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!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Reality is not always kind. Reality when living with depression, I think, can at times be the least kind of all. I so appreciate all of your comments on my last post. It seems many of you could relate. Your support and understanding were very helpful. When I wrote that post, I had nothing more to say. It literally hurt to breathe. I wasn't sure it could get any worse that that.

Things did get worse. By yesterday it hurt to breathe and the mere action of taking one breath after another was exhausting. I tried my best to keep up. I even made it to work for 4 hours Thursday. But by yesterday, getting out of bed was a monumental task. I tried to sleep a couple of extra hours before going to work. But even after slumbering two extra hours things were still tough.

I tried to get to work anyway. I got up, cleaned up a bit, and even pulled on my shirt. But that's where getting ready for work stopped. I felt so guilty as I collapsed back onto the sofa. We are short-staffed. I knew I was leaving my bosses and co-workers in quite a predicament by not getting to work. But it hurt to breathe. And breathing was exhausting. I couldn't do it. I could not function anymore.

Within a few hours of collapsing on the sofa, useless, a friend arrived to take me to the emergency room. By yesterday afternoon, I was admitted. And so I am here, on my local inpatient psych unit, a place I swore I would never, ever come again...ever. But sometimes I don't always have the best foresight. This illness cares not what I have planned and couldn't give a rip about any pronouncements I've made. It is an illness, and whether I like it or not, I don't always have the final say.

I've done well for the past several years. I've weatherered several storms, rode some highs with pleasure and endured some lows with grit and integrity. But I was no match for this low. No match. It was taking me down one painful, exhausted breath at a time.

I do not yet know the inpatient treatment plan. I feel like something drastic needs to change to pull me out of this depth. I've even thought about ECT again. My brain is that far gone. But it's too soon to know what direction this treatment will take. I want to make my stay here as productive and brief as possible. I want to leave this unit breathing deeply, with strength, and without exhaustion or pain. I just want to get back to being me--normal, healthy, me. Thank you, my friends, for your continued support.


Anonymous said...

Get the care you need and get yourself better. If I could bear any of your troubles on my shoulders, I would.

Tricia said...

Wow. That happened so fast. You really couldn't have anticipated it. You're right -- it is out of our control sometimes.

I'm sorry you're hospitalized. I've never been, and I hope it's not too unpleasant.

I want to tell you something... and that your blog is a blessing to many of us. You provide a service that I don't find elsewhere, and you make other people with depression feel not so isolated, not so alone, not so misunderstood. You help people, and I hope you can feel some pride in doing that. And I want to thank you for giving me a little bit of comfort.

Anonymous said...

Etta, you are one courageous lady. To be able to write your blog and let us, your friends and supporters know how things are with you when you are suffering with such severe depression is
so brave. Thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. We are hear for you Etta, caring about and supporting you all the way. Nathalie

Anonymous said...

I hope you get what you need. But I hope it doesn't have to include ECT again. Your efforts make me feel like a whiney baby
I think of you and move on.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog and your honesty. I am glad you are getting the care you need.

- Virginia

Major Depression said...

Hope you will get better
You always have my support etta :)

HBF said...

Sad that you're back where you didn't want to be but glad to feel hope in your words. To say that I'm proud of you wouldn't be accurate, instead I am happy for you and hope that you are proud of yourself. When the going gets tough and the dark is the darkest and you still persevere and look to the future, lean in to the battle at hand, that is an incredibly noble and worthwhile thing. You are noble and worthwhile and an inspiration, I hope you know this, feel it deep in your heart and cling to that beautiful glow inside you that you can't always see... but we can, and we will remind you when you need help navigating the darkness :) Keep on keeping on, thinking of you, grateful for you, Hannah

Anonymous said...

Hannah spoke beautifully for me as well. So true,, hope you realize that, Etta.

Anonymous said...

Even in the dark times you have given others light.

Many of us are grateful to you for sharing your story. I know I am. I pray that whatever needs to occur for your recovery comes for you. One moment at a time it will come, and the light WILL shine again. Praying for u...

Michael said...

I was very sorry to read that the positive actions you have taken in the past do not seem to be working well for you at the moment. But the situation is being handled and you will get better. My own experience is that depression has a life of its own and we can't control it completely all the time. I may have got slightly complacent into thinking I could do so for myself.

The reason I'm writing anything is because I have been researching blogs on depression and found that a large of them have simply disappeared without trace. It's very brave of you to persevere with yours at a bad time and I admire you for it. It is very important for you to know that you offer hope to people such as me and we owe you a debt of gratitude.

My sincere best wishes to you. And once more, thank you.

etta said...

I have rarely felt so grateful as I have felt over these last couple of days while reading your comments. How lucky am I to have so many kind, compassionate, generouse people cheering me on from afar? Your words are beautiful and reassuring. Thank you for your support. This too shall pass, I know that. But living within the pain of the moment gets easier every time I hear, so eloquently, from one of you.

Chris said...

Etta -

It has been quite a while since I posted a comment, but I have been following your blog for a long time and am compelled to say something now. I've followed along as you endured the hospital stay and mental struggle that led to it last time, so hear me when I say this:

While I certainly can see the manifestation of your current episode through your writing, I am here to tell you that the sense of ownership, acceptance and yes, control that your tone conveys THIS time sounds like an entirely different, determined and deliberate survivor. Mind you, I am not blind to the suffering and anguish this episode has showered upon you, but YOU ARE UP TO THIS CHALLENGE.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you are going through such a terrible time. It must be awful. Please keep going! You can do it. You are amazing! From a fellow runner.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. It is hard work, but I think you are up to it (even if it does not feel like it). I first learned of you through your videos. They inspired me to keep pressing on during my long stay in a psych clinic for depression. Your internal strength, courage and bravery is remarkable and contagious. I believe in you! ~Marcus

Vivaforever said...

I've been there. I am still there….not in an inpatient unit, but with the constant battle of this illness. I don't know you, but I feel like I do. Wanted to let you know that you are awesome!