This is how I like to ball up when I'm depressed...except,er, not naked =)

Not Divorce.
Not Damn.
Just Depression.
Downright, dirty depression.
Dastardly it is.

Usually, I can blog past it, but this last week it’s really given me a run for my money. Shortly after Thanksgiving it snuck up on me and tapped on my shoulder.

I’m still here, it said.

As I\’ve mentioned before being depressed always makes me feel like a loser.  It feels like a big excuse to be lazy when it’s hard to get to things, when I become easily overwhelmed, when it’s very difficult to focus, when it takes 2-3 times as long to accomplish simple tasks, when I’d almost always rather be asleep then engaging with my life in all of my varied roles.

In the last week, I decided I have to figure out how to live with it.  Deal with it.  Get over it.  Move on.  Live.

What if it never goes away?  What if anti-depressants don’t always work -as clearly they are not right now?  What if life goes on with a constant nagging sadness and anxiety?  Can I keep going despite it?

I have to.

There isn’t really a choice is there?  My alternatives being 1) Engage with my life and push through or 2) Quit my job, quit engaging with my kids & spend everyday in bed under the covers.

The good news is that last week I tried out number 1 for size.  I worked hard to minimize temptations & consequences, I kept at what I needed to do when it completely sucked & took me forever & I tried to take care of myself.

(Yeah, I still need to get into a regular habit of working out, but let’s talk about that later).

The GREAT thing about depression?  I am accutely aware of my daily reliance on the Lord.

I know I simply cannot make good choices day-to-day without him.

I cannot make it day-to-day without constant prayer.

I cannot make it day-to-day without knowing God is getting me through.

It’s been extremely humbling.  That’s a good thing, right?  I’m no longer ‘all that and a bag of chips’ at my job, now I’m just lucky to be a little bit & a single chip.

It’s caused me to evaluate what is really important to me.  I simply don’t have time or energy or motivation for the superfalous.

It’s going to be rough, but we’ll make it. =)

 

****Don’t forget you can still win a lovely heart pendant from a Haitian artisan by commenting on my post about the  Heart of Haiti Collection at Macys.com.

 

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  • http://waynebowerman.com/ wayne

    Grace, I deeply appreciate your candor and vulnerability in this post. I remember reading the earlier post that you linked up to in this one. Your honesty is refreshing and inspiring

    • Grace

      Wayne, thank you so much for your encouragement and compliments, it’s very kind of you.

  • Ashleigh W.

    I feel so relieved that someone else knows how it feels to be depressed. Usually, I’m so worried people won’t understand, and just call me lazy, and, like you, I rely daily on our Lord. If it weren’t for the power of prayer I would seriously wonder where I would be. Great to read this!

    • Grace

      Ashleigh, thanks for your comment! Yeah, it’s not lazy at all…it’s so hard and takes so much work just to do the basics. God answers prayers though, glad you lean on Him. Blessings…

  • Sharon S.

    Grace, I’m catching up on your posts….what courage you have in writing about this illness….and that’s what it truly is….just like diabetes, it needs to be managed and medicated, etc. I’ve been living with depression for nearly 30 yrs, but only diagnosed and treated the last 15. It sounds like you’re starting to recognize some cycles and that’s good.
    I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned over the years with the help of a WONDERFUL psychiatrist, a supportive husband, a great counselor, and just plain old experience
    1. We always increase my meds with the time change and decrease again in the spring due to the change in sunlight. And have you ever looked at a sunlight lamp? They can be very helpful, even if you just read under it for 30 min a day. And I think you can use one of the Daylight Craft lamps that you can get with a coupon at a craft store. And try changing your household lightbulbs to “daylight” bulbs too.
    2. I also take an anti-anxiety med along with the anti-depressant b/c they are so closely linked and not all meds address both.
    3. I’ve learned that my depression in the winter makes it really hard for me to do evening activities, so I make as few commitments in the evening as possible. If I need to make an on-going commitment, I only do it for the daytime when I have to get out of the house anyway to bring the girls to school or whatever…..learning to be kind to myself helps me love and care for my family better.
    4. This goes along with my kid’s schedule too – trying to help my kids choose activities that will have them home before it’s dark.
    5. And this also goes with doing any household chores too….I do it when I HAVE the energy or absolutely need to get out of the house anyway….which isn’t always the same and depends a lot on when my family needs me…if I bring them to school, i go straight to the grocery store and do other errands and then come home and do whatever I need to do for me….if that’s just chillin or taking a nap or whatever.
    6. Recognizing and embracing the part of me that just wants to lay on the couch: my girls and I get in our pj’s around 6 or 7 pm and cuddle on the couch together, usually watching their favorite tv show.
    7. Paying attention to my body, seasonal cycles, and the impact stress has on my depression….it helps me plan my schedule better….i.e. learning the time of day, time of month, time of year I need to take it easier on myelf. And I GIVE myself PERMISSION to do so…just like a diabetic gives herself permission to do insulin shots or drink juice when she needs sugar.
    8. One of the best long-term investments I made was taking a class that used Cognitive Therapy to help me change my thought patterns! I did that over 10 yrs ago and it taught me to catch the negative thoughts AS I started to think them or say them aloud, stop, and re-word them into GRACE-filled messages based on TRUTH! I found a group sponsored through a Christian counseling center and it was a 12 week class or something like that. Being in a group with a counselor’s feedback was CRUCIAL for me and it was SO helpflul to hear that other people struggled with the same “tape player in their heads” that I did. I also shared some of the most important messages with Reggie and he was shocked that I “talked” to myself that way. It helped him understand better and he helped me practice re-phrasing the messages, and still helps me when I get caught in a negative thought pattern. Last summer I found an anti-anxiety workbook that I’m planning to go through also.

