Well, golly gee whiz, I haven’t posted on here in a while.
What an understatement. I think the last time I wrote a post, Lincoln was still president…but, in my lame defense, these past several months have been tough.
I got married. I started a new job. I have been an active volunteer with Kitten Rescue.
And I have been fighting – and losing the fight against – depression. I’ve blogged about my battles with depression before, so it is not a secret I have been grappling with the disease for some time. But for the first time in recent memory, I have found myself struggling harder, and for a longer stretch of time. It’s been months now. Months! And the “lows” have been looowwwww…. Mariana Trench low. Core-of-the-earth low. Popped-up-on-the-other-side-of-the-globe low.
When I think about the feelings I have had tearing around inside my chest these past months, the word “tough” is almost a joke.
Made all the more so because when I think about my depression in the context of a bigger picture, it feels like such a ridiculous situation. I did just get married. I’m supposed to be in newlywed / honeymoon phase here. I did start a new job, so I’m supposed to be in excited-and-going-to-change-the-world mode.
But I’m not. I’m in barely-holding-it-together mode. One-step-away-from-full-meltdown mode. I’m-too-scared-to-do-it-but-if-I-weren’t-I-would-commit-suicide mode.
And I know calling this situation “ridiculous,” is in itself, ridiculous. If a friend was experiencing this, and she confided in me, I would tell her what we all know to be the truth around depression:
Depression is an illness just like anything else, and it needs to get treated like any other disease.
You can fight this. You can beat this. It may take a few steps, a few trials and errors, but it can be done. You just have to keep fighting.
You are not [fill in the blank: worthless, useless, unloved, unloveable, a waste of space, etc…]
And I know, in my deepest brain, these words above are truth. But as I’m sure others experience: it is so much easier to say those words to someone else. When it comes to your own struggles, it is nothing short of a Herculean effort to really and fully believe them. You know how it is – the words don’t apply when it comes to you.
So I keep struggling.
But as a nerd who loves to read, I also keep looking up articles and essays in the hopes I will find something to help me get better. I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for – inspiration, I guess – but I keep consulting the all-powerful Google with queries like “living with depression,” and “coping with depression,” and clicking on anything that looks remotely helpful.
An aside: I should clarify I am on medications for this. That is part of what makes these past few months so perplexing… because I have been taking a combination of Paxil and Adderall for a few years now, and everything had been going along fine. And then – boom. Now, even though I still take the meds, I feel like death cooked medium rare. So when I say I am looking for ways to help me get better, I am looking for suggestions or practices I can adopt in addition to the medications.
Which is what prompted me to come back to blogging. This quest feels like the beginning of just that: a quest, and a journey. And I feel like a lot of soul-searching, experimentation, and new experiences are ahead, so, as part of all that, I want to capture my progress – keep a log of the journey, as it were. I imagine there will be moments of intense tedium, and the last of the tears have not yet come.
But I also hope there are moments of inspiration. Moments where new tools I can use come into my hands, and new insights into successfully living with the disease come to light. Because depression is a war, after all. So it really is all about fighting it.