Depression Sucks

I think everyone who deals with depression sees their battle in a slightly different way. I’ve heard people describe it as sliding down into a deep abyss, or as falling into a funk. For me, it feels kind of like those allergy commercials (Claritin clear™), as if a fog of sadness surrounds me and I can’t shake it.

I’ve struggled with it for most of my life, and have tried a lot of things (therapy, meditation, diet) to try to keep myself healthy. I mostly succeed. The best things for me have been my kids. I know that isn’t true for everyone, but for me the responsibility of motherhood has shifted my focus enough to keep depression under control.

It still crops up, though. Like recently. I’ve been shuffling along, barely doing the minimum, feeling pretty bad about myself. I can feel that dark fog around me, growing denser, blocking out the happiness. I feel tired a lot, and have no pleasure from the things I usually enjoy. I’ve been doing a terrible job keeping my house, and ordering out a lot of meals even though I normally love to cook. I’m drinking more than I should, and not eating as much. I’m okay, but I feel the beginnings of depression settling in.

I’d love to be able to pinpoint depression’s cause, but I’ve been told it is a chemical thing most often and not due to any one event or life-problem. The truth is at any given time I’ve got enough problems to justify a depression, and even if those problems don’t cause it, they don’t help, either.

Around a week ago, I reached a really low, low, low. It was a nice day, and I had a lot of time with my family, and it was beautiful outside, and everything was perfect. Except I wasn’t happy. I was thinking about my writing, and about my bills, and my house, and all the unfinished tasks I have hanging over myself. And that made me realize I needed to do something, at least about the things I CAN control.

So I did. The first thing I did was make a list of the things that make me happy. Simple things, like “making dinner and eating with family” and “reading every day” and “walking along the beach.” Things I haven’t been doing. And for the past week, I’ve made sure to do those things.

I also gave myself permission to NOT write every day. NaNoWriMo is a bust (again) for me, which is fine. I’m not checking my KDP sales numbers, and I’ve stopped my facebook ads (they weren’t working very well, anyway). I have decided that I will not quit writing, but I will drastically lessen my marketing efforts. All that was doing was making me stressed, and sucking the joy from writing. I spent so much time and worry on what my reviews said, and how many sales I had, and what I could do to better fit into my genre. Ugh. It was killing me.

And you know what happened? I’ve been good. The clouds have lifted! I’m happier, and I’m not as tired, and I feel better about myself. I even wrote a whole new chapter of my WIP! I feel much more in control.

I still might call the doctor, but for the time being I’m doing well.

I started a new crochet project today. A “puff stitch cowl.” I like it so far, though I have a long way to go! 🙂 What do you think?beginning_cowl

9 thoughts on “Depression Sucks

  1. I have depression too, and it can be so hard. I also make lists of thinks I like to do and then make myself do them; if nothing else, I feel accomplished 🙂
    Last week was also a bum week for me. I was slogging through the work–the too much work I kept taking on–and felt so anxious. I’m going to take it easier this week. I can’t remember how to crochet, but I’ll try to play games more.
    Your project looks awesome and keep at it!

    • Thanks!
      Maybe last week was one of those cosmically-bad weeks? Like when everything goes wrong and people say it’s because mercury is in retrograde or something? I don’t know about that stuff, I’m just looking for excuses lol

      Definitely take it easier! I think learning to listen to our bodies is a huge step toward feeling better, or at least catching things before they get too serious.
      Thanks for commenting!

      🙂

      • Of course!! I’ve recently come back to social media and things are going smoothly. I love that I have time to read and comment on stuff other people write whenever I want. I had a blog when I was in high school, but got so many followers that it got to the point where I couldn’t even log in due to anxiety. I hope I can be that popular again, for work reasons now, but I want to manage everything better so I can still enjoy the experience of working with others.

        Yeah I hope this week goes better! For you too!! 😀 I slept a lot more last week because I was constantly tired, but was up nice and early today.

  2. Guh. Marketing is so stressful, and it certainly doesn’t help when you’re making all these decisions on your own, worrying if it will work, what it’s going to cost, is it worth it, is there something else I should be doing… You end up going in circles. I was right there earlier this summer, so I backed off from marketing, too. It made such a difference. I started actually writing again. I’ve been slowly putting little marketing things back in, but nothing crazy.

    The yarn colors are really pretty, and it does indeed look ‘puffy’ 😀

    • Exactly!
      The stress of selling work adds so much pressure to writing. I’m surprised there aren’t more indie-author promo companies. Because honestly if I could pay someone who knew what they were doing, I totally would.

      Thanks! It’s just cheap yarn but I really like the colors 🙂

  3. You know, what we need is some gruesome macabreness. Is that a word? It SHOULD be. The crochet, for example. Human hair? It LOOKS like human hair?

    OK. I will stop trying to cheer you up and point out some science.

    1. Brains of people who are depressed are different from normal brains. It’s a NEUROLOGICAL condition not an emotional one. You treat it by resorting chemical imabalcnes in the body. 30 minutes of brisk walking plus some St Johns Wart tea has been shown in german studies to be more effective than SSRIs. And MUCH kinder on your body (you can’t mix St Johns Wort with other meds though).
    2. On the farm we treat depression in sheep with vitamins and minerals. I think your Vit D levels have dropped as the nights are drawing in. So get a good multivit spray (works faster absorbs more) and a seperate Vit D spray (because you can never have too much Vit D) and see if this boots you a wee bit. Look at your Zinc and Selenium levels.
    3. Human touch, lots of sex, etc helps. One of the biggest problems I have remaining on an emotional even keel is that I love touch — and I have no one to hug me. Me needs cuddles. If you have someone who can cuddle you, give you a massage, etc etc (the etc being, well, YOU KNOW) then go for it.
    4. Fuck Nano.

    • I have been doing pretty well with my herbal tea and a friend made me some elderberry syrup that I am taking every day, I think that is helping. Also my husband and I joined a gym for our birthdays (we have similar birth-dates) and even though I despise exercise with a fiery hatred, I have to admit I feel better after a workout.

      LJ, I wish you had someone to cuddle 😦 That makes me sad. Too bad you are so far from me, or I would totally have a platonic movie-watching snuggle-fest with you. ❤

      Yes "fuck nano" indeed! I will still terrorize (I mean "attend") the local write-ins, because I love them, but I have let go of my NaNo goals completely.

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