I’ve wanted to write about my depression on LoveLiveGrow for awhile now, but it’s a very difficult thing for me to write about. It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it. I’m an oddly open person, and I’m willing to talk about almost anything in public. And depression is nothing unusual, really, in the scheme of things, so like my miscarriages, it strikes me as something that we might ought to talk about much more often, and I’m certainly willing to do that.
The problem is the relationship between my mood and my ability to do anything. When I’m depressed, it’s completely impossible for me to do anything. And by “anything”, I mostly mean anything. Sometimes it’s hard to move. Sometimes it feels like a great effort to breathe. I consider it a success if I am able to get to a couch to watch TV, which will occupy my mind enough that I’m at least not dwelling on the misery. Sometimes I just lay there and am miserable. I usually try to sleep, which is a wonderful, wonderful period of time where I don’t have to be with myself. Sometimes during this time, I’ll have a particularly succinct thought about my thoughts, and then I’ll think, “That’s how I’m going to describe it when I do a blog post about this.” But when I am depressed, I am most definitely not actually making any posts. The only reason there are posts around here as often as they are is the magic of scheduling.
On the other hand, when I am not depressed, it’s difficult to describe what it is like when I am. I can describe what I do – the actions I take while depressed – such as sleeping or crying or sighing a lot. That’s a lot different than the thoughts going on in my head, though. Describing the actions (or distinct lack of actions) is not nearly as interesting and doesn’t tell you as much about me. But it can be hard for me to remember.
I have been seriously depressed for the last few days (I’m actually writing this post on the day I will publish it). This morning, I woke up feeling pretty good. It’s been a few hours since I woke up, and feeling good has stuck around. Today, I am not depressed. Things may happen today that sadden or disappoint me, but they will not cause me to cry or try to disappear. It’s not that today is a “good” day in any outside way. It’s that my brain is operating in a fundamentally different way today than it was two days ago.
It’s sometimes so easy to forget the thought processes of depression, that I wonder about it myself. This morning, I found myself saying to myself, “Well, that was silly. Look, everything is fine. The next time you feel like that all you have to do is…..” And that’s just a bunch of nonsense. I can’t talk myself out of the chemistry of my brain. My depression is not caused by my thoughts or my actions. My thoughts and actions are affected by my depression. But if I sometimes forget this, when it’s actually pretty fucking clear to me, it’s definitely a strange thing to try to write about and explain to other people.
One of my big goals, after the baby is no longer breastfeeding, is to get myself medical treatment for my depression. I’ve had therapy before, and that has helped in some big, measurable ways. But I’m finally over it enough that I’m interested in seeking chemical assistance. Technically, I don’t even have a diagnosis. Maybe it’s not even depression, and there’s some other word for what goes on for me. I tried to take some “Do you have depression?” tests online the other day, mostly just for fun (I know there’s something wrong with me!) If I accurately answered all the questions, it always came out that I didn’t have depression, because so many questions involved a change from your previous self. For example, “Have you been sleeping more than usual?” or “Do you cry more often than you used to?” and for me, the answers to these would be no, because I’ve felt this way for as long as I can remember.
Anyway, I don’t have any profound thoughts here or big conclusions. I just figured it was time to finally make this post, regardless of whether I could remember what I wanted to say. I have depression. I am depressed most of the time. I wish I could write more clearly about it, because when I’m really depressed, some really fascinating shit happens in my brain. Maybe this post will break the ice, and I’ll figure out how to express the other things I’d like to say.