I can feel it approaching, gradually, but as inevitable as a rising tide. I feel it touching the corner of my mind as sea water laps at toes. It slides in closely, but not quite touching, then slips away leaving me safe and dry for the moment. But then it is back, and closer. Soon I know it will touch, then deepen and threaten to engulf me. But it is not the tide. It is not something I can simply back away from as I would the seafoam on the beach. It is dark and grim, lurking just under the surface, waiting for a vulnerable moment to swoop in and latch on.
Curiously, I don't fear the next bout of depression. There was a time when I would crumble before the mere thought of the encroaching gloom. That time is past, mostly. Now I try to prepare, as I would prepare for any of Mother Nature's inevitable calamaties. Prepping my mind and body as I would prep my house for a hurricane. Bring in supplies; food, water, first aid, emergency lighting, extra ammo. Batten down the hatches, board up the windows. Put on the facade of well-being, as you might put security signs up to prevent looters. Cocoon myself in the safety of my home, surround myself with my animals and projects, and just wait it out. There is nothing else to do, you can't fight Nature, you can't fight the rising tide.
I will admit, my main concern is for friends and family. Just as it would be in the face of a natural disaster. Are they prepared and able to cope with the coming storm? I wish I could go to their homes and get their preparations in order so that they too have no need to be concerned over the inevitable. Are they ready to deal with downed lines of communication? Ready to cope with my isolation? I doubt it. I sincerely doubt it. If you have never survived a hurricane, how can you really know what it takes to live through it? You will surely underestimate the power behind the onslaught.
I am ready for the storm, ready for rising tides. I hope. As long as it doesn't exceed predicted power, and will hopefully be only a mild summer storm instead of a winter storm of epic proportions that will lash the beaches until the sand is gone and the trees are torn out by their roots. Deep breath.