Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


It's Sunday, and I'm at work. I'm working at my supplemental job, which is inpatient orthopedic physical therapy. My day will not be over soon enough. I don't have particularly difficult patients, but I'm having a difficult time. I don't know how to explain it. It's an old, familiar feeling, and I don't like it.

I feel overwhelmed, even though there's nothing overwhelming taking place. I've had to step into a stairwell multiple times today to catch my breath and/or say a prayer. I like the stairwells. They are gray, solitary, concrete structures with little color nor variation; perfect for an overwhelmed physical therapist.

I don't like being so easily overwhelmed. This feeling takes me back to when I first transitioned off disability and returned to work. At that time, I was constantly stepping into stairwells, sometimes to cry, or settling myself in a dark, quiet, hospital corner for a break.

Over the years, I've gotten my confidence back. Feeling overwhelmed has lessened. I've been able to work like a "normal" person. But today, it's back. I'm anxious, overwhelmed, and filled with dread. I really want to go home and go straight to bed. Curled up with the covers over my head seems the only safe place right now. And I hate that.

I hate feeling like I'm going to go to pieces at any moment. I hate the dread. Not sure I have the energy to put a smile on my face or intelligence in my voice, I dread approaching each patient. I hate that, too. This is all quite exhausting and without sense. I'm tired. I'm overwhelmed. I just want to go home. But I've got patients waiting to see me, so off I go.


Linda said...

I admire your strength Etta--you are quickly becoming an inspiration to me. I think I understand the kind of anxiety you are talking about. I retired early from work so as to not have to deal with such anxiety, and I have a lot of respect for you for facing your fear.
Linda of Cloudy Days...

Anonymous said...

Hi Etta,

I've been following your blog for a couple of months now and it has helped me immensely. I can relate. Currently working, but barely hanging on. Depression is such a lonely, lonely disease. All I want to do is crawl into bed...
But, like you, I have always managed to come out these dark holes. Keep hanging on. On the outside, I appear functional, but inside, it's like broken shards of glass. It's just a relief to know I am not the only one.

Saracide said...

That kind of work is hard. I have a hard time with patients some days, because I feel like they can see right threw me, and see all of my problems like I'm an open book. I get nervous, anxious.. and I don't feel like I do my best work when i'm feeling like that. It's hard. Keep pushing through! I hope your day gets better.

M said...

I admire your strength in making it to work today, really and truly. Hang in there.

Sharon said...

Although I have been reading your blog for some time, I have been checking in on you with more frequency since Austin - I am so so sorry to read that this dark wave seems to just keep coming. This is a cruel illness. And the wave will recede, but it is hard thing to remember (or believe!)in the midst of it. I hope it passes quickly, and without leaving behind too much damage. We all have your back. -Sharon (marathoner, dog mom, and battler of major depression and GED)

Kinza said...

Dear Etta,
I am sorry you are going through such hard times. It is good that you found the helpful escapes to a stairwell, as a way for a temporary relief. For me personally, the hardest time was BEFORE I realized and faced my illness, and before I learned what kind of temporary escapes work for me and enable me to keep over the water.
Take care, and love yourself!