Slow and Steady: The Ebbs and Flows of Depression

It’s been awhile since I spoke about my depression (my depression today that is), and it has been fairly intentional. I feel I have nothing to say. No crazy mood swings to report. No insights to share. Instead I am stuck in a holding pattern. Stuck, like an airplane circling at 10,000 feet. I will either land or run out of gas but for now I’m just hovering, and while I have dipped and made numerous right turns, I am going nowhere fast.

That said, things are shifting. I can feel them shifting. Each day I am growing moodier and far more impatient. The feelings of insatiable hunger and overwhelming nausea have become one in the same. I am blinking more, trying to keep the burning at the base of my eyes at bay. I am walking more; I am wandering more.

I am okay — at least in the conventional sense of the word — but I can feel deep (and old) wounds reopening as fall approaches. I am sleeping less, eating less, and finding less and less desire in day-to-day activities. I am either excessively productive or laid out on the couch, crying into pillows when no one is watching. It’s frustrating. I’m frustrated.

I want to stop it but I know I can’t. I try to fight it even though I can’t. I just keep circling and hovering, not knowing when I will crash — or where.

Clinically it is called “an episode,” a major depressive episode that is, and it is defined as “a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities [that] consistently [lasts] for at least 2 week[s]” or more. It is when the textbook shit occurs — the numbness, the emptiness, the endless tears, the insomnia and hypersomnia. It is when worthlessness  surfaces. It is when suicidal thoughts are most common. But it is more than a list of symptoms, it is a reality — my reality — when my depression truly takes hold. When I cannot see past the sadness, the blackness. When I cannot get out of bed or leave my house. When hope is dismal and every minute seems impossible.

And it is coming, slow and steady. I can feel it, and I can’t fight it.  All I can do is try: try to trudge through, try to do anything and everything to keep myself afloat, and try to keep myself accountable.

So that will be my parting message today, try. Don’t worry about great or good or even okay. Try, just try. And everything will be okay.

I will be okay.

Follow me on my journey toward mental health by following (and participating in!) the #snapshotsforsanity social media movement: Changing the perception of mental illness one image at a time.

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