I’m Trying Everything

February 15, 2017

If you have ever suffered from depression, you know that well-meaning people have all sorts of suggestions for you. I’m here to tell you that I’ve tried ALL of them. I’ve taken hot baths, gone on walks in the sun, played with the dog, gone to yoga, eaten healthy, eaten sugar, slept more, slept less, watched TV, read books, not watched any TV, knitted, talked to friends, meditated, prayed, spent time with friends, written, upped my medication, gone to therapy… what am I missing?

I’m struggling. I’ve been struggling since April but it’s not getting better. I have done the steps I need to. I just went to the psychiatrist to get my meds adjusted (another post there soon) and am hoping that helps. Also the weather is improving (in California) and the longer days and more sunshine is helping somewhat. But only a little.

These symptoms are far, far, too familiar. I know what comes next. I know that pretty soon I will isolate completely. And then I will start seeing things in gray instead of color, first metaphorically and then literally. I know that I will start feeling sad about absolutely everything, including seeing my dog and working with kids; things that bring me joy. I’ll dream about cutting myself and I’ll want to end things but I also know it’s not a possibility which feels more like a prison sentence than hope.

I think I’ll eventually be OK because I always have been but sometimes eventually comes after years and I don’t want to do this for years again.

One of the things that feels the worst is that I look OK. If you lived with me, I wouldn’t. But I’m single and I look OK enough for people not to check in on me on this level, and I’m not OK. But so few people know it.


A Long Winter

February 11, 2017

I’m so tired.

I don’t live in a part of the country that is considered cold. It doesn’t snow, there is plenty of sun compared to many other areas, and it doesn’t usually get to freezing. But it’s doing me in.

I have been cold since October and I think it’s more than physically cold. My house has terrible insulation and that isn’t helping, and it’s been raining more than usual, but I feel like my soul is cold.

The grayness is getting to me also. It was sunny today but it was gray and rainy for the previous four days and I haven’t gotten out of that funk. I have three full-spectrum lights in my house and I’m suffering.

At least I know now that I could never live anywhere colder or grayer. I saw a new doctor and we increased my medicine. I look forward to going to bed every night and have trouble getting up. I’m hoping that changes as the days get longer.

 


When Everything is Sad

January 18, 2017

Anyone who has dealt with major depression knows that it invades every cell of your body, to the point where everything, absolutely everything, can lead to extreme sadness.

I haven’t been there for a whilrubye, but it appears to be coming back. I paid my ex-boyfriend some money I owed him, and felt like that was a bit of closure.

Apparently, I wasn’t ready for closure.

This sent me into a tailspin. I have managed to convince myself that I will be alone forever, and never feel happy again. Part of this is grief, absolutely. I loved him—I still love him—and I’ve lost my best friend and the man I loved.

Part
of it is depression. The signs are far too familiar. I’m sleeping too much ruby2and it never feels like enough. I have no appetite at all except for sugar. I’m losing interest in everyday activities. And I’m sad. I’m crying like I can’t stop again. Not every day, at least not yet.

Yesterday I got up and felt incredibly sad. I did what I could to feel better. I went for a walk in the sun with the dog. I took a hot shower. I had to sit down in the middle of the shower because I was crying too hard to stand up. I just couldn’t stop.

I finally was able to calm myself down enough to do some work, and I looked over at my dog, lying in the sun, looking incredibly contented.

Somehow, that was the saddest thing I had ever seen. That dog, who I love, who brings me joy, that dog, lying down contented, that was tragically sad.

That’s what depression does. It steals the joy in absolutely everything. I don’t want to be back there.

 


Depression Dreams

January 16, 2017

It hasn’t happened in years, but yesterday I woke up from a dream in which I had been very, very depressed. I woke up feeling heavy and hopeless and sad. It was terrifying and I’ve been carrying the weight around for two days.

It’s strange how dreams can feel so very real. Terrifying. I couldn’t shake the feeling, and I’m still having trouble with it. I’m trying to remember that I’m going to be OK eventually.


Fiction vs. Reality

January 11, 2017

*This post contains spoilers but only of super old books and movies*

When the 6th Harry Potter book came out, I was in rural Mexico with a friend. We took a special trip to Walmart so I could buy The Half-Blood Prince the week it came out, and I read it almost all in one sitting, just as I had done with the previous five Harry Potter books.

