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!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


When you've been in and out of the hospital five times in less than 90 days, and experienced depths of despair never before thought possible, and when previous successful treatments failed to relieve the pain, what do you do when you wake up feeling low, lethargic, and unmotivated? Of course, I am the person who's been in and out of the hospital, experienced the despair, and went through the failed treatments. And I am the one who woke up this morning with that uneasy feeling of a do-over right around the corner. What to do? What to do?

It's difficult not to be frightened by the slightest dip in my mood right now. It's difficult to ignore that uneasy feeling. You know the one, that feeling in the pit of your stomach that some thing's just a bit off. It's the same feeling you've had many times before, right before a crash. I tried to explain that feeling to my friend and my doctor's nurse today, but if you've dealt with depression, I'm betting no explanation is necessary. I'm trying not to put too much stock in the feelings, acknowledge them and move on, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.

I awoke feeling low. Low is okay. I can deal with low without much thought or concern. But low combined with the lethargy, fatigue, and lack of motivation to do anything other than pull the covers over my head? That, my friends, is a different story. I'd like to know how you deal with it? I'm just coming out of this dark, soul-sucking, hopeless abyss. The last thing I want to feel now is how I'm feeling today.

Likely my feelings today mean nothing. Healing is not linear. I know that. It's likely just another day in my recovery process, and that's what I'm hanging onto right now. I've acknowledged the feelings. I've noted the dread surrounding the feelings. I took the next right action anyway. I went to my appointment, ran my errand, and even accomplished my scheduled run. None of it came easily. Each task required a conscious decision and an effort not normally necessary for such tasks. I'm glad I pushed through, but I pray tomorrow I won't have to.


Anonymous said...

Hi Etta,
Unfortunately, I'm all to familiar with that "am I going to crash" feeling. Still get it once in a while even though I haven't had a major episode in 10 years (there is hope - finally got the right combo of meds and am staying on them). As for the waking up feeling exhausted, the only way to deal is just get up, put one foot in front of the other, and plod on. Wishing you a depression-free 2014!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Yes, I've had that feeling many times. I start fearing that I'm going to go down again. I think taking the next right action, as you've been practicing, is one of the best things you can do for this. I try to get busy doing something, though I know that is so difficult when you're lacking motivation. Lack of motivation is a big problem for me, and I have learned a lot from your writing about "next right action." I hope tomorrow the feeling won't be there, but if it is, keep going.

Kelly said...

For me, when I was at my worst, I would make a goal. Often, it would be made right upon waking and it would simply be to make it through the day so I could get back in bed and go back to sleep. Probably not healthy, but it helped me make it through some tough times. Knowing that I didn't have to make it through the week, or even to the other side of the low mood, helped me. I simply had to do what I needed to do to get through the day and whatever it consisted of, and then I could go back to bed.

I hope this passes for you, Etta. I will keep you in my prayers.

Irene said...

Get out of the house for a bit, walk the dog,make a goal, a list to see accomplishment, and hope you move beyond the feeling.

Take care. You've done so well already.