Posted in Journal

Surviving on Oxytocin

I checked with my neurologist husband and even he couldn’t verify how true it was. That post about hacking happy hormones. How endorphins are evoked through exercise or laughter, dopamine through finishing tasks, oxytocin through hugs or pets and serotonin through meditation. But it felt right to me somehow. In any case, I’m running low on all fronts at the moment.

After what feels like a very long time, I had a bad day yesterday. It started out like many previous days, as something so unsubstantial, you wouldn’t notice it existed. Perhaps that’s also why it ended up being a bad day. The utter bareness of it. The insignificance of it. A day like many before it, and many to come. Maybe I had just happened to reach the crescendo of insignificance in my monthly cycles, and yesterday was when I wished to finally disappear again into the starless black sky.

I teared up when I tried to talk to MB. I told him how oxytocin seems to be the only thing holding me together and keeping me alive, and how I gasp for breath when I run out of it. I half-sleepwalk into his body every morning as he hurriedly gets ready, depositing my weight against his being and stubbornly throwing my arms around his waist; I tell him how that hug is the precious dose of happy chemicals that somehow gets me through some days.

I teared up, but it wasn’t the worst of times, and I’m thankful for that. I can feel how this is just a thin layer of sadness that’s bound to peel off once I take the time to give myself a good scrub. Not the kind that delves all the way to a rotting core when there’s nothing left to do but wait for eons for a new me to grow.

Even as I talked to him, I could see a new sliver of light cutting against the darkness, and I know I’ll be alright. But it’s still so hard.

It’s somehow easier to fight depression when you can point your finger at a cause, at a target, an enemy, that you can then work towards exterminating. But when you cannot think of anything that’s going wrong and yet find yourself clutching at stray bits of sunshine to stay afloat, what do you swim away from?

How do you know which way is the shore?


A wayward thinker hiding behind the facade of necessary courtesies

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