Lessons From Depression

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I've had episodes of depression since my mid thirties, meaning, lucky me, I've had over a decade to ponder and refine my techniques for dealing with it.

One of the reasons I haven't written in the past 10 months is because last summer brought a wave of depression that wrung me out and left me limp. I have sometimes felt like I'm a hard working blender and it is my job to take my husband's and my children's and my own pain, anger, hurts, and disappointments and somehow blend it all up into happy sweet strawberry milkshakes.

Does that make sense?  So obviously I thought I couldn't write about how I was really feeling-and I didn't have it in me to serve up fake milkshakes on my blog.

But now I really want to try my best to tell it like it is.  And there are many seasons in life that really are lovely and fairly easy.  My chemicals are balanced and my anxiety/depression is dormant.  Life has ups and downs and I deal like everyone else. 

But when it rears it's ugly head I've learned some things to make it more bearable and I want to write about it to help myself and, hopefully, help someone else. Today I'm just going to write about how my depression looks and what I do about it; later I want to try to write about what triggered my episode this summer.  Fun for the whole family!

Sitting here fidgeting and distracting myself on Facebook.  This is harder than I thought.

Okay, so for me depression is married to anxiety.  In fact, it always starts with something that I am worried about, something that seems, to my crazy brain, insurmountable.  The only things I really worry myself to death about are the people I love, so my anxiety usually has to do with a relationship that is out of whack or a family member who is having a hard time.  If you are one of those loved ones-worry not.  Discretion is the name of my game, baby!  

It pretty much starts out feeling like the flu.  I can't sleep.  I can't eat.  I spend the nights laying on my back, waving my legs in the air because they are twitchy and they hurt.  I throw up a lot.  I try to hide it and act normal when my kids are around and then just collapse as soon as they are all out the door.  My mind is in a constant spin about whatever is bothering me.

Later I will lose all my energy.  I can't really sleep, but all I want to do is lay in bed and hide.  Eating is still out and it is hard to muster up interest in anything.  I'll feel guilty for being so useless and that, of course, doesn't help anything. At home I struggle to do the bare minimum of my parenting tasks and focus all my energy on trying to at least talk to my sweet kids. Last summer my dad said it was like I had just faded away, which I found interesting since when I was with my parents I was trying SO HARD to hide what was happening.

I know depression can manifest itself differently in different people, but that is my nutshell in a nutshell.

I think I'm going to go to bed now and follow up with my helping myself heal protocol tomorrow, like I said, this is tougher than I thought it would be. 


One Response to “Lessons From Depression”

  1. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for finishing through the "toughness." I admire your willingness to share "with discretion" and appreciate your efforts to help yourself heal. We love you. ~Nick


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