Heart of Darkness

When I recently wrote my extended family to tell them I was too fatigued to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary, many assumed I was fatigued because cancer had returned.

This is not so.

The fatigue is from almost overwhelming depression and anxiety.

The surgery and radiation treatment I had for cancer in 2018 was easier to bear. Recovery was smooth and linear. Support from family was heart-warming and helpful.  The pain was manageable.

My struggles with a recurrent major depression have been ongoing now for six months, with no improvement. (I am under the care of a good psychiatrist and recently started another new antidepressant.) The symptoms are more severe than I have experienced in thirty years.

Anxiety compounds the picture as it amplifies all my senses. My skin is super-sensitive to touch, sounds are all noisy (even running water from a faucet), reflections from mirrors and windows are distracting, and little pains convert to bigger pain.

What helps? We are attempting to solve the puzzle.

Quietness, completing little tasks, coloring, and listening to Jim reading to me (a 50 year tradition!), and sometimes reading on my own.

A quiet companion holding my hand is very soothing. Conversation and questions are agonizing.

Hope springs eternal? By God, let it be true.