Hello Darkness My Old Friend

I haven't been blogging much this year, I see. Only one post for the entire month of February, and nothing so far in March.

I've had ideas of things to say, but none of them seemed compelling enough to summon the energy to sit down and compose. (I've even thought, a few times, about blogging that thought: "I'd blog more, but nothing is happening in my life worth blogging about.") My life has felt flat and dull.

Life feeling flat and dull is, of course, a symptom of depression.

So is withdrawing from other people, both in real life and electronically.

So are unexplained crying jags, hypersomnia and lethargy, and growing feelings of self-loathing.

It's been a couple of weeks since I noticed that the beast was back. I'd been slipping into it for some weeks, if not months, leading up to that, but kept refusing to look it in the face, kept trying to pull myself out of the tailspin by sheer force of will. Which doesn't work.

See, I didn't want to be depressed again, because it makes me feel so powerless. I want to believe I'm getting better, not relapsing. And it was scary, because this is the first depressive episode I've had for which I can't point to some (usually several) circumstantial trigger(s) and say: "that's it -- that was the straw that broke the camel's back." It just crept up on me out of the blue.

But you know, there is power in calling something by its name. I don't like to attribute my problems to depression, because it feels like an excuse, a crutch. But when that's really going on, just acknowledging it is remarkably therapeutic. I started feeling better almost as soon as I called it "depression." Because I know what depression is, and what to do about it.

Knowing that I have depression is the switch that lets me go from hiding from other people in my life because I hate myself and don't want them to see me, to remembering that I need other people and if I quit hiding maybe I wouldn't hate myself so much.

Knowing that I have depression reminds me to take care of myself. Eat good food. Go for walks. Get the bleep out of the apartment. Make changes to the apartment so that when I am there, it feels more hospitable.

Knowing that I have depression sends me back to my medical team to deal with the physical aspects of what is a disease and not just a state of mind.

So I'm getting better. Not one hundred percent, but a lot more functional than before. Better enough to write a few words. Better enough to smile.


Peter Onigan said...

Hello, friend. It's good to hear from you again. I was thinking of you on my flight to/from Orlando earlier this week (I waved, but I certainly didn't expect you to notice). I'm glad you're feeling up to writing. My comments rarely feel compelling enough to post, but I wanted to let you know I'm always here reading.

All my best,

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