Friday, October 19, 2007

Hey- you asked for it.

i guess it's come to this- I must sit, think, and process these thoughts. Give them a more concrete place than mere flittings through my mind, impossible to catch and nail down. I think maybe I avoid doing just this so that the things bothering me stay like shadows in the background- always distracting me but not giving them the importance to be front-and-center. As I draw these thoughts out of the shadows, just remember: (Some of...) You asked for it.
What it boils down to is this: I am stuck.
I don't know how else to explain it- Every aspect of my life is stuck, set on 'survive' only. Obviously this depression is chronic-ongoing. Sometimes I seem to manage it well, but unfortunately the momentum never seems to last long. However, when I submit to a 'bad day' those gather speed and momentum rapidly. One day bleeds into the next again and again until I can't remember the last 'good day' I had. Essentially this can leave little motivation for me to plod on-knowing that my good days seem to gather no strength, while one single bad day appears to have the power to bring me to my knees for an indeterminable length of time. You may think that would give motivation to simply not succumb to a bad day, seemingly giving way to a flood of them. Well in theory, that sounds great. The problem is sometimes it takes such great force and energy to overcome the temptation to submit that I simply don't feel up to the task. It seems I have a limited reserve available- Having several productive days in a row, or sometimes just a solitary busy day leaves me drained and in need of a 'break'. (read: stay at home day which turns 'bad' and fuels that period of lows.)
The Cliffs Notes version: I can't ever seem to get a leg-up on this depression. In fact, I have been taking quite a back-slide lately, since that is unfortunately easy to do. A span of so many bad days can only lead one direction...

I am standing still, or slowly sinking in every aspect of my life. No exaggeration. Physically, Spiritually, Emotionally, Socially, Domestically, Creatively....I'm sure there are more. I can't remember the last time I did something that made me proud of myself. If I can think of something, it is something so mundane and typical for everyone else on earth that i then feel even dumber for being proud of such a 'non-achievement.'
Now the problem I face is the monumental one of complete change- I don't know where to begin or if I am even capable. I overwhelm myself with the enormity and numerousness of the things I lack, or habits I want to acquire that I am paralyzed before I ever begin. I try to break down a problem into it's parts to map out a step-by-step approach, but one step seems ludicrous in it's inability to solve anything so before I know it I see the vastness of the problem in front of me again and am once again, paralyzed. I don't feel like I know how to crawl out of this hole, and even if I did succeed that, how to stay out. I think that's why I am daunted, because I can't see the point if I am to just fall back down again. I am so weary of trying, yet I know it is worth anything to be 'well'- I suppose I just lack the perspective to see that possibility. How do I get myself out of this?
When I was first 'diagnosed' with depression about 7 years ago, I did not feel the stigma of my 'condition' nor the stigma associated with taking medication. Presently, I feel a little differently. Now I feel stigmatized by my inability to manage my depression. I know having depression isn't my fault, but my continual failure at managing it is. In these 7 years I have been taking medication, seeing a psychiatrist, at times a therapist, read countless self-help books on depression, and suffered through more lows than I thought possible. I have weathered some very big disappointments during this time and come through better than I would have thought possible. I have had very many wonderful and happy times, some of the best in my life since I have been married, yet I am always reminded of one thing: the present state I am in that seems all too familiar. The fleeting highs gone before I have a grasp on them, mourning their loss as I begin another low period whose end is not in sight. The revolving door of my 'situation' is so tiresome that sometimes giving in to it sounds like the best option. By far the easiest choice is to give in and let it overtake me. However, I am sound enough to know that this is not the most rewarding option. It is really no option at all I guess since I continue to have the will to fight. I don't know where to begin, I don't know how to gain any momentum and hold it.

No responses necessary. (Some of) you wanted to know the details of my life out here, and these are they, in all of their boredom, tedium, and self-indulgence. Please bear with me, the majority of people who do not know what I am talking about and hear only whining. It is not intended as such. And please no urgent calls or emails or other forms of outreach, thinking I am in a fragile state. Not at all. Apathetic is more like it. And that's that in my life in NC right now.


michelle said...

Hmmm, sounds worse than I thought. My first question is, are you taking your meds as you should? Maybe a first step would be trying to find a doctor.

Your situation sounds bleak to me, because I don't have the problem of not being able to enjoy the highs because I am dreading the lows.

Maybe you need to identify just what things make you feel good, and make a specific plan to schedule those into your days. For me, it is accomplishment that really picks me up. I think I need alone time, and reading time, creating time, etc. and those are all great, but when I accomplish things (even dumb, little things on my to-do list) that's when I really feel good. So what does it for you?

charlotte said...

Hey Jess--I love you :)

Natasha said...

The social worker in me agrees with Michelle - what about the times in the past 7 years that were the exceptions to the rule? What was different about those times when you were able to feel good?
Are the meds even taking the edge off?
I'm sorry to hear you are going through this. I will have to keep checking back on your blog to see how you are!

Jill said...

I think it's great that you wrote all of this down. It's way better to document these feelings than to keep it all to yourself.

