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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is what my depression looks like

trapped in my mind
looking out at my life
not living

I've been suffering from a pretty severe bout of depression these last few months. I know it was set off by the increased pain, new symptoms, lack of mobility, and the improper care of my doctors. I recognized it a few weeks ago and despite knowing that I suffer from depression I still found myself trying to deny it. It still amazes me how denial can be my initial response to a bad depressive period. After all these years, you'd think I wouldn't waste my time and energy trying to deny my feelings. But nope, I still do. I am not sure if that results from a part of me that still wants to believe my depression is temporary, or if there is still a part of me that doesn't' believe I have clinical depression.

I was reading someone's blog. When I find a blog I really like, I will go back to the first post and read the entire thing. I don't usually read "mommy blogs" because my children are much older (only my youngest is still considered a kid at 15, my oldest is 23) so I don't relate to the constant running around with young children. However this blog also included discussing such things as the author's experience with depression and the past experiences in her life that probably caused it. When I found this blog last week I read the last few posts, then went ahead and started from the beginning. Her post entitled "This is difficult to write" really hit home with me. She kept repeating "This is what depression looks like", and I found myself nodding and agreeing with her. Our situations are different but some of our feelings are the same.

Reading that blog entry made me realize that I have been denying the truth for a couple months now. I am struggling once again with depression. My meds are obviously still helping because I have not reached the point of wanting to kill myself or harm myself, but the feeling sad all the time etc. is there. For me my depressive episodes look similar to hers in that I can't find much value in myself or my actions (specially when I am immobilized and stuck in bed, it's more like "What actions?").

There is a lot of blaming myself.

A lot of feeling guilty

A lot of worrying that others can't possibly want to stay with such a horrible person like me.

There is a loss of interest in anything that I normally find enjoyable such as writing or stitching.

There is a lot of feeling alone, even though I am not.

Being isolated, in part by my own withdrawal and in part by not being able to go anywhere or do anything (which is beyond my control).

There is self-doubt and self-loathing.

There is asking myself "why me?" and "What did I do to deserve this?".

There is minimal to no sex drive at all, and even worse no desire to cuddle, talk, or in any other way be intimate with my husband. (This is not his fault at all, it is all inside me and in part stems from the self-loathing, guilt, shame, and anxiety).

There is waiting every day for him to come home and say he wants a divorce. Irrational, I know this mentally, but emotionally the terror is there and no matter what I tell myself I can't make it go away. Even though he is happy to see my when he gets home from work, rather than feel relieved I feel and think "there's always tomorrow. I'm broken. He can't really want to stay with someone who is broken so, he'll do it tomorrow" and the worry starts over again.

There is no desire to go anywhere or do anything. The hopeless feeling that comes with knowing if I even try, a pain crisis is my reward, so why bother?

There is the non-stop pain that just makes everything seem so much worse. Makes me less tolerant of mistakes I have made and so damn tired. Fighting and dealing with the pain all day long leaves no energy for anything else. That lack of energy erases all desire to do anything, and that loss of desire and mobility increases all the negative emotions and self-destructive thoughts. It just goes round and round.

This is what my depression looks like.

It sucks.

I am considering asking for a referral to a psychiatrist, rather than continuing to get depression medication from a general practitioner or my pain doctor. Maybe a psychiatrist will know of a medication that will help more than the one I am on. Also, maybe a psychiatrist can help me find a therapist who deals with chronic pain patients and I can get some help.

I've dealt with depression caused by many things in my past (childhood trauma, divorce, abusive relationships and rape). I remember the tools I learned to help deal with those times, work through them and move on without depression or medication for depression. I've tried those tools with this situation and they don't work. I think it is because my mind knows that this is not a temporary thing. I know this is permanent and will get worse over time just as it has for the last 30 years. Knowing that there isn't an "end" to this situation seems to be sabotaging my ability to pull myself out of depression. Maybe there are other tools for dealing with depression caused by a permanent life change. I hadn't really looked into that before. But I think I have to.

I can't keep living like this.

I can't keep hurting the ones I love the most by making them watch me just scrape by and thus worry if I will eventually say "fuck it" and kill myself.

I want my life back.

I'm scared though. Every day is so hard and I already know that dealing with depression is hard also and I don't feel like I have the energy or the strength to deal with two hard things at the same time anymore. This makes me afraid to try because I might fail and if I fail my loved ones will pay the price.

This is what my depression looks like.

Thank you Melissa for having the courage to post what you did on your blog. You've made it possible for me to, once again, open my eyes to my own condition. You've made it possible for me to find a tiny piece of myself that wants to stop existing this way, so I will use that tiny piece and seek help. Who knows, maybe that piece will grow. So thank you very much!

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Thank you for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog. For people who are chronically ill and/or in constant pain, it can be difficult to socialize as frequently as we would like to do so. Talking with others online is a way for us to socialize, chat with others, make new friends, reach out to others in similar circumstances and many more positive effects.

Knowing that someone has read my posts and commented on it, helps in many ways. The biggest two being that it helps ease the feeling of being "alone" and that no one could possibly understand. Secondly, it reminds us that others truly do care and that just feels wonderful!!

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog, it really does mean a great deal to me and is helpful too!