Friday, September 7, 2012

I'm Not in a Nine Inch Nails Kind of Slump or Anything

Yesterday, I ran away from home...

...to the coffee shop down the street.  And I got a coffee and a brownie and looked at pictures of kittens. You know, just your average human-being-maintenance-stuff. And I was so happy and calm and relaxed.  The only reason I left the coffee shop is because Matt's MacBook was out of juice.

I've been off lately.  In a funk, so to speak.  A tad depressed, as it were.

Last night I was all ready to go to sleep about 1:30 am. But instead I made pancakes while on the phone with my boyfriend.

Kittens.  2am pancakes.  Long distance boyfriend.  Brownies.

CLEARLY DEPRESSED.

You know, 'depressed' is a word that I think some of us throw around lightly.  But it ain't light.  It's heavy.  And it ain't my brother.

I remember about 10 years ago having a phone conversation with my mother about my sister.  It was one of those talk-about-sis-behind-her-back phone calls (Carrie, we were just concerned for your welfare).

I said to my mom, "Mom, I think Carrie's depressed."

My mom said, "Hmmm...no...I see depressed as not being able to get out of bed.  You know?  Like, you just don't wanna do anything."

It dawned at me at that moment that there are varying degrees of depression.  A whole spectrum. Each degree is legitimately depression. I've been all up and down and around the spectrum.

I think I mentioned this before in a much earlier post, but just a few weeks after my wedding, I would curl up into a ball in the corner of my bedroom and sob.

When I was pregnant the first time, I didn't want to do anything.  Pretty much the whole 9 months.  And I wasn't sick (nauseous).  Ever.

When Hana was an infant, when I got pregnant with Emma when Hana was 8 months old, when I was pregnant with Emma, still depressed.  A nice, long lingering sadness.  Sometimes it was more than just sadness, though.  It was numbness. Sometimes it had a physical effect- like nausea (when I wasn't pregnant) or fatigue.  I was mean to people sometimes- grocery store cashiers were a favorite target.  I was always on the defensive waiting for someone to offend me. Believe me, when you're looking for that, you're gonna find it, and that is partly because you create it.  (I am very wise)

I remember a time when I was pregnant with Emma.  Hana was napping, so naturally I was napping, too.  Someone knocked on my front door. It gave me so much anxiety that I could only lie there and cry in my darkened bedroom...as this person knocked on the door over and over and over.

I started therapy around this time and Zoloft.

Things evened out a bit.  The depression felt more like a residual presence.

That was my first major bout of depression.  Certainly wasn't the last.

One of the glaring memories I have of that time was winter.  The landscape would be gorgeously covered in a thick blanket of snow against a bright, blue sky.  But I would walk out the front door to that and feel physically ill.  The intense brightness of what was right outside my door was like a slap in the face.  It only made me acutely aware of how dark it felt inside of me.  I couldn't handle the light.  Darkness came to be what I knew.

So, I lightly throw around the word depressed today, now.  But I am in a funk.  It's real.

I have had enough therapy and success with therapy to know how to deal with this.  I have tools.  Within me.

I also enjoy wine.




4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this Ashley. Been there, done that. Bought the Prozac and the Lexapro and the t-shirts. Depression is an ugly step-sister.
    There is a Good Thing about depression, in my experience. That is now I know it when I "see" it, rather sense it. The overwhelming desire to white-knuckle whatever the hiccup is in life can result in spinning back to being in the cellar with mice. Like you said, you (and I) "have tools within" each of us, both of us. Before I was told by my husband of three decades that he was gay, nothing threw me. My mother died at 50 on Christmas morning on my sofa. I was 25 and had a three year old and a two week old. That didn't throw me. Learning I was a str8 spouse was nearly my undoing. Until then I believed that therapy was for cowards and anti-depressants were for weaklings. Nerp.
    Not so much. Both (and the support of other str8 spouses) saved my life. Looking for emotional support and glorious pharmacological assistance isn't a sign of weakness at all. It's a sign of strength. You've got it in ya'. In the meantime, have another brownie, find some puppy pictures and hug your girls. P in O

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  2. Wow! I learned to call it "painful numbness" when on Prozac for years and years and years. I went into my first suicidal depression the day he told me he was gay and I've struggled with it ever since. Sure--you don't want to have to get off the bed, but when the kids come home from school, you do anyway. My kids kept me putting one foot in front of the other. Thing is--I found out today (and you can check wildflowers) something that made me realize that this relationship of mine--the choice I made, impacted my life in ways you never understand--and it impacted the lives of my children and it NEVER ends.

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  3. Marijuana works well too. Ask your sister for some.

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  4. You've dealt with a LOT lately with the move and all. Be good to yourself, and have some more wine ;)

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