Thursday, March 22, 2012
If you don't know what depression is I suggest you google it and research it thoroughly before you make the assumption that it merely is feeling down. Yes, we feel down at many times but when you are depressed it is much more than that.
During an episode of depression you lose your self-confidence, you read criticism into everything, you are probably very irritable and you probably loathe yourself for allowing this into your life once again. Well, that is how I feel at least and everybody's depression is there own.
Up until yesterday, I was full of denial. I even went to two doctors and denied being depressed. Instead I said I was completely exhausted but was quick to point out I wasn't suicidal (which I have been in the past) so "this" couldn't be depression but something more like exhaustion.
I had it all categorized into compartments and this is what I believed. I knew I was okay when Nan got sick but I certainly neglected my own mental and physical needs during her illness. I wanted to be super woman and despite the warnings I kept up such a hectic pace that I didn't stop to think.
Then she died and again, I was the strong one who didn't grieve or cry but chose to remember the good times. Then there was the family squabble and I took the high road and wouldn't get into it with any of them and instead just ignored them and pretended that I was okay.
I doesn't take Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys to see a problem here, now does it? Sheessh, sometimes I am my own worse enemy! It all bubbled over yesterday when I was doing a Sudoku puzzle and started crying because I couldn't concentrate long enough to see a number much less solve the darn thing. Lucky for me, I have a very understanding husband who listened to me talk without interrupting. Then I listened to him.
First of all, he said, If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and swims like a duck...it is most likely not a rabbit but a real duck. For all you non-mystery solvers out there....I think he used duck for depression!
Well, it hit me like I was a complete failure. Honestly, I was floored because deep down I knew it but thought nobody else could "see" it. So, what are my choices in dealing with it?
The obvious first choice among health professionals would to up my medication but I am scared of that. And this is where I should have knocked myself over the head with a hammer!
Last fall, I managed to lower the dose of one of my anti-depressants by 20 mg. It was the best non-scale victory I had under my belt. I was flying high! I did it by putting myself first, living a pretty active lifestyle and eating healthy. I was in a good place both mentally and physically.
Now depression doesn't come on suddenly and whack you over the head to announce its arrival...it sneaks in on little paws and you don't know it is there until it is all around you. I cannot believe that this is my 30th year of living with depression that it arrival still surprises me.
So I have my check list of symptoms and pretty much all can be attributed to depression. I also have my arsenal of things that make it easier for me but do you think I do them? NO! Don't even ask why as it is another great mystery of depression. We know what will help and yet we are powerless to do anything about it.
Right now Spark is taking on a familiar role for me. It will not be about weight loss, it will not be about using the nutrition and fitness tracker and nor will it be about getting a new trophy or answering trivia questions.
Instead Spark for me will be about establishing a routine. I have to use my light therapy every morning for 20-30 minutes, I am going to exercise in some shape or form for 10 minutes each day, I am going to take care of me by listening to my body and my mind and I am going to be honest with myself. IF I think I need to resume the medication I haven't needed in six months I am not going to think less of myself. I am going to think more of myself for having the courage to realize that I have come this far with the help of medication but I wouldn't need this medication if I didn't have a chemical imbalance. The latter is something I can't change, plain and simple. It is who I am and is something I have to accept and live with.
So as I am busy crawling out from under my rock I hope you all will have patience with me. I will be my "normal" self soon enough and I cannot wait to get there. In the meantime I have this ugly black hole to contend with and I am doing my best to crawl out.