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!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fragility and Certainty

How fragile am I? That's the question I've been asking myself over the past few days. I'm frustrated and angry because I've been sliding a little bit. It's not a big drop in my mood, but it scares me nonetheless. And I immediately want to know why. Why am I sliding? What's going on? That's where the fragility question comes in.

As I asked my treatment team in an e-mail yesterday, "Can I not handle any stress in my life? Is the prospect of a new job with the possibility of increased hours that overwhelming? Can Social Security Disability Insurance really wreak this much havoc in my life? Am I that fragile?"

The possibility of a new job and the SSDI nightmare; those are the two things causing me stress right now. Those are the causes on which I think I can blame the slide. But am I that fragile? I am going to encounter stresses like this, or stresses worse than this, for the rest of my life. How the hell will I handle life if these two current events are enough to send me tumbling?

This illness makes me feel so vulnerable. Whereas "normal" people have the luxury of seeing themselves securely carrying out their future plans, I'm never sure those plans will come to fruition. I'd like to look into the future with an air of certainty. An air of certainty that it, and I, will be there, get there, live it... I'm tired of not knowing if, or when, the other shoe is going to drop. I'm tired of being vulnerable to the whims of this illness.

How fragile am I? Have my job interview and SSDI nightmare begun a slide without end? Will I handle the stress without falling off the cliff? Or is this the beginning of another end? I don't think so. I hope not. I don't know. That's just it. I don't know. I can't know. I have to accept the vulnerability this illness forces upon me. And I have to accept the fact that I may never be able to look into the future with an air of certainty.


Kinza said...

I admire your strength. A possible new job and a debt of over 5k$ are not little things, this would stress most people, don't underestimate it, and don't underestimate your strength either. You will deal with it in the best way you can, I have no doubt about that.
Take care, do things that make you feel good. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I think it is amazing that you have done so much in such a short time. Recovering from knee surgery and ECT...running, going back to work - these are huge accomplishments. Changing jobs (let alone, taking on more hours) and financial worries are big stressors for everyone. For you to have to deal with these so soon while you are recovering and trying to stay in a healthy routine is unfortunate. I am always impressed at your ability to express your fears and still move forward.

Unknown said...

You sound just like me Etta. Life seems so scary and
It makes us stuck where we are, which in turn makes us depressed and we get trapped. It takes a heck of a lot of guts to move jobs and I'm envious you have even hot to the point of getting to an interview, I have yet to get there. I'm crippled with panic attacks, which render me useless and I wonder how I got here and if I'll ever get my life back.
I have however been here, to a degree, before and recovered but it's the feeling of that awful slide that sets in. If only we had a magic wand. I'd wave it for us both. Love nita x

etta said...

Thank you Kinza, Nancy and nita. I so appreciate your comments on this post. Thanks for the cheers of support and the relating of your realities. All of your comments have been really helpful.

Linda said...

I am really glad I found your blog today. Thanks so much for sharing, and I think you have a lot of strength. Keep up the amazing job.
I suffer from depression. Not wanting to share too much here, please feel free to check out my blog "About Me" to learn more about me.
Thank you for your heartfelt post.

HBF said...

You put into words what stalks me throughout my backslides as well. Thank you for posting-I'm thinking of you!