It’s been a long time since I’ve written about depression — I think a lot of the people I know (online and otherwise) weren’t around the last time I was really candid in this space. (I think I wrote quite a bit around 2005-06.) But it’s been weighing on me, and I’ve decided to just write something, even if it’s awkward.
For those who don’t know, I’ve dealt with recurring depression at least since I was a teenager, with probably the most severe episodes around 1994 and 2005, and lots of little bouts in between.
2012 was not an easy year for me, as I think I’ve written about a couple of times. Car crash aftermath and dying kitty threw me for a loop. The bright spot was starting a new job, but that came with the downside of giving up my amazing bike commute. And even as life got better by any objective measures, I didn’t. The last two months have been really hard, especially in motivation and social interaction. I just find it incredibly hard to get started doing almost anything, or to handle social interactions. I’ve always been introverted and/or shy, but this has been way out of bounds, to the point where even I know it’s a problem. So it’s this triple whammy of: I’m having trouble getting things done, and then I have trouble communicating about that, and that makes both of those things worse.
Plus it’s a bit like having someone screaming in your ear about how horrible everything is, and nobody can hear it but you; not literally, like hearing voices, but one’s internal narrative is so negative that it’s hard to turn off. It’s hard to even write this because I’m thinking to myself that all of this is just silly and self-indulgent, begging for attention — just get a goddamn grip.
– sigh –
Ok. So given all that…
I’ve been taking medication for several years now, and it was working really well for me; sure things are hard sometimes, but there was always a floor of how bad I could go. Not so much now. Seems I’m just running on willpower, which sucks. So we’re adjusting that, which unfortunately (?) also involves an inbetween period. So this week in particular I’m even more tired than usual, almost had a panic attack during workout class on Tuesday. But hopefully….
I’m also trying to get more exercise, which I know from experience is critical. My therapist asked when I’ve done best with exercise, and…yeah, that bike commute. Because it’s three things: a nice time outdoors, time I’d be spending in transit anyway, and I can get on autopilot. And it ended up being like an hour a day, which is a kinda crazy amount to carve out of a schedule, but seemed to be the necessary amount! Trying to go to the gym (swimming, class, whatever) is a nice addition, but isn’t quite the same thing. So I’m trying out walking from the house to downtown, which is a mile and a half, definitely takes longer than that leg of the bus ride but not impossibly longer. My legs are a little sore…and today I skipped it because it was pouring. I may need to drag out my rain gear from biking. But the days I have done it, I’ve been really glad.
I’m trying to keep positive, even with the EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE AND YOU SUCK going on any time I’m not actively engaged in something.
I can’t think of how I want to wrap up this post. I’m having a really hard time of it, because it feels like writing this is … oh, I don’t know, I don’t just want people to be all “oh you poor thing.” I have a lot of ISSUES around anything I think is attention-seeking, a lot of personal history crap. So I’m gonna turn it a bit differently, and if somebody in your life seems to be flaking out, be compassionate with them. You never know what they’re fighting against.