When I got to the part where Dumbledore died, I was devastated. And I know people use that work quite often, but I mean, literally, I was devastated. I felt like a friend had died. I was in shock, grieving, and stunned. I cried and cried and couldn’t get out of bed. I tried to hide this from my friend and probably told her I was sick or something.

I was so sad. Really, I was severely depressed. When I am depressed, I can’t differentiate between sad reality and sad fiction. I was mourning Dumbledore like he was a good friend, not a fictional character.

That is not the only time it has happened. I was reading a book once where a dog died. The dog was old and had had a long, happy life, and passed away quietly in his sleep, but it felt like it destroyed me. Depression somehow made me have no filter between reality and fiction.

Depression has been creeping up on me again lately, ever since the breakup in April, my book release (a good milestone but any type of change/accomplishment is hard and I keep being reminded that my ex is not there to experience this with me), and the cold, dark winter. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when I took my 3.5 year old nephew to see Babe (the pig movie) recently and I cried through a lot of the movie. Only a couple of animals died or were kidnapped and it was done very lightly, and he (not even four years old yet!) was a little scared but fine, and I was crying in the dark. Because the overwhelming sadness is back. I’m fighting it better than I have been, but it’s back.

I don’t want this grief.


Coming Back from a Loss

November 4, 2016

I’ve been neglecting my blog for a while now. First I was neglecting it because I was doing ok and I didn’t want to write about depression. Then I was neglecting it because I was going through losses and transitions, and I just couldn’t do one more thing.

In March, I had my tonsils out and the recovery was really rough (if you’re thinking about having your tonsils out, do it young. Turns out 41 is not young). In April, my boyfriend of three years, who was my favorite person, best friend, and love of my life freaked out and left. The week before, he had said in counseling that he was sad that he had waited so long to open himself up to love and that he really wanted to make this work and that if he left, it would be out of fear. He left the next week.

In June, I left my job for a number of reasons, and it was the right decision, but it was a hard one. I went back to being self-employed. I got a new housemate. Changes are hard. An old friend died, and it’s still unclear if it was an accidental overdose or suicide, as he OD’d the night before he was going to go into rehab. I hadn’t seen him in 20 years but it felt like quite a blow. My dog had to have major surgery and caretaking in the middle of all this was tough. Oh, and I published a book.

I’m kind of reeling. Almost everything in my life looks good right now. But I miss my ex more than I can say – I miss both the role (having a partner in life, having someone to bounce things off of and who is a priority and considers me a priority) and him himself. He is a wonderful person, but not so good with opening up and being in relationship.

So, I’m back, and I’m trying to be honest. It’s been hard, and the weather change, impending time change, and political mess are not helping anything. I need to process.


Crying

July 16, 2016

I hate crying in front of people. Absolutely hate it. It feels far too vunerable and personal. Also, I used to be punished for crying. When I was very young, I was hit when I cried. I don’t remember this – I found out from getting my childhood therapy records. When I was a little older but still in elementary school, I was sent to the garage when I cried so no one had to hear it, with the threat of having to sleep in the garage. So you can see why I have some baggage about crying in front of others.

I have been crying a lot in the last couple of weeks. World events, personal events, and maybe just exhaustion from feeling too much. I cry while I’m driving sometimes, before going to sleep, while grocery shopping, and during yoga.

This isn’t constant – sometimes I’m totally fine But when I’m in it, it’s totally consuming. I just can’t stop crying.

I’m wondering how many years of sadness and trauma I’m letting out. And I wonder how many more years of this type of intense crying I still have in me.

And even with all the horrible things going on in the world, selfishly, the biggest sadness is the break-up. It came in April and as far as I can see, it came from him being scared of someone really knowing him. Our counselor agrees with my theory, although my ex said no, no, it had nothing to do with fear.

That is the biggest source of the unending tears for me. Current events have been horrible. An old friend either killed himself or OD’d this month and that was tragic. Racism is in full swing and people are dying. But somehow, the loss of this relationships is what feels like it is going to do me in. We were a good team, I love him, he loved me, and he got scared. And the loss feels too big to accept.