About a year ago, I took a nap.
Maybe for other people, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but for me, it’s an unheard of activity. I’m never without my to-do list, and naps aren’t on there.
But last year, I had the incredible urge to erase a little time from my life. That was exactly how I thought of it: I wanted to fast-forward.
My depression started gradually, first when I noticed that I was a bit bored with just about everything, and then it grew, like a snowball rolling down a hill, picking up steam until everything in my life took on a dull sheen.
When you look at that “Are you depressed” list of questions, one of the first that always pops up is: Are you uninterested in previous activities?
It wasn’t that I was uninterested in them—it was more that I couldn’t believe I was ever interested in them in the first place. In fact, my entire life seemed so dull.
I remember talking to a group of moms outside my daughter’s school about how hard it is to deal with house renovation issues. They were talking about the leaks they needed fixed, the big never-ending construction projects they had going on. I used to love these topics. But as they droned on about their contractors not showing up, I felt like if I didn’t leave the conversation, I might end up screaming, “Why, why do you care about this so much?” So I turned and walked away, in the middle of the conversation without a word of explanation.
And then I took my first nap. I needed to disappear.
Being depressed and having to parent is ridiculously difficult.
After my first nap, I was hooked. I wanted to sleep all.the.time. It didn’t even feel like a choice: I was always tired. While my kids, 6 and 9, appreciated all the electronic time they were getting while I napped, they didn’t like the fact that I was ignoring their needs.
My appetite dwindled, and it became ridiculously tedious to cook or even to prepare food for the kids. Eggs became a daily staple whenever my husband wasn’t around to cook, and I dropped 15 pounds quickly. Since I was 125 to start with, 15 pounds made me look gaunt. People started commenting.
“I’m just not that hungry,” I told friends, who admired my restraint.
It wasn’t fun feeling nauseous, sad and tired all the time. I felt like the only thing I had the energy to do was to sink into the couch and take a nap.
My husband, always supportive, was getting a little tired of being a solo parent.
One time, when we all had a free Saturday, he told me…