Yesterday I got a package, and because Hotter is obsessed with mail, and unopened packages, he asked eagerly what it was. "Vitamins," I said. "For Poppy?" "No, for me. Probiotics, to be exact." He looked puzzled. "I take them every day. They prevent female problems, and some studies have shown that they lessen anxiety and help with depression." He pondered on that for a moment, and then said "maybe you ought to take something else for the chronic depression. You're still pretty depressed." I pointed out that I take the maximum dose of the most effective SSRI/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor for me. "Well, but...like maybe another vitamin or something. I read that sometimes depressed people are low on Vitamin D." Yes, I said, which is why I take 5,000 IU of that per day. "Maybe you need more Synthroid?" I told him that actually according to my most recent bloodwork I could maybe use slightly less, but my doctor had agreed to leave it alone since my mood is so heavily influenced by my thyroid and my heart is okay with things the way they are. "Oh. Well is there anything else natural or whatever?" I told him I also take a shit-ton of fish oil, which is supposed to be a natural mood stabilizer, and Co-Q-10, which allegedly improves mentation in some subjects, and eat a lot of blueberries and take b-vitamins, because those are supposed to fight depression too, and that short of sticking a fork in an electrical outlet to try and replicate ECT there wasn't much else I could do to try and boost my mood while I'm uninsured. "But I guess once I'm insured again I can go back to my psychiatrist and see if any new drugs have come along since we last spoke," I said, and kind of mentally cringed at how flat my voice sounded, even to me. And then I went and laid down and opened my laptop, because if you lie down while awake and stare at the ceiling you look depressed as hell but if you lie down and stare at your laptop you're reading.
Hotter came into the bedroom and stared at me. "What's wrong?" Nothing, I said. "No really, what?" I said I thought I was hiding it better, and then started crying out of nowhere. Crap. "I didn't mean to make you feel bad. I just want you to be happier, for..." I held my breath, because I was afraid he was going to say "the kids," and my entire goal in life is to not let my mental health fuck up my children, because if I can accomplish that much on top of not breaking any of their bones or letting them catch me at any adultery then I'll be totally winning at life and doing a WAY better job than The Narcissist did. And we all just want to do better by our kids than our own parents did by us, right? "I just want you to be happier for your own sake." I exhaled, and wiped my eyes, and said I just thought I'd been hiding it better. I think at that point Hotter could tell what I was thinking, because he said that I did hide it pretty well from everybody but him, but he noticed and wished I wasn't depressed was all.
The funny thing is, a couple of days ago one of my more bitter co-workers grabbed me by the elbow and pulled me aside. "How do you do it?" she asked. "Do what," I asked in return. "How are you so happy and upbeat all the goddamn time?" I said something about that being what people want from us in the hospitality industry. Later that same night, a guest at another server's table, a little old lady, called me over and asked me what my secret was. "You're just so lively! My goodness, I've been watching you and you never stop! You remember everyone's orders without writing them down and you always have a smile on your face...you're just a delight!" At the time I was actually pretty irritated, because the shift was kind of going to hell and I was trying to do eleventy-hundred things at once and didn't have time to talk to a little old lady who WASN'T EVEN MY FUCKING TABLE, but I smiled and said "caffeine! Enough to give a pony a heart attack," and then scurried away to track down some Dijon mustard for somebody and heckle the kitchen about the ticket time on my large party and steal some soup spoons from Banquets.
So I guess I probably do hide it pretty well, but I'm also pretty fucking depressed, and have been for a while now, and I have no idea what to do about that.