve gone too far. This is the time where I have to slow down, and they all wake up spontaneously and realize that their lives are better without me around.

Look, this is the kind of thing that depression says. And it’s usually a lie, right? I know that consciously.

But that rotting and rotten feeling in my belly whispers, “This is the first step in losing everyone and everything you love.”

I plug my ears, squeeze my eyes shut, and do my best to ignore that voice.

In that moment, I feel like I’m getting close to oblivion again. Like I’m playing self-disrespect chicken. And yet… I can’t step back. The best I can do is hold still and wait.

Featured Image: PD – Pixabay