There are a lot of different features to depression. No two people suffer in the same way. Yes, there can be cross overs, but in the same way as we are unique, so is our mental health. And sometimes we handle things differently to how people expect us to. I’m writing this early, because to be honest I want to capture this while it’s here in my head. Today, I am numb. It’s not the harrowing void that Alex talks about. Its just……numb.
I knew today was going to be hard. I prepared myself in every way I could. But how can you prepare for your final farewell to your dad ? The honest answer is, you can’t.So many people were there, so many who could openly express their grief. And I couldn’t.
I welled up when the hearse arrived at my familial home, but no tears came. Again at the end of the service, tears brimmed but did not spill. Outside, when people gathered to say their condolences, I managed to speak to a few people before I had to escape. Too many people, too many faces…. just too much. But even now, I’m sitting here there are no tears. I’m just numb.
And yet, I know I’m not doing great. Inside I’m screaming. Where others could openly say their goodbyes, I couldn’t. I knew if I let the numbness leave me and let the sadness through, I wouldn’t stop. I kept up the mask, because it was the only thing that I knew would get me through. And I had to get through. Had to. This was one of those times when the mask was for my own protection, rather than to fool others into thinking I was okay.
Yet I could see the looks. The people thinking how hard faced I was being. The wondering why I didn’t cry, or why I would disappear from the wake every so often.
The simplest answer is is that this is the only way I could.cope.
Another family member who suffers with severe depression and anxiety found the day hard. They too, had to escape from the crush of people, locate some peace and just sit. They turned to additional medication to help them through, I turned to 4 glasses of wine. But we both got the same odd looks. The questioning glances. But it meant I was numb enough I could talk, even to people who I would have preferred to stay firmly in my past. Whenever feelings threatened to overwhelm me the numbness became as hard as stone, hollow and cold.
Even today, with grief and loss at the forefront of people’s minds, there was still judgement from some over how someone was trying to process an incredibly difficult day.
I Just Feel Numb
But there were also those who fill my heart with warmth, even if right now I can’t feel it. Those who just simply sat, held my hand or let me be. From the friend who had a fidget spinner on standby, to the family member who stood up for me to say give me a minute when I was really starting to struggle…to them I want to say thank you. Thank you for everything that you do, you probably have no idea how much you helped me.
I am the first to beat myself up for what I did or didn’t do. At some point soon I’m going to berate myself for not crying at my father’s funeral. I will judge my own behaviour as harshly as some of those who looked askance at me today. I can already feel it creeping from the darkest corners of my mind.
But you know what? I hope that I’ll look back and read this. I’ll see the progress I’ve made, but also forgive myself for how I coped. Even if I was in a strange fog of emptiness. In this state of numb I can see how amazing some of the people around me are compared with the attitude of others. I’m thankful for them, even if I couldn’t say it to them today.
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