It’s Monday again.

One would think I’d be used to that by now. But every Monday rushes through me like a new terror of boredom, regrets and missed opportunity.

Today it was also grey – the double sucker punch of a Midwestern winter spring, when the typical sun slackened day, covered in clouds is made twice as bad because yesterday we were tricked by seeing the sun.

I don’t know how to describe my depression today. Is it depression, or the anxiety. I woke up about five times last night, even though I had the noise machine going. Waking up is not so bad, it’s the worrying that comes after that gets me. My therapist thinks the depression might be spurred by my ADHD, and my internal criticism of my failings thereafter.

I only recently think of this feeling in terms of permanence.

My joy has always been my optimism and my curiosity. Every day is a chance to learn something new – and at this time in history, you can learn more in one day than ever possible. Podcasts, websites, more podcasts, audiobooks, blogs, news online, online courses, free online courses…

But somewhere my optimism slipped away. I would have caught it if I could, but I didn’t see it go.

Tonight I tried explaining to my husband that “I’m not very healthy right now.” I needed him to know the depth, that this time I don’t know how to dig out by myself. I believe this to be because I’m only recently old enough to recognize my patterns within. To see that, no I’m not being self critical right now, I’ve always been self critical. I can remember hating, HATING myself in first grade for having to go home sick from school one day. I really thoughtI wasn’t being tough enough, that I should be in school not going home. I don’t remember why or the context, just the hate, and the disappointment.

We were coloring a picture with clothes. Blue blue jeans.

Nothing could be done. Putting that type of pressure on a relationship isn’t a great idea, I realize. But honestly, I have very few friends. I’m not incredibly close with anyone I can talk to.

Then I went to walk the dog (because she’s an eternal optimist) and listened to one of my favorite podcasts, Mental Illness Happy Hour, by Paul Gilmartin. It’s a space where people talk about the reality of mental illness. He spoke about how a person he had just interviewed for the podcast had just been murdered, from the description by another person with mental illness with access to guns. Then he describes how it’s just so deep, the feeling that all of this awfulness keeps happening. All of the deep, deep violence in our country.

It’s crushing. I feel it every day. The news, the violence, the vast expanse of all of the people who hurt, who feel empty and thrown away. The children that feel this way. The adults who expect to fell this way now.

I realized that all of my soul searching of late, my own emptiness in not knowing what I actually contribute to this world when this world needs so much. Then simplicity caught me.

If one person could read this and feel less alone, that would make today worth it. Because I only felt worth it today after listening to Gilmartin’s podcast, which went on to an interview with Jessie Dean Altman, who might be a partial brain twin of mine. I felt less alone.

Off to bed to try again tomorrow.

-— Aza

If you need help today, please visit this extensive list of resources at the Mental Illness Happy Hour website, or call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).