It closes in when I’m not watching. Like the sudden onset of darkness in a horror movie, I’m not truly caught unaware, but the end result is a clawing panic combined with a need to escape. The silence around me deafens me with its empty ringing.
I hate being alone.
Who, me? Melodramatic? You don’t say.
Yet, my depressive spells (look at me, I can’t just say my depression) always come on during extended periods of alone time. AKA, every move we’ve made since 2010. Fall 2010 in Germany, I would sit and stare out our window because the lack of a social life had me feeling stifled and painfully alone on the nights that B had handball practice. Spring 2012 in Turkey we won’t even get into. It wasn’t pretty. North Dakota was actually pretty great, once I got a job. I was around people all day and would come home ready to just be with my favorite person.
Here I am. Alone in a house all day. Nothing to do besides endlessly apply for jobs with companies that will likely never contact me to even acknowledge my application. My husband is several hours away at training, my in-laws work all day, so here I sit by myself.
I’m trying to combat it. I get up and go for a run in the morning, then take the dogs for a long walk. I text my people. I chat with B as soon as his day is done – the sound of my voice in the empty house always sends the dogs into a barking frenzy. I put the tv on so there’s some background noise. I try to be more productive than just constantly refreshing my email in a futile attempt to make something, anything appear in it.
But it sneaks up behind me, or crawls along the ceiling above me, and ambushes me even when I’m on my best guard. I cry too easily. Slip off into silences. My fuse is shorter than normal.
It’s more than being restless. It’s knowing what extended periods of time like this do to me. It’s fearing the abyss. It’s not wanting to fall back in.
So I fight. I claw. I run.
I won’t let it catch me this time.