    I hope this helps you…and anyone else reading this. If your meds aren’t working, then go back to your Dr. and keep trying until you find something that works for YOU. Just like a diabetic needs to know the right meds and dose to stay healthy. And if your Dr. isn’t supportive and willing to help you find something that works, then find a new Dr.!

  • Sharon S.

    Grace, I’m catching up on your posts….what courage you have in writing about this illness….and that’s what it truly is….just like diabetes, it needs to be managed and medicated, etc. I’ve been living with depression for nearly 30 yrs, but only diagnosed and treated the last 15. It sounds like you’re starting to recognize some cycles and that’s good.
    I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned over the years with the help of a WONDERFUL psychiatrist, a supportive husband, a great counselor, and just plain old experience
    1. We always increase my meds with the time change and decrease again in the spring due to the change in sunlight. And have you ever looked at a sunlight lamp? They can be very helpful, even if you just read under it for 30 min a day. And I think you can use one of the Daylight Craft lamps that you can get with a coupon at a craft store. And try changing your household lightbulbs to “daylight” bulbs too.
    2. I also take an anti-anxiety med along with the anti-depressant b/c they are so closely linked and not all meds address both.
    3. I’ve learned that my depression in the winter makes it really hard for me to do evening activities, so I make as few commitments in the evening as possible. If I need to make an on-going commitment, I only do it for the daytime when I have to get out of the house anyway to bring the girls to school or whatever…..learning to be kind to myself helps me love and care for my family better.
    4. This goes along with my kid’s schedule too – trying to help my kids choose activities that will have them home before it’s dark.
    5. And this also goes with doing any household chores too….I do it when I HAVE the energy or absolutely need to get out of the house anyway….which isn’t always the same and depends a lot on when my family needs me…if I bring them to school, i go straight to the grocery store and do other errands and then come home and do whatever I need to do for me….if that’s just chillin or taking a nap or whatever.
    6. Recognizing and embracing the part of me that just wants to lay on the couch: my girls and I get in our pj’s around 6 or 7 pm and cuddle on the couch together, usually watching their favorite tv show.
    7. Paying attention to my body, seasonal cycles, and the impact stress has on my depression….it helps me plan my schedule better….i.e. learning the time of day, time of month, time of year I need to take it easier on myelf. And I GIVE myself PERMISSION to do so…just like a diabetic gives herself permission to do insulin shots or drink juice when she needs sugar.
    8. One of the best long-term investments I made was taking a class that used Cognitive Therapy to help me change my thought patterns! I did that over 10 yrs ago and it taught me to catch the negative thoughts AS I started to think them or say them aloud, stop, and re-word them into GRACE-filled messages based on TRUTH! I found a group sponsored through a Christian counseling center and it was a 12 week class or something like that. Being in a group with a counselor’s feedback was CRUCIAL for me and it was SO helpflul to hear that other people struggled with the same “tape player in their heads” that I did. I also shared some of the most important messages with Reggie and he was shocked that I “talked” to myself that way. It helped him understand better and he helped me practice re-phrasing the messages, and still helps me when I get caught in a negative thought pattern. Last summer I found an anti-anxiety workbook that I’m planning to go through also.

    I hope this helps you…and anyone else reading this. If your meds aren’t working, then go back to your Dr. and keep trying until you find something that works for YOU. Just like a diabetic needs to know the right meds and dose to stay healthy. And if your Dr. isn’t supportive and willing to help you find something that works, then find a new Dr.!

    Grace and peace to you, my dear!