The Time I Cried at the Bank

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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 embarassed. 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 moment the bank teller checks in to alert 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.

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.

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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 bad ass coat.”

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

She says, “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.”

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.