If you’ve ever wondered what depression feels like, or if you need someone to relate to…
The words aren’t coming. I know I want to write, but I feel dry. I’m far from bored. I’m not tired. I’m just stuck. Typing with my eyes closed helps. Like feeling the words instead of picturing them. It probably helps to not be able to read and re-read and edit and second-guess everything you think of, especially on a first draft. That’s what they always say, but how can you possibly do that if you can see all the words you write? It’s natural to want to revise and refine your own thoughts. But it does get in the way of the goal; which is to communicate.
I completed another page from Johanna Basord’s Secret Garden coloring book last night. I started it at my mom’s over Thanksgiving by applying a light pink “wash” over the whole page so the background wouldn’t be plain white. I’m happy with the result. I’m not a water color genius, but it looks better than the average bear. My creative, INFJ side can breathe a bit easier.
In the past five days I have yelled at both my kids, had a sobbing fight with my husband, reamed one of my best friends for her behavior toward one of her family members, got into one major and several smaller arguments with my manager, nearly took the head off one of my vendors at work, threatened to terminate every vendor working on my portfolio, sent an infuriated email to my school’s financial service office, and came unglued with an undertrained Target employee.
I could have cried this morning, I was so tired. I’ve been getting about five hours sleep each night for the last few weeks, and it’s just not enough. Luckily, I had to go to the dentist. I’ve never been so grateful for general anesthesia. Spike waited for me and took me home after where I promptly fell back to sleep. I woke up around noon, ready for pain meds and mashed potatoes, then back to sleep for a few hours.
I started the six-hour, BBC version of Pride and Prejudice when I woke up in the afternoon and slept through most of it. I woke up again at 11, more pills, shower, and back to bed again. My head aches and my jaw is tender, but other than that, it’s been the best day off I’ve had in months! I have eight pages to write before Wednesday night, but it will have to wait. My mind is in a happy fog, and it’s gonna stay there for now.
Good night, responsibilities. The chaos can resume tomorrow!
I feel like complete and utter garbage. I woke up this morning with a terrible taste in my mouth, my stomach was in knots, and all I could think was, “It’s not working. My brain pills have failed and I’m doomed to be depressed forever.”
What a nice way to wake up!
But it was seven o’clock. I don’t wake up at seven o’clock on my own, so something’s got to be working there. I got out of bed, brushed my teeth, took a shower, got dressed, and felt a bit better. Taking care of myself: also something I don’t do on my own without a significant amount of willpower. By the time I poured my coffee I realized what was wrong. People get sick!
Yes, even the most perfectly balanced brain is not immune to all viruses. There are a couple doozies going around my office. Seems like half the staff was out last week, some for more than a couple days. I reached for the Echinacea and Vitamin C and handed out some immune boosters to my family. I still feel awful, but at least it’s not coupled with hopelessness.
What a drama queen.
I haven’t been motivated or inspired to write about much this past week. That might have been the start of my little trip to Doomville. “Why don’t I want to write? Am I still depressed?” I tried to reason that not everyone has inspiration every day, but the nagging feeling that my transformation might be a hoax left me uneasy.
It’s been three weeks. I suffered from undiagnosed, clinical depression my whole life, not knowing I could do anything about it. When I started this journey in December, I resolved to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all that good stuff. But the scent of depression is familiar now, and it burns my senses. I just need to remember that physical illness, with its sluggishness and fogginess can masquerade as a setback.
On Wednesday I unpacked a box of journals. Tonight I did something I’ve never done as an adult. I’ve never had enough shelving to fit everything in one place, but with all the reorganizing and purging, I finally had space!
I gathered up all my notebooks and journals and organized them (somewhat) in chronological order. The result? Twenty years of my life on a shelf. It’s a beauty to behold. The top shelf is everything from 1995 through 2004. The bottom shelf is the last ten years. I think I’ll replace the post-its with actual labels. Maybe then I’ll always have a place for these, no matter where I may go in the future.
Here’s another marked example of the changes I’m seeing since starting on my naturopath plan: taking care of myself doesn’t feel like such a chore. I didn’t even know I felt that way, but looking back I can see that just taking myself to bed was a task I had to muster up some will power to accomplish. As a result, I would stay up until 1:00 in the morning, just putting off the heinous effort involved in brushing my teeth and taking a shower. [Hah – Now that I think about it, I think I’ve been sleeping naked the last couple years just to avoid having to pick out an outfit for bed. Too much work! Hu’band doesn’t seem to mind though.] Shaving my legs too: “Ugh, I have to shave my legs. What a drag.” Taking a shower: “That’s gonna take time.” Eating right: “I’d rather have comfort food.” All these little things I knew I should be doing to take care of myself; I did some of them most of the time, but it was always with an undercurrent of whining. I just didn’t wanna. My tank was constantly on empty, and it felt like my life was running on fumes.
My naturopath said that I should be prepared for a personality change. That worried me at first, because I didn’t want to feel like I was acting like someone I didn’t know; I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable in my own skin. But that’s not what’s happening. It’s simply easier to be the better version of myself. It doesn’t take so much effort. Thank God! It feels like my will power can finally take a rest. I’ve started looking forward to bedtime. I happily finish up on WordPress, take a long shower, swallow my brain pills, and slumber off! I’ve even started humming the “Hush-a-bye” lullaby to myself while I’m getting ready for bed. [Seriously, with the singing to myself thing. It’s so sweet. I just smile at myself when I notice it.]
Have you ever had a cold that wouldn’t go away; or a nasty backache? How about resentment that doesn’t go away with forgiveness. Sorry, I guess I dove into the deep end there pretty quick.
I feel like such a whiner on this blog, but why stop now? I’ve always preached that writing is the best form of therapy I know… but it’s not working this time.
I run to writing like it’s my last hope when things are tough. I started this blog. I’ve filled countless pages in my journal. I’ve written notes on random pieces of paper. I’ve even tried writing in a sketchbook; instead of writing in straight lines, I write diagonally, in circles. I create art with words. It’s not pretty. I’m not even proud of it when it’s done. But I’m doing the work! I’m doing what I know to do to dig myself out of whatever pitiful hole I’m in.
Ugh… I wish I could say I’m self-deprecating and my self-confidence just needs a boost; but that’s not it! I wish sitting in a room where everyone tells me I’m amazing would fix this. I wish I could figure out anything that would fix that doesn’t sound completely impossible. And before you tell me I should start praying for the impossible, let me stop you. “Praying for impossible things,” and I don’t get along. Believing in the power of God to make my wishes come true is not a thing.
My relationship with God isn’t about what He can do. It’s about who He is. And right now, He’s showing me that He loves people more than I do. He loves them enough to let them go. He loves them enough to let them believe things about Him that aren’t true. He loves them even when they reject Him. He loves them even when they twist His words to hurt people.
He loves them more than I do.
Being stretched like this is never something I sign up for, but I know My Redeemer Lives. He knows my future. He knows the strength I’ll need. He knows the wisdom that will help the ones I learn to love. He knows, and I’m committed to finding whatever it is I need in all this.
I don’t feel much between emotional unloading sessions. I don’t feel guilt or sadness. I’m irritable. My fuse is barely a stub. My tolerance seems to fill up to lower levels every day.
I’m wounded. I’m in self-preservation mode. And I’m not facing it. I’m not resting either. I’m not really taking care of myself. I’m just existing; getting through the day and making them as long as possible. I watch TV shows – hours and hours of TV.
I check out. I don’t want to face it. I don’t really even know what it is. Or maybe I do, but there’s no one to cry with. There’s no one to draw it out of me and empathize with my dark corner of the world.