Once upon a time, sadness meant -- for me -- talking. Writing. Singing. I felt sad and I had to make it known. The deeper the sadness, the more I had to get it out.
Gradually, that has changed. Developing the illness of depression marks the distinct beginning of that change. The first time, right after the surgery, I stopped talking. Not completely, of course -- I kept up an earlier version of this weblog and I wrote a lot -- but I tended to not talk to people. I didn't notice this myself. It was pointed out to me by The Husband, who said people were asking him what was wrong with me, as I'd stopped talking. In social situations, others found me reserved. One friend even thought The Husband was dominating, possibly abusing, me, because he was always the one to speak while I rarely did unless he was not around.
Talking to other people became a performance. It exhausted me. I could rise to it from time to time, but afterwards I had to retreat to some quiet corner.
As the depression waxed and waned, my communication did also. Eventually I stopped writing, siting any number of reasons, but finding the words harder and harder to find. Online communication became one of the few ways I spoke to anyone, and rather than being silent around others, I simply avoided people (no reason to draw attention to myself by being the Sphinx in the room). Even making comment on web posts became difficult. I'd start to type something and the thought would come "Why say this? What good will it do? No one is going to pay attention anyway." and I would delete. This weblog also fell silent. Why post the same thing again and again? Who wanted to listen to my whining? I didn't even want to listen to it. If I was tired of it, the world had to be. Why bother?
I'm working on that.
Lately I've had moments of missing my mother, missing her in that deep down from the gut way that brings tears to my eyes. It's been a very, very long time. In a handful of years or so, I will be the same age she was when she died. I thought I'd dealt with all this -- really, her death controlled my life for such a long time that I had to work hard to put it in perspective and make it just a part of my life and not the great, central, overbearing tragedy that ruined everything. It's a common event -- many people lose one or both parents while they are young. Some lose their parents as infants, and some lose a father even before their own birth. I'm no different from all of them. I can't elevate my particular loss to some high, important point and expect the world to stare in pity and awe.
I get tired of it, too. I get tired of the ache. I get tired of this old wound trying to reopen on me.