Thursday, August 18, 2016

Gone to the Beach, Automatically Depression-Less?

Sunrise, Topsail Island, North Carolina





So yes, we are on vacation at the beautiful beach. We took Joey out of school for the first three days of his senior year, hoping there wouldn't be a lot of people here, but that somehow backfired, as the beach is as crowded as I've ever seen it. That's not saying much though, because the island is not built up with a lot of condos and hotels, so it's all people that have rented houses and there aren't a ton of houses where we vacation every year.

It's why we keep coming back and plan to move here.

I mentioned in my last post that I was in a car accident about a year ago. It was a horrific accident in which I lacerated my spleen and my L-1 vertebra exploded, leaving nothing but shrapnel where that part of my spine should have been. I don't remember a lot about it, except that it was a one car accident that was caused by a moment's distraction. Luckily, no one else was in the road and therefore no one else was hurt. Because if I had hurt someone else, I doubt I could have lived with it.

When I woke up from the back surgery, I had the attitude and mood of Oh. My. God. I survived! I'm not paralyzed! I am going to kick this injury in the balls and appreciate every single day I live from that day until my last day (as they say on Game of Thrones)! Of course, with the pain of recovery, that fantastic, happy to be alive, kick ass mood didn't last. I'm still working on recovery, which has been made difficult because my fibromyalgia tends to complicate matters. But I'm walking and not in a wheelchair and I slid between two big trees, so I'm not dead because I didn't slam into one of them. I actually felt my mother's presence in the car with me, protecting me from being taken before I was ready to go. I'll always be grateful for that feeling of her being there and watching out for me, whether it was real or only something going through my head as my car was jumping medians and curbs and sliding down an embankment.

So, we are now on our yearly vacation to Topsail Island, NC and have a beachfront house which is absolutely beautiful. My dad and brother flew in from California to spend the week with us and everyone came except my oldest son, who wants to visit California and couldn't get a second week off to come to the beach. I miss him.

We have done a little house hunting, which has been a lot of fun and we are getting an idea of where we might want to move or build a house down here in about three years. I've enjoyed that immensely.

But the depression has been hanging over me for several months. It didn't go away when the beach week came. It hasn't gone away because I really can't go out on the beach when I want to. I didn't plan the tides right, so low tide is during 90 degree blazing sun and I can't get overheated with the medications I am still on. Overdosing because I was too stubborn to stay inside is not my idea of a good vacation, so I am behaving and staying indoors except at dawn (see above picture) and at dusk, which I get eaten alive by sand fleas. I've only found a few small pieces of sea glass and I'm upset, mad, depressed that I can't go out there and walk the beach. It's really the only exercise I find entertaining. I've been walking on my treadmill at home and doing pretty well, but it's just not the same as beachcombing.

I know depression lies. I know the voices in my head that tell me this was a horrible idea and that my family is having an awful time are lying. I know that this horrific sadness I feel over my mother being gone will pass for awhile. It will all pass. But in the meantime. I'm angry that I'm depressed. I shouldn't be depressed on vacation - not. fair.

Tomorrow should be better, as my son and his beautiful girlfriend are taking me out for a late birthday lunch and shopping for a t-shirt. We will be going to dinner with one of Justin's old friends from high school who lives down here tomorrow night. I don't have time to be depressed tomorrow.

I don't know about you guys, but I feel as if I am so inconsequential right now. I feel like an irritant to my family because I can't stop talking - something I've always had a problem with. I plug in the headphones to keep from interrupting. A habit I just can't seem to break and one that really bothers everyone who is trying to have a conversation around me. So it bothers me and contributes to that feeling of uselessness and self hatred that I know I shouldn't be feeling.

How can I be on a beautiful vacation and be depressed? Sad? Missing my mother like crazy? Crying too much, so it bothers Justin enough to tell me to stop? I want to go out and stroll on the beach alone and think everything through that I'm feeling, but it's too damned hot - how could I pick the hottest August in years for our beach vacation? What's wrong with me? I feel like I should have known, but how could I have known? Depression is a lying bitch.

I know it will get better. I know I'll go home to my animals and my routine and I start pool therapy on Monday, so that should help with my flexibility and pain levels. I did the whole regular physical therapy, but it was over before my body had completely recovered and if I face it, I probably won't ever completely recover. I have eight screws and two rods in my back and a ten inch scar that won't ever go away. And mentally, I still run through the accident and being in the hospital over and over in my mind, where the dilaudid they gave me for pain made me a different person and I hallucinated very strange things while I was outside the ICU nurses' station. I hope to never have dilaudid again because it makes my brain do very strange thing and I made up soap operas that never happened while I was on it. It's good to know which medications you really shouldn't take.

So I know I will regret this depression, because I can't even run to the beach to get away from it for a week. It's like that cloud on the commercial, where the depression follows the person around like a black cloud and then they try to get you to ask for dangerous mood stabilizing drugs. I know this depression is situational and will get better, but I'm so far down the rabbit hole right now, that I can hear the sad and awful feelings laughing at the idea that it will go away.

It's a beautiful beach. It's a beautiful place to think about living. Thank God Justin is here to provide me with some perspective, but I know my moods and my craziness get him to the point where he feels kind of stabby and then I feel depressed because of that.

We have a 6-7 hour drive home on Saturday and I spent most of the ride down asleep. I have to lay the seat back and lie on a pillow to keep the pain low enough to tolerate the ride. But I will be glad to be home and get back into my normal routine. I miss my comfortable bed and my animals. This seems to happen every year where by the end of the week, I am very ready to go home. In a few years, this will be home, but I will be able to walk the beach in cooler weather and live close enough to it that my back doesn't flip out from the drive.

Hope you all are having a good week.

Chelle

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