Depression Marathon Blog

My photo
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, March 13, 2014

Thoughts are just Thoughts

It's taken me awhile to get to this post today because it's been a bit of a rough one. I mentioned in my last post that I had a dip in my mood over the weekend. The dip became a gully by Tuesday evening. By Wednesday it was a gigantic, suffocating pit. I could barely move. I managed better today, but things have been tough.

One of the symptoms I struggle with when I'm not doing so hot is screwed up thinking. I get negative thoughts, slightly paranoid thoughts, and/or intrusive scary thoughts about bad things happening to people I love. I hate to even admit I have these thoughts. I guess I'm ashamed. It's hard for me to feel out of control of my own thinking. I know the thoughts are a symptom of my depression, but I still find them distressing and difficult.

I've been working diligently to let the thoughts just pass through my brain, to not put a lot of stock into them or worry too much about them. Thoughts are just thoughts. They only have power if I give them power. But not worrying about them is easier said than done. Like a dip in my mood, screwed up thinking scares me. It's so hard not to wonder if this is the start of something bigger and darker. I'm doing my best not to worry, to let the thoughts be just annoying thoughts, but like I said, sometimes it's easier said than done.

So it's one day, sometimes one moment, at a time right now. I'm working again tomorrow and hoping the distraction gives me a bit of respite. Ironically, it is highly likely this mood disruption is due to the stress of returning to work. Nevertheless, I actually think working tomorrow, focusing on others for awhile, will be helpful. In the meantime, I'll take any extra prayers available.


Irene said...

So sorry, those thoughts can be paralyzing. Just thoughts, thinking, as you say. I hope that work feels comfortable in time and that the routine and structure will become helpful. Damn mood disorder. Wish there was a magic pill. In the meantime, ride out the disturbing thoughts. So many of us have them, so don't worry or feel bad that you have them.

etta said...

Thanks, Irene. It is comforting to know others experience these thoughts. I hate them. They tend to make me feel alone and isolated. I appreciate your comment.

wanderinglonelyasacloud said...


Just wanted to send you a big hug and let you know that you are not alone. I hope you start to climb up to a happier mood soon, and if not - don't beat yourself up about it.
I have started a blog about my recovery if you wanted to give it a's in the early stages.
Remember you are not alone! x

Mopsa said...

Hi Etta :)
I just want to share that I have these moments too, and frequently they are associated with stressful social challenges (I suffer from social anxiety). In moments like these it seems like my mind can only produce negative thoughts. They are self-destructive and full of shame. A dark cloud envelopes my head and it won't go away just because I wish it would. So you're right, we must learn to somehow be with these thoughts, without feeding them and giving them power. One thing that helps me is to remember that eventually they will go away, and my mind will be clearer and more positive again. It always does.
I also want to share that you've inspired me to begin my own online journal, when I turned 30.
Keep strong Etta, and remember you're not alone. :)

Anonymous said...

I really relate to what you're going through, Etta. You're not alone. And you are helping me and helping others by sharing your experiences. Stay strong.

CH said...

Etta, luckily I found your blog a few days ago. I am older than you and have suffered thru depression for most of my life. Only in the last five years have I started therapy and only recently started on meds, without much success so far. You are right, it is moment to moment at times. Waking in the early hours each morning and not being able to turn your brain off so you can remove those negative thoughts are the worse. You sharing your words and experiences are a help to me and others. We are in this together. I will keep you in my prayers.

Irene said...

Etta, you're certainly not alone or there wouldn't be a blogger describing her putrid depression turds. I wouldn't have written a poem about stinking thoughts gnarled up against the shore like so many dead fish. You're just being more open and speaking for others. Thank you for that. Here's a link to the blogger I mentioned. Those thoughts are ugly, but they're not you. Thought, thinking... And so it goes.

Irene said...

Just had to share this with you because I liked it:

What a liberation to realize that the "voice in my head" is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.
[Eckhart Tolle]