Posted by: mydarkestplaces | January 24, 2013

Depression for the third time…

What's depression feel like?

 

It’s remarkable what modern pharmaceutical companies can and do create. I’m now going in to months six and seven (ish) on my latest round of meds. And, much like they are designed to, they have kicked my serotonin and norepinephrine into gear. Maybe not to levels that would be considered “high” and not to levels that would be considered “happy”, but my meds have given me a platform to stand on. That platform isn’t exactly high up, but it’s keeping me from a free fall into darkness and despair.

Which is all a round about way of saying I’m not horrible right now.

More directly, with 2012 officially being over, I feel like I’ve won the biggest battle in a long, long time. That being said – as I recently texted to a close friend – there is no “win” against depression. Depression is a siege. And I worry about when the next battle will be.

That’s one of the worst parts about clinical, major depression. And I know that I’ve talked about it here before. And I know that I quoted BGIM last year (about this time, actually), ““Things started to feel so good that I forgot, I forgot that when I don’t actively know my limits and accept them that I push too hard, too fast, hell I become Superwoman and I have been on a Superwoman high for a while now.” You’re lulled into this false sense of complacency, a belief that maybe this is a singular battle. That maybe, just maybe, you’ve won. And then something happens.

It could be something major, something inconsequential. Last year it was major. Years previous, it’s been minor. I find myself waiting on tenterhooks for the next round. I fear it could happen any time.

Of late I’ve found myself feeling incredibly vulnerable. A bit of stress at work, a lot of memories. I’ve found myself thinking of Ann. I keep thinking I see Julia around Freeport. Next week is a memorial service for Brian. I’ve asked some friends who I’m close with, but in less emotional ways, to support me in more emotional ways (a HUGE departure for me…for those of you who know me, you know how hard that is).

Some of you are inevitably saying, “These are all good things. Well, maybe not the seeing dead people thing, but asking for help.”

The problem is that it makes me feel vulnerable. And, in my experience, the journey from vulnerable to destroyed is short. And that’s what I’m worried about.

So. Here I am. Maybe not drowning, but struggling to stay afloat. And I have friends surrounding me – digitally and in real life. Friends who don’t hesitate to say “yes” when I ask them to join me for memorial services. Friends who don’t hesitate to say “yes” when I ask if I can call them. Friends who don’t hesitate to say “yes, let’s” when it’s time for me to get emotionally, fall down drunk. Friends who say, “I don’t understand that feeling, but I’ll throw you a life preserver whenever you need it.”

That level of support is humbling. And appreciated.

It eases the hurt.


Responses

  1. Hugs to you. Asking for help and being willing to be vulnerable is hard, oh so hard. I struggle with it myself. Yet I have learned I have to, it otherwise it’s easy for me to just go into this black hole of despair. I don’t know you other than online but I suspect like many of us, you are someone who stays in your head and personally I find it’s when I get too deep into my head, it doesn’t serve me well at all. I am just babbling so feel free to ignore but just know that you aren’t alone.

    • I struggle with this as well (the willingness to be vulnerable, and also depression). I stumbled upon this TED talk about vulnerability recently, and felt compelled to share it: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html. I found it after watching another talk (by the same woman) about shame (http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html).

      A good quote from the second talk, “vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”

      The distance between feeling vulnerable and feeling destroyed (in my experience at least/as well) is positively correlated with a willingness to feel vulnerable.

      Kate, I admire your courage to reach out to your friends for help. I have a tendency to isolate when I am feeling depressed, which temporarily alleviates the anxiety associated with feeling vulnerable, but ultimately compounds the problem.

  2. […] in this space before, chemical depression isn’t something that can beat. It’s a siege. It can’t be fixed. It can be allayed. It can be pushed back, but it’s always […]

  3. I’ve just begun to read your blog. Thanks for posting a link today. The major depression diagnosis is one I share as well. Why we met each other in retail I’m guessing. Good, good, luck for me to have found this! Thanks, Weeez


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