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Nov. 21st, 2005

In some ways it was a bad weekend.
Depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand. The medication helps, but there are still days where the depression cuts through, and the symptoms become overwhelming.

There are some of you who think of depression as feeling sad. I've heard more than one person say something equivalent to "just cheer the fuck up", and I gotta tell ya, it's like telling a cripple to "just get up and walk".

Beside the point.

There are times when I have depressive episodes. There are days when I need to hide, when everything is too overwhelming, and I just want to sleep. And I'm not talking about a want, I'm talking about a need. If you find yourself saying "yeah, everybody has days like those, they're called mondays", hold your tongue, you have no understanding.

It's the kind of thing where you know that you should do something, you say to yourself "I will do this now", and yet you don't get up and do it. Sometimes it's something as simple as going to the bathroom, and the only thing that gets you out of bed is that the pain is unbearable. It might be a simple thing, like putting the dishes in the dishwasher, or picking up that piece of paper that just fell on the floor, but you just don't do it. And then it becomes easy to roll into old patterns: "look how horrible I am, I can't even pick up this piece of paper or do the dishes", and that feeds on itself in a spiral of death.

I've learned to recognize-- at least after the fact-- that those things are symptoms of an illness rather than a fault of my character. Between that and the medication, I can usually do things in a fairly normal manner. I do have episodes now and then. Sometimes they're triggered by stress, sometimes they just happen.

When an episode hits and I recognize it, I usually try and hide away until it passes. I don't always recognize it right away. Sometimes I just have really bad days.

However, there are outside elements (read: people) who don't get that. Sometimes people have expectations that I don't meet, and I disappoint them.

I want to let it not bother me, but it hits too close to home at times. And this weekend was one of those times.

I slept most of the day Saturday. I managed to get out to watch a movie and to take Sadie for a walk, but everything else just got dumped. On Sunday, I managed to get upstairs enough to play videogames. I didn't even shower, which is hella wrong for me.

I'm still not okay. I'm better. But if I seem particularly anti-social, I'll leave it to you to figure out why.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
"However, there are outside elements (read: people) who don't get that. Sometimes people have expectations that I don't meet, and I disappoint them."

NO shit!! This simple fact alone has caused more stress, anzxiety and depression in my life as well. Its just a sad fact that some people are too damned simple to understand that the whole world doesn't FEEL the way they do. They figure- "well, shoot. I get the flu sometimes, so I know how she must feel, but I always get better in a day or two so she should be fine by now. She *must* be avoiding me/mad at me/too self-involved to care about anyone besides herself/ etc."

Same goes for depression. I had (HAD) a friend say some horrible stuff about a mutual aquantience that just happened to be manic/depressive. Said ex-friend made a comment awfully similar to "well, we all get sad sometimes. why can't she just let it go? she's making herself miserable on purpose, she just want's attention"
Sometimes, the ignorance makes me want to cry.

I'm here for ya when/if you need me. No pressure, no judgement, no consequences. Just friendship.

Nov. 21st, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I like to play a lot, and you're fun to play with (and you know what I mean by that), and I appreciate that a lot.

Right on about some people not understanding-- it's like if I'm taking antidepressants, I should never have symptoms, like it's magic beans or something. They don't get that it's not something that is cured, even if they do understand it. And some just look on it as a sign of weakness, or a failure to take responsibility.

Sometimes family can be the worst. Ugh.
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
I can relate too. Sometimes I dont shut the cupboard doors when I am depressed. then I can mash my forehead on the corners later.
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
Not on purpose, right? :)
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
>There are some of you who think of depression as feeling sad. I've heard >more than one person say something equivalent to "just cheer the fuck up", >and I gotta tell ya, it's like telling a cripple to "just get up and walk".

It's hard for some people to understand...but not me. *I* understand.

I have been diagnosed with a weird anxiety disorder - I forget what it's called exactly - that's a nasty combination of depression and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, with each feeding off the other.

I stopped taking my medication over two years ago, just before moving to Minnesota. Since then, I have become what I'd call "functional" - I'm able to do most things, but I'm certainly not without my quirks. (For instance, I have a pathological and moderately debilitating fear of certain numbers.) Some days are worse than others, and it seems to be cyclical, but overall I seem to manage.

Nov. 21st, 2005 06:39 pm (UTC)
I tried going off of the medication a couple of times. It's not a pretty thing. I don't think that functional would be descriptive of what I become, though I managed to live for a lot of years before the medication.

It wouldn't take a whole lot for me to be pushing around a little shopping cart and living in a cardboard box.
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
I get it. I really do. But knowing that this is a condition, a genuine illness, and not a flaw in your character is a huge step.

Just remember that you can call us if you need to chat. We can listen.

