You ever wake up in a funk? When I awoke this morning, I had the terrible feeling of doom. I don’t know why I felt this way, but it seemed as though I wouldn’t make it through the day, and not making it through the day didn’t seem like a terrible thing.
I wish I could tell you or explain to you why I feel this way. A problem between my actions and my thoughts is the best way I can try to make you understand. I’m not exactly a stranger to these feelings. I have been visited by them upon occasion for the past 30 or 40 years. I can remember how terrible I felt after returning home as a child. Nobody knew about the reason, cause or cure in those days. It’s not something that medicine can cure and the feeling stays with you for as long as it wants to and then, hopefully, I’ll awake tomorrow and it will be gone.
Have you ever had that kind of feeling? I mean, it is not a stranger to me, but each time it visits me it’s like a new feeling of moroseness. Nothing seems exciting or happy. I am short with my wife and children. I stay away from most people so as not to hurt someone with words. I cannot get excited about anything. What would have me laughing yesterday just seems like a waste of time today. The activities I had planned for today are not worth doing.
Usually I just sit alone and ponder whether I have hurt anyone in the past few days. It builds up you see. Not like a cold or fever and not sudden like falling and hitting your head. Regardless, it is an injury to me and I try not to infect anyone else with the feelings I have. This has led to many mistakes. There are times when Lorraine (who has suffered along with me all these years) sees the problem and tries to cut it off by asking me to just go back to bed for a while. This isn’t a debilitating problem. I can still operate at a pretty good pace. Sometimes I just don’t want to.
The really strange part of this problem is I can say with reasonable confidence that there are a lot of folks reading this who also suffer from some incident that occurred in their past. It may have been something as emotionally draining as losing a boyfriend or girlfriend. It could be the drive you were on with your family and having to stop for some catastrophic truck or car crash. You see things that horrify you for just that few moments that you look at while you pass by, praying all the while that it is not someone you know that is involved. As you drive by or to home, it recedes and you are not thinking about it again.
Other, more wonderful things in your life crowd out those feelings. You don’t want to remember the sight, so you try to forget about it. It’s kind of like the multiplication tables. You study like crazy to learn what all those numbers mean to each other and then you think you have forgotten. But you haven’t. Those numbers will stay with you for all your life in many cases and they will revisit you when called upon. You may not be able to recite them as quickly as you could when you first learned them, but as you see them in your mind’s eye they come back to you.
You might have a bad dream. A dream about the crash you saw. The contents of that crash, which only you know. That moment will jump into your dreams. It’s not painful, but it is very distracting and hard to get out of your mind. You would love to laugh or hold someone you love or have your family around you, but that darn crash is still there. That’s why I wake up as they say, “In a bad mood.” Yes, it is a bad mood. Not one that I sought or truly even understand. I just know right away what the problem is.
The brain is the most powerful tool in your mind’s toolbox. That’s why a doctor can’t just say, “Take this and all those bad thoughts will go away.” During the last world war, soldiers suffered at an alarming rate and the prophylactic was to send the injured soldier to the rear or to a hospital.
After this current pandemic from the Covid-19, there will be folks that suffer from PTSD. How would you feel if you watched your loved one taken to the hospital never to be seen again? When you have been told they will be OK and yet they are gone when you come to visit the next day? I know a family that was sitting in a side room waiting for the hour they were told their loved one could come home, only to look into sorrowful eyes of a doctor or a nurse who is approaching to inform them their loved one has passed away. They will know what I’m writing about. I pray I never meet another family who contracts this disease in such a manner.