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!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

More light

The days are getting noticeably longer up here in the northern United States. Yesterday I could still see across the backyard at 5:00 PM. That wasn't true not so very long ago. Like the days, my mood is inching toward the light, too. It's not been a speedy process, but I think there is hope for brighter days ahead. The wonderful, supportive comments I've recently received here have helped me a great deal. So thank you all for making a difference. Perhaps soon I can again be writing about the pleasant boredom of feeling well.

My motivation to act, unlike my mood, is taking a longer road to the light. I'm still exhausted by everyday events and tasks. Actually, I've been so fatigued, I haven't been attending to most everyday tasks. I'm not sure those without depression can ever comprehend the physical toll it can take on a body. My depression can make it downright impossible to move. While I'm not at that low point anymore, I'm still having trouble taking action.

I've gone from not moving to the point of focusing my limited energy on one task per day, which means on the days I work, that's all I do. I work. I come home. I don't move. I've missed some meetings and other events I planned to attend because they've fallen on days I've recently worked. But I've got to work. I've got to keep the financial stress to a minimum, as that, too, can trigger exacerbation of my illness.

Today my task is laundry. It seems so simple, laundry, but it has taken almost all my energy to get two loads laundered thus far. Physically, I'm so wiped out. After taking one load to the basement and starting it in the machine, I came back upstairs and fell fast asleep on the sofa! This is when I have to remind myself the fatigue is part of my illness. I'm not being lazy. It is what it is, and I'm working within the limits of my depression.

Hopefully those limits are slowly expanding again. I'm anxious to get out of the darkness and into the light. I'm ready to be more active, have more energy, and be a productive participant in my life again. Thank you all for your kind comments recently. You all hold me up more than you'll ever know. Carry on, my friends.


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I'm glad that you are beginning to see some light. I know about the fatigue of depression, and I, too, have to tell myself that I'm not lazy. Focus on that one thing a day, and I hope you will soon feel like doing more.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed the days getting a little longer, too. I kind of like it, but also feel a bit worried that I won't be better as we inch into Spring. So I sigh, because I want to feel better before Spring and warm days. It's easier to slouch(?) inside when it's dark early and cold outside.
This is my 1st comment on your blog. I found this a couple of days ago and is the 1st one I've read where someone feels as crappy as I do and can express it well.
Anyway, it's a big step to make a comment. I hate depression! I'm having a horrible time with it, too.

Libby said...

Hello Etta, I am another newbie to your blog. I'm sorry you are having a tough time at the moment, but I hope the lengthening days continue to give you some hope that things will improve.

Thanks for writing about how you feel, it really helps.

Jim Work said...

Ms Etta......your words so fill me with promise. I think they come from the notion that damn, there are others that face this vision that life is such a big backpack of heavy rocks that we carry (or can't) around. They paralyze me at times and then I hear someone gently remind me to just walk away from the weight of the whole and just carry one to where it needs to be....thanx girl.....and yes the longer days help. We got some sunshine yesterday after a week of damp and grey.....blessings on ya, one rock at a time and may the sun lighten your load....j

Anonymous said...

The deep fatigue that comes with depression is something, I think, that only those who have experienced it can understand. It's good that you are aware of the limitation that depression places on you, that you are not blaming yourself or criticizing yourself as being lazy. That's an adjustment I've only recently begun to make, and it's been a big factor in my ability to push on. I've recently returned to work, three days a week, after a few months off due to depression and on the days I'm not at work, I could sleep all day. I feel slow, sluggish, unmotivated. Like you described in your post, everyday tasks like laundry or vacuuming seem huge. I'm so very tired. At first I was angry at myself -- I'm supposed to be getting better, I'm back at work after all. But giving myself permission, being gentle with myself, and understanding that I am dealing with an illness, I'm seeing, is more helpful and motivating. Thank you for the reminder. I hope you start to feel more motivated, more energized, soon. In the meantime, be patient and keep doing as you're doing. ~ Cheryl

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration. Truly. Keep writing and keep fighting.

Anonymous said...

I definitely notice my functioning and mood getting better by the day too. My depression is tough year-round but the worst of it comes in Nov and December. The absolute peak itself has always been early to mid December -- a couple weeks before the winter solstice itself -- which I've found odd since you'd think the solstice would be when I'd bottom out. What I've found is that Chicago being in the Central Time Zone, the earliest sunset times happen around this early to mid December (while the sunrises continue to be delayed until later in the mornings for the next couple weeks leading up to the winter solstice). So for me, I'm more sensitive to the shortening of days in the afternoon than I am in the morning. Anyways, slowly since then, I've noticed my symptoms are on the wane.