Nov. 21st, 2005 07:20 pm (UTC)
Part of the thing about hiding/hermiting is the not calling and not wanting interaction with other humans. The point at which I feel a need to chat is usually when I'm coming out from under the big rock. :)
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
Life's toooooo short
Hang in there. Being Bipolar (Pretty much genetically manic depressive with a twist), I've learned to deal with those days where absolutely EVERTHING is impossible. The dishes don't get done, the garbage is overflowing, dirty snot kleenex from crying and sobbing cover the floor. Your body even physically fucking hurts. Aches. You either want to sleep ALL day or you can't at all. You wanna eat everything just for comfort or the opposite, you can't keep anything down.

As I told a good friend of mine recently, the days when it hurts you deeply internally to get out of bed, or halfway through the day,, nothing can make the pain, sadness, irritation tolerable, promise yourself that it is ok to go to bed but not today. Tomorrow will work but today, for some fucked reason, you WILL get through whatever you need to to make it till tomorrow. And give yourself that. Sleep the whole next day. And make sure you have the greatest sheets in the world to wrap around you. (I recommend highly overstock.com!)

The anxiety that comes with my BP and the loss of mind control is unbelievable at times. Terrifying things have happened. But the overall need to curl on the couch and watch tv/play video games is the perfect escape but it also feeds the pain/sadness. I'm not sure why but it's something I've learned.

I'm lucky enough have a place specifically to avoid my house so that doesn't occur. Sometimes it's hard as hell to leave but I know it's safer physically and mentally than styaing home by myself to wallow in the dark.
I also have a small little girl that is incredibly demanding on my already thin patience. She makes me choose between bed and life. And honestly, sometimes I choose bed and then cry softly to self later for feeling like such a horrible parent. But it's what I needed at that time. And I also know that it's not always like that.

It's finding the strength, which you know you have, and trying slowly, day by day to notice the small things that matter most in making you feel better.

Next time take that shower.....make yourself do it. You might be surprised at the smallest of improvement. I fucking promise....keep going. Only YOU can pull yourself through this and you have to want to. If you think you can't, seek professional help elsewhere. Hell, commit yourself if you really think you're headed nowhere but down.
IF you voluntarily commit yourself, you can also check yourself out assuming they don't restrain you. (Wich would only be on account of finding you in serious threat to yourself or others)
You are in control and although this area sucks ass, it won't last forever. I recommend seeing someone as well.
I'll be thinking of you at my shrink appt this afternoon! *grin*

Good luck. Email anytime. Christina_dre atyahoocom. I'm a little more on the hard type of luvin then oh woe is you but I'm always open to sharing whats worked and whats been some of the most difficult areas of my life.

Fuck seratonin levels and disorders!

Lithium/depakote and every type of anti anxiety meds known.....my body eats it up and spits it out.

email me if ya wanna tlak more. This is getting annoyingly long for everyone else to read.
Nov. 21st, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Life's toooooo short
There are days that the one thing that has pulled me out of bed is that I have pets that need to be fed and let outside. They are utterly dependent on me for the basics of survival, and I can't let them down. There are times too numerous to count where I've thought "just this one time they can be hungry", but I always manage to get up and feed them.

Most of the time it's fine. Once in a while it isn't.
Nov. 21st, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Life's toooooo short
see, ur not going to hell!

(reference to billboard posting...)
Nov. 21st, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Life's toooooo short
Well, maybe heck...
Nov. 21st, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC)
I was there for a while, but that's the only reason I understand my mother, my ex-husband, and several of my friends, and know what it's like. If you're not up to getting out of bed, you're not disappointing me. You inspire me for getting up anyway.

I'll still be here later. I just wish that hugs help better.
Nov. 22nd, 2005 12:38 am (UTC)
I give you so much credit for acknowledging and discussing your depression and anxiety. Wow, what a great character trait - to have the courage to take such and honest look at yourself! I admire you for that. From what you have discussed in your journal you have so many wonderful qualities - you have inspired me many times with your stories of changing your diet, dealing with relationships and now analyzing your depression/anxiety. I give your credit for being candid and honest ... and although I am just another person on LJ, please let me know how I can support you and help you through the tough times ...
Nov. 22nd, 2005 02:20 am (UTC)
I remember during my worst episode several years ago when I was unemployeed my rule was 'I must shower'. My only thing. I must get out of bed and shower. I sometimes didn't do anything more then stand under running water for a half hour but I showered. And it was a herculian task. That one thing.

I wish drugs were the magic fix. I wish taking this one pill made it all better. But it doesn't. For me, that one pill doesn't make things better. It just makes the things I have to cope with diferent.

I admit to pushing others sometimes. Only because I wish I had someone to push me when I'm struggling. To help haul me to my feet and get me moving. I try and give what I want. But mostly I just try to offer up the help if wanted.

Depression is hard for the person who suffers for it. It's also hard for those who love them because it makes everyone feel helpless. There's not dragon to slay. No miracle to perform. No fix.

Depression has no end, no finale. (except death, which I always hope will be of old age) It's very daunting to face something with no foresee-able end. A Sisyphusian labor.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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