I was diagnosed with depression many years ago. It began when I was nine, and has been a constant, lurking shadow throughout my life. In the early nineties, I was prescribed medication to treat my dark-pit mood and suicidal thoughts . It worked, but eighteen months later, I realized that I felt like a walking zombie. With three small children to raise who needed a whole mommy and a husband who needed a conscious wife, my doctor agreed to wean me off of the meds, as long as I stayed in therapy, which I did.
The words “snap out of it!” don’t work for those of us who suffer from this debilitating condition. Depression is a horrible circle…when it’s present, I feel hopeless and incapable, and everyday life paralyzes me. I then become unable to perform the most mundane tasks, which, if carried out, would help me feel better. I know exercise helps my dark mood and kicks my body into a great endorphin rush, but just the thought of getting dressed to step outside the house, is too exhausting to even remotely consider. And then I feel more hopeless and incapable!
Sucks, don’t it?!?
This latest bout of depression has lasted for two or three years….honestly, I didn’t recognize my symptoms until I began to feel better. That came when I stopped sitting and watching TV (putting an extra forty pounds on my body, which didn’t help), and picked up a craft I used to love more than twenty-five years ago. I started simply, a small counted-cross stitch project, something I could handle easily and see progress quickly. I found I was looking forward to getting up in the morning, excited to get my hands moving, even though I was still sitting and watching TV the entire time. Small, macro steps, ya know?
This morning, I realized how important it is to me to feel and be productive. It has become important to me to contribute outside of my little cave. I’m partnering with my daughter on a wonderful project, one that centers on crafting and includes podcasting, writing and interacting with others who share our love of handwork. I’m learning new skills, both in hand work and in the vast world of technology. I’m now producing beautiful memories for family, friends and for myself, and more importantly, finding structure in my day. I didn’t realize how lost I had become with an empty day spread out before me. My mood has lifted, and the cobwebs are clearing!
If you, like me, have a tendency to suffer from depression, my heart goes out to you. Whether you choose medication or alternative methods to help you to climb out of that dark pit of despair, please choose. Choose life. You and I have gifts to contribute to the world, even if that world holds but one other living, breathing creature.
May you have a gentle and self-caring day. 🙂