The Black Dog of Depression

I am not normally a depressed person. I have had, like so many of us, depressive episodes, usually relating to circumstance – in other words, my depression is situational and not necessarily a chemical imbalance. I know people with the chemical imbalance sort and I reckon I’m not one of them. But this week, this month, maybe this year, I have felt pretty low. I’ve previously written about my situation in another post, so you know where I’m at, but at the moment, I’m feeling like I can’t quite climb out of the little muddy pit I’m stuck in.

It’s situational, I keep telling myself. I have a lovely home, a wonderful husband, I am earning money, and I am studying full time. I am mostly quite busy, but at the moment I am struggling to care. I am entering a phase of terrifying ennui. I am aware that if I go for a walk, if I wander outside and if I actually talk to people I may feel better, but I also know that, for me, I have to let this beast run its course. I can’t really afford to leave the house as every time I do it costs me money. For example, the first time I left the house this week (yesterday), I bought lunch, a singing text, some sexy tealeaves and travelled on the bus. The day cost me $100.00. I’m doing it to feel better. But when I spend money I can’t afford I don’t really feel better: I feel worse.

I’m writing this because I think we hide behind our smiles, and just now I don’t feel like smiling. I’d rather be upfront and honest: I am suffering here. Now, if I were REALLY suffering, I wouldn’t be writing about it, I would just be suffering, so I know I have only a minor case of the depressive stuff. But, man! It’s hard to lose this sensation. Depression is beguiling, tempting. Sometimes I just want to take to my bed and not get up. Sometimes I want to roll around in the stuff, revel in my angst, feel melancholic and low, just so I can feel thoroughly Sturm und Drang. I know this sensation. It’s dangerous and addictive. I’m good at beating addiction – I’ve done it before. But wow, this one comes up from nowhere, and I’m not sure how to tackle it. No, that’s not true. I DO know how to tackle it. GO for a walk. Breathe fresh air. Get some sun. Exercise. WORK.

But: I don’t want to leave the house; I want to play computer games; I feel fat and frumpy and old; I feel friendless; I miss my kids; I miss Melbourne (that old tired mantra), I don’t want to do any work; I feel tired; I feel sad and lonely. Depression? You betcha. Will it leave me? Of course. But it’s a bitch when it’s here. An old, miserable, bitching, energy sapping, ugly devil. My bete noir.

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One thought on “The Black Dog of Depression

  1. I hear you, Jess.

    Although it is different for everyone,a nd I do not want this to be a me too!! comment, I have been feeling better by going to the gym, working outside, and prayer helps me (I know that is not on your option list, but sure helps me). I also have found Brene Brown’s books and tedtalks helpful. Basically April was dreadful. May is getting better. the cooler weather cheers me (missing Sydney, still, after 14 years here is Brisbane).

    I agree that we all put on our happy smiles. “Everything is fine”, we say. But some days are not, some months are not. They are to be endured until that one thing that sparks us out of the pit happens. Once that one thing happens, do it again the next day. And then the next. It is the enduring, speaking it out, and then knowing that this too shall pass.

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