The Time I Cried at the Bank

Hello, February in Minnesota.

Hello, February in Minnesota.

I want to feel at peace inside, all the time.

I think this the day after I have one of those depressive “cloudy” days when I wake up feeling panicked for no reason. The despondency is oppressive, and it’s related to no particular trigger.

I am so tired of this pattern.

Mentally, I know the storm will pass, it always does. But, the urge to burst into tears doesn’t diminish. I feel foolish, hopeless, and embarrassed. I don’t want anyone to know that, for no reason, I feel like I’m falling apart inside.

I’m waiting on a deposit slip at the bank’s drive-up window when I call my mom. She’s hosting out of town guests, and they’re finishing up breakfast. I chat with her about their visit while I wrestle with my inner self.

Don’t intrude on her friend time. Don’t be a drama mama. You and your cycles are so repetitive. Why don’t you just suck it up and let her get off the phone and back to her guests?

I blurt out, “Remember I’ve told you about my cloudy days?”

She’s been waiting for the real reason I’m calling, “Yes.”

“I’m having one.” Cue: a fat burst of tears.

At this very moment, the bank teller cheerily alerts me that my receipt is coming, and to have a nice day!

I swipe at tears to focus on driving out of the parking lot without killing anyone.

My kickass Alaskan blue anorak.

My kickass Alaskan blue anorak.

I’ve burst the dam, and a torrent of negative thoughts and desperate feelings flows out. I let them tumble over my lips, but I know from experience that I don’t really want to dive in to any single one of them.

What’s really getting to me today is the recurrent nature of my bad weather.

I mean, I take medication for this shit. And, it’s helped.

But, here I am all the same.

Why do these days return? Where’d my inner peace go? Why am I weak like this?

What if one of my storms never lets up? That’d be hard to live with.

My mom asks me to think of something I am grateful for. Not in a shaming way; just to wrest my attention from one spigot of thoughts to a different one.

I am sitting at a stop light. I sniff and wipe my eyes again. The day is sunny and face-slapping cold, but I am warm in my fur-trimmed, bright blue woolen Alaskan anorak.

I have an awesome coat. I live in the frigid Great North, and I have a badass coat.

She laughs. So do I. Thank God for her.

I want you to focus on finding a moment today to say or do something nice for someone. It can be as simple as a smile. You might be the only person to make eye contact with that person today. You don’t know how you might lift someone up, and that’s meaningful.
— My Mom

Her words calm me like a buoy I’ve found while drowning.

A little bit of meaning on a hopeless-feeling day? I’ll take it. Create a small moment of service or connection to another? I can do this.

I’ve got a mission for the day, and it is a toe-hold on a ledge of inner peace.

But, I want inner peace, all the time.

Yep. Sigh. How about a little rewording?

I want inner peace, day by day.