Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 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, February 5, 2012


After my last post, a reader asked me what I was thinking. Well, Med, perhaps I write less about my thoughts because they are difficult to sort out. Or perhaps I write less about my thoughts, and more about what I'm doing, because my thoughts are so distressing right now. One of my goals with this blog is to provide some hope to other sufferers, and I'm not sure delineating my thoughts would provide a lot of hope right now. It is a difficult balancing act. I want to be real and authentic, but I don't want to drag my readers through the muck that is depression. I figure many of you have your own muck to deal with, and that's not what you hope to get here.

That being said, I can tell you my current thoughts are not great. I try not to focus on them. I am feeling hopeless. As I've noted here recently, there is something different about this depression episode. I am more discouraged, more hopeless, and more physically stricken than previous episodes. Suicide is a constant companion. No matter what actions I take, things that previously helped, nothing seems to dent the misery. And the misery leads to more stinking thinking.

I'm going through the motions. Motions are safer than thoughts. On good days I take a shower, get dressed, and leave my house. More typically, I throw on my sweats and struggle to stay awake. Today, laundry presents a monumental task. Somehow, I'll get it done. I'll also force myself out the door for my short jaunt with Puck. There will be no attempt at running today. No matter what motion I'm taking, I'll try to stay out of my brain. After all, there is nothing worth focusing on in there.


Anonymous said...

I've only just come across your site Etta and feel compelled to write you a little note. I hope that your day progresses with a little lift in mood.

I'm currently battling this "thing". Finding it tough if I'm honest and not really accepting of the fact it's happening and it's happening to me. I guess it all takes time... Today is definitely a throw on sweats day and just sit and think day for me. Thinking is the hardest too. When will it ever stop. Stupid thinking. You just know when you wake that it's going to be a low mood day. I hate it. Roll on bed time!

Hey to Puck - your little angel. I wish I had a little companion like Puck too.

Anonymous said...

"One of my goals with this blog is to provide some hope to other sufferers....."

Etta - a friend of mine once told me blogging is "free therapy" - and it truly is....write for YOU. If we, your readers, glen something helpful ~ well, that is the icing on the cake!! ~

Many...many prayers as you pass through this SHADOW of death. And that is what it is Etta ~ a shadow...the lights will eventually burn through the darkness.....

Do what you need to ~ write what you want ~ feel what you need to feel ~ but be true to yourself....


"Lil Ol' Me" said...

What Maggie said!!

Btdt and still doing it!

Write for you!!

Wendy Love said...

As a fellow blogger I am with you. I too like to think I blog to encourage others and I too do not want to 'drag my readers through the muck that is depression'. When I go to other blogs and the blogger has done that I do not enjoy it at all, I feel worse, not better and so I applaud you for keeping the muck to yourself.
I would like to propose that the reason you feel worse than ever is twofold: 1. you have your hopes up that all of those treatments they did in the hospital were going to make a difference and if you are feeling this badly then maybe it was just a waste of time and that is depressing 2. You have felt better than this, you remember what that feels like and you want to be back there and never be HERE again.
Not that any of these ideas are valid but that is the way my brain would be going if I were you. Having said that I have found that the best approach to depression relapse is to accept it for what it is, relapse not life sentence, and weather the storm as best you can. You do know how to do this, you have done it before, you will come out the other side, you have done it before.
That is the kind of pep talk I would give myself.

Calling In Sick Today said...

Hi Etta, this post has produced a wonderful array of differing perspectives from your readers hasn't it. Of course it is entirely for you and a personal decision... it is your blog.

I understand where you are coming from in filtering what you write so that it might be of more help to others. Totally get that although I don't do this myself.

I asked about what was going on inside because that is where the depression most likely originates from ... unless your condition is being triggered by something like hyperthyroidism for example.

I wondered, your physical activity aside which is brilliant, what was happening to improve how things played out on the inside. Reading this latest post... I am more aware of how you feel inside... you have told me that. I am still unsure what you think though. Are you familiar with distiguishing between your 'thoughts' and the 'feelings' that arise from them? You don't have to share any thoughts with me,on the other hand you may take the perspective that this blog is just for you after all and write them here. Either way, for all of us with depression in it's many forms, rumination on thoughts that are 'unhelpful' for us is the defining characteristic. How this came to be is different for each of us, some common threads perhaps. Finding the off switch for these exhausting and negative thoughts is a common goal. Some people describe depression as the mind turned in on itself. Your physical performace of late will reflect the fact that parts of your brain, associated with memory and analysis, will have been working extremely hard to the point of exhaustion. Does all the thinking sometimes make you just sleep? Do you sometimes just sleep to escape the thinking? Do you move more slowly, find it difficult concentrating ... all because the inner whirlings of your mind. A mind turned in on itself.

Different people find different ways to quiet their minds and take back control of their thinking from depressive cycles. There are again many common themes to the different ways people approach disciplining their mind.

It is for some of us... not a case of just getting better from depression. It is a case of learning about our patterns of thinking and then learning to manage those patterns of thinking for the rest of our lives so that we stay well and healthy... the way somebody with a heart condition can make lifestyle choices to stay healthy.

I hope something of what I am saying makes sense to you. I wish there was a better way of talking. I only mean to be of some help and if I can be of more help just let me know.

You are doing better than you think you are. Visit me over at my blog sometime, it might help. You know where it is now. Take care. Med

Kinza said...

Dear Etta,
I am one of those who would prefer you would write this blog just for yourself, without being controlled by worrying about the readers. I think you should be totally totally egoistic and worry just about yourself. But that being said, maybe it is helping you not to be too negative with the words, because once you start talking about suicide or things like that, you might get too comfortable with the idea.

I am concerned about your suicidal thoughts. So let me give you my personal attitude to this. Many years ago I clarified with myself that life is really really hard and I rarely rarely enjoy it, but it is also very short and it will end by itself anyway. I remember vividly how I was standing on a railway station thinking all that, and since then I never seriously thought about doing suicide again. This was 24 years ago. Life is actually harder on me than I thought at that time, but I must also admit these 24 years went by faster than I could imagine. I guess in the worst/best case I have another 40 or maybe even 50 years ahead of me, and now I know I can manage and I will be able to go through as long as death does not come for me spontaneously. I just hope there is no afterlife and no reincarnation: one life is more than enough for me...

Pat Moore Foundation | Addiction Guest Blog said...

Hi Etta,

As someone that has dealt with her fair share of depression (brought on by S.A.D) I can't help but think how therapeutic these postings must be for yourself. I would actually like to read more on the thoughts that you do have during your bad depression times. It seems like you're at the point now where you can decipher between the thoughts in your mind and reality? I think getting to that point is one of the hardest parts of Depression.

On a side note, I coordinate the Addiction guest blog for Pat Moore Foundation, a drug detox and rehab center in Orange County, CA. If you would ever be interested in guest blogging for us then we would love to share your writings with our readers. As of yet we haven't had anyone contribute on Depression. Please feel free to email me if guest blogging would be something that you would consider doing.

Dawn Jackson
Online Community Engagement

Linda said...

Hello Etta!

Although I always read your blogg, I rarely comment, but I will comment on this one. I think that your reasons behind this blog are very honourable, but on the other hand, YOU and only YOU are going through this particular bad patch and you are allowed to feel, think and write what you feel, if you think it will help you deal with this episode.

I myself are going through a relapse and been thinking a lot about life and this illness, that will accompany us till the end. If you have a minute, I would love your views on my blog:

Please take care of yourself and remember we are all here with you!