My first thought was about your meds as well. You know from experience how important it is to stay caught up on those and how quickly things can get ugly when you don't. What's the status on those?

jt said...

FYI- I am current on meds.
I feel a little better this morning, probably due to reading, a good night's sleep and a wonderful husband who is always non-judgemental and supportive.

RoRo said...

I have not had depression for 7 years but I have had it for the past year, and those that have never experienced it can't grasp it, I know I didn't until I experienced it. And it's hard, it is so hard, I don't have any answers for you because I am still trying to find some myself! Just want to say I can relate to how you are feeling, so many bad days, where are the good and how do you have a good day? I know that you recently moved away from your sister that has too be hard, my sister is a good support, but from a couple states away!!!! I have never lived close to her (since I was 19) and it would help out so much if we were neighbors! I can dream right? although that doesn't help because my dreams just don't seem like they will come true anymore. That's one thing I've noticed is that I don't have hopes and dreams anymore.

Okay sorry that was soooo long! I am so glad you wrote this, it's nice to know that others feel the same way. Wish I could offer some words of advice/courage/hope whatever! But I have none. I will pray and hope that tomorrow is a good day:)

Jill said...

I'm glad you're current on your meds and feeling better today. Timm is a huge blessing in your life, so it's a relief to read that's he's always unjudgmental and supportive.

I think depression is a daily struggle, so the fact that you feel better today than you did yesterday is a gift.

mother said...

Now I'll set myself to not worrying and continue praying for you as always.

But, I don't get the part about not feeling proud of anything you have done, look around at all those cute creative projects completed in your new house! Not to mention Bella!!!

I love you more.

dpw said...

I'm with Jill: it's an accomplishment to be proud of that you recorded so eloquently in writing what you are feeling. I, for one, am grateful to read it. I'm going to the temple on Tuesday and will put your name on the prayer role.

I love you.

Diana said...

Like Charlotte what more can I say than I love you.
I can relate so much to your situation, I too feel many of the feelings that you wrote about although I'd never be able to write about it like you do. You're not alone.
I think about you everyday... miss you!

Beatrix Kiddo said...

I'm sorry you're going through this :(

Robin said...

You know, like Diana said, I can honestly say I relate to quite a few things you bring up here. Granted, I'm not dealing with depression as you do, but I do have a problem with overall "apatheticness."

I hope you are able to get out of your rut, and in the meantime, you know you have many people who love you and support you (myself included). (:

Anonymous said...

I commented days ago and it didn't save it! I'm worried about you Jess...

Anonymous said...

that was the jist of it.

pjmesser said...

Now & then I read your blog and just had to comment after reading this today 10-24.
I can completely relate to your feelings. I have been there & now & then start to slip back. I just have to say that writing, especially in such a public place is a great outlet. Sometimes all people want to write are the good things/times. Reading the trials of others and how they deal with them is helpful to so many people, including myself. Just know you're not alone in your struggle.
I grew up in the same home all my life then after college & marriage my husband & I moved over & over for job opportunities. It always took me six months to a year to get over it- or just into a familiar & comfortable routine(if we were even still there.)Mostly time helped and stretching myself to find some friends.
Just wanted to say that you are an amazing woman facing a tough challenge that you CAN handle! Don't let it over take your wonderful life. You are needed & loved by so many~ that is exactly why the adversary keeps working at you.
I hope you have a better day!

Claudissima said...

Jessie...I don't know much about depression...although sometimes I do feel myself go and I just think being a girl sometimets you just come with a whole bang of issues...but I was just in Antropology the other day and they have thiese note books on topics... my down hill is my weight...and I bought a health goes through food you eat, exercise, etc., but they have one that is on moods...and it is excellent...the first time I saw it, it made me think of might be an excellent way of jotting it down...they are made in such an inviting manner that it makes you want to document it....maybe you should take a look. Why must all of us humans struggle with soo many things...but not knowing you much, and being your far distant cousin...I think you did a wonderful job in your home...I mean talk about putting the cabinets off your kitchen and painting them...that formula just buggled my mind...the best I can do is whip them with a truly are talented so keep hurdling those hurdles you will be triumphant.

Petey said...

This is a bit late but:
While I also am not affected by depression in the same manner I have had my moments.
And I have found that perhaps the best way I have to counteract some of the negative feelings in my life is to talk to my Heavenly Father: in prayer, or if I have some time to myself, in simple out loud conversation.
In expressing my feelings and why I feel them to Him I have come to find that I am often given strength until the end is in sight. Sometimes though, I find myself merely trying to weather through and just barely making it and then something happens that gives me strength to get through it the next time.
Whatever the case I have found that my testimony of the Gospel and of Christ's infinnite Atonement have helped me the most. In conversing with Christ and Heavenly Father more of my needs have been met than when I simply tried to hold it all in and plow through.
And those experiences have been so precious and sweet that I can not forget them; even when life continues to hit hard and heavy.

I know that temptation is strong but you can overcome it. When you lack strength Christ willingly gives you His.
He never forgets about you.

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