Living with Depression

Dealing with depression is not an easy thing to do. I think I’m finally on the upswing of this latest bout — and thank God it only lasted a couple of days this time — but like usual it’s left me exhausted, weepy, and discouraged. I hate talking about it, especially as it’s happening because it’s such a burden — to me, to my family, to anyone around me. Talking about it rarely ever seems to help, so this time I clammed up, retreated into myself, and tried to stick myself into the deepest, darkest, coldest corner I could until it eased off. Even that effort bit me on the backside, to some extent. It was hurtful to my wife, and I think maybe even the girls felt it. It’s hard to be sure. When I’m in the middle of a depressive episode, I don’t see or notice much outside my own self-contained misery. I periodically open these little channels to outside information but only just enough so that I can fulfill an obligation here and there, and then I pinch it off again. And as I said, I don’t really talk about it. It’s hard enough just to live with, and through, it.

I don’t know why these depressive episodes hit me when they do. This time it could have been caused by a combination of getting over a head cold and the onset of colder weather plus the stress of work and school obligations. Or not. I’ve had more stressful periods in my life without a depressive episode, so it could just be that my brain chemistry got a little wonky for a couple of days. Whatever the case it seems to be passing now, and I have hope that this weekend may actually be reasonably decent. Even so, I know the depression will still be there, waiting. Even on my best days, I can feel it lurking over me like a specter, like a shadow in my mind. It taints all my best moments, just a little, because I know it’s not a matter of if the depression will come back, it’s just a matter of when.

My medication is a lifesaver, quite possibly literally. With the slight bump in dosage this past spring, I’ve been stabler longer, but even so, there are still these little blue periods, these low points in my mood that seem entirely unavoidable. I dread them, always, but have accepted that they’re just a part of life, part of doing business while traversing this mortal coil, if I may wax poetic for just a moment. I hate that my brain is such a mess most of the time, and one of my greatest fears is that I will pass this curse on to my children. I can only hope that if such a thing happens, I will be able to offer support and empathy to them and help them along through their own times of struggle.

And that’s it for now. I have other things to do, and I can actually breathe a little again, enough to get some of those things done, at least. I don’t talk much about my depression; it’s hard to know who’s actually willing to listen. But I can write about it, and in some ways that’s better, anyway, more therapeutic. If you’ve read all the way through this, then I thank you for taking the time.

2 thoughts on “Living with Depression”

    1. I guess. Depression for me has little to nothing to do with my own personal sense of self-worth. It has everything to do with feeling like I’m being crushed by the weight of existence. Sort of. It feels a bit like being slowly squeezed into a smaller and smaller space, losing the ability to think, and having every ounce of willpower and energy siphoned away from me. Apathy is a very large part of all that, and there may be some self-loathing thrown into the mix, but more as a consequence than as a primary effect. Dunno if any of that makes any kind of sense, unless you’ve experienced it firsthand.

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