Thursday, February 25, 2010

Depression: sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy

I struggle with depression.

Believe it or not, it's taken me years to gather the courage to say those four words out loud, and it took me years before that to even admit to myself that I was depressed. Surprisingly, it was my little sister who did it for me. Recently diagnosed with depression herself, she has it under control and doesn't shy away from telling people about it. She gave me the courage to be honest with other people once I was finally honest with myself.

I am not sure why it took me so long to admit that I was depressed. Part of it could have been the fact that there was no rational reason that I should be. I had no trauma in my life, and, for all intents and purposes, my life was pretty good. Why shouldn't I be happy? The summer I finally realized and admitted it and, ultimately, visited my doctor, I had just started my relationship with my husband, boyfriend at the time. I was happy, or at least I should have been. But I wasn't, and that was the problem.

I find myself struggling with a few things in relation to depression as a whole. I'm frustrated that there is a very real chance that I may be on drugs for it for the rest of my life. (There is also a chance that I can and will overcome it, or manage it with therapy and no drugs, but at this point, drugs are the best solution for me.)

Depression manifests itself in different ways with different people. This is an obvious statement, right? Sometimes I think I need to remind myself that the reason I'm feeling a certain way is because of my depression. Day in and day out I hang out in my house. Sometimes I get restless and NEED something to do, but sometimes I just want to stay here and never leave the house again. It's a daily struggle, and one that is exacerbated by the fact that I don't have a job yet, something that gives me reason to get up every day.
It may sound weird to say this, but I often have no reason to get dressed, shower, and leave the house. Any grocery shopping Geoff and I need to do is done together on Sundays. The recent decision we have made to start working out together helps, but why would I get dressed if I'm just going to put on workout clothes and shower after the workout, at about 4? If I let myself, I could sit on the couch in my pajamas every day until it's time to go work out. But I don't. Part of my resolution to help work through my depression involves setting my alarm for 8:30 a.m., (though I don't always get up exactly then), showering, getting dressed and putting on jewelry.

I'm not sure why I decided to share this here, of all places. Maybe because it's been weighing on my mind lately, maybe because, even if there aren't that many people who read this there is someone who is where I was a few years ago. Too afraid to say out loud that they struggle with depression. Mostly though, I think I needed to get it out, to explain to myself why I can't always leave the house, and to realize just how far I have come. I have a ways to go, of course, but I am a long way from spending my days in my bathrobe, or in bed. And for that, I'm proud of myself.

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