The Healing Power of Sunshine

March 21, 2017

Last week, the time changed so that we got one more hour of sunshine, and at the same time, the sun came out and the temperatures warmed up. It was lovely. It was wonderful. It was… healing.

I don’t know if it was the increase in meds that I got, or the weather, but I’m grateful. Really, really grateful.

This has not always been the case. When I was severely depressed in college, I remember one day when it was a beautiful day – warm but not too hot, sunny but with pleasant shade, just perfect. And I wanted to die.

I kept thinking, wondering why I was so miserable on such a beautiful day. Why did I no longer want to be alive, when it was a picture-perfect day, and I couldn’t think of anything that was wrong… except that I wanted to die.

So, I know that the sunshine won’t always solve things for me. In fact, most of the time, it hasn’t. But this time, it did.


Emotional Neglect

March 1, 2017

This study really made me think. It talks about one of the reasons for depression being childhood emotional neglect. I resonated with so much of it – more thoughts later, but anyone else have similarities?


better?

February 23, 2017

Just a short update, but I’m feeling better. I don’t know if this is because I’m on vacation, spending time with a friend, actually saw the sun today, or the new meds are kicking in, but I’m grateful.

It just feels so fleeting.


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.