I checked out last week.
A combination of life stressors, chronic and acute, as well as a latent tendency toward depression that I think runs on both sides of my family and that I have been laboring under my whole life, even before I had a name for what it was, came to a head on Friday. I found myself in the midst of a full-blown panic attack. I couldn't think sequentially; I couldn't make simple decisions; I got lost driving a route I've driven for ages; I was crying, and sweating, and felt like I was dying. I'd had to attend a late-afternoon community meeting for my job that was fortuitously close to the local Community Mental Health office; so a concerned Fellow Traveler met me in the parking lot, and we went in, and I dissolved into a warm puddle of meltdown.
I'm not going to talk a lot about what happened next, although I will say that if you don't feel suicidal or homicidal before walking into a CMH, you will a half-hour later when the staff is still interrogating you about your damn proofs of income and health insurance.
Anyhow...I got fast-tracked to a therapy appointment the following week. And in the interim I spent Memorial Day weekend alternating between the sofa and the bed, cowered under a comforter, wishing I could enter a kind of hibernation state and remain there until...whenever. I only spoke or ate under duress. And I cried, a lot.
This week I was able to muddle my way through the workday, and also had my first therapy session. I am waiting to see a doctor to get a prescription for some antidepressants; I've always resisted mood-altering pharmaceuticals, just because I didn't want to wind up on another maintenance drug, and because I was afraid of some of the side effects I saw in friends and coworkers who were on "happy pills"...but I'm tired of feeling tired and overwhelmed and befuddled and anxious. No mas.
So...I'm back. Maybe not every day. But I'm here.