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!

Friday, October 16, 2015

A little work

Not much has changed around here since my last post. My lungs are still not quite right, but I am breathing a bit better than earlier this week. I took my last doses of Prednisone and the antibiotic today, but I'm hoping they're not done working, as I still have a way to go before I'd say I'm breathing normally.

Despite struggling for breath occasionally, I'm proud to report I continued to go to the gym this week. I took either a cycling or strengthening class each of the last four days. I took a break and went for a quick walk today. The cardio efforts were definitely tougher this week, but it felt good to get some air deep into my lungs nonetheless. I'm working on losing the 10+ pounds I gained during my depression relapse, so I'm glad I had the energy and motivation to continue exercising this week.

I'm also happy to report I had the energy and motivation to do something pretty special today. I went to work for two hours. Boy, I was anxious! But I did it. I evaluated a patient, did all the necessary paperwork, and interacted with my co-workers for the first time in two months. It went well, I think.

Two months is a long time to be away from work. Going back was, and is, a huge goal. I fumbled a bit with some new paperwork requirements, but otherwise I think I covered everything I was supposed to cover today. Even though I was anxious, and exhausted afterward, it was nice to be back among the working. I'm glad I got those first hours out of the way. I plan to continue working a few hours a few days a week until I get fully back into the swing of things.

I'm grateful my mood and energy levels have continued to stabilize. I can't say there's been huge improvement in my mood over the past week, but at least I haven't gone backwards. At this point I feel like I'm slowly inching away from the abyss. I'm cautiously optimistic I'll continue feeling better and better, but the darkness is still too near to celebrate yet.


Anonymous said...

I hope your progress continues. Even baby steps are steps.

I know what you mean about being away from work. I get so far behind even if I take a few days off. The rueful joke at my office is that you have to work 80 hours weeks so you can take a 40 hour week off.

Julie Gathman said...

I have read almost your entire blog. I don't have depression but the information you provide about what it is really like is invaluable. When I read your posts, I feel like I am learning something impossible to learn any other way. If I know someone who has depression, how else (other than writings like yours) can I know what might be going on with them?

When I read your posts, I feel sober -- I have a realization that the suffering of humanity is vast. But I don't get into a low mood or feel especially discouraged. In fact, I feel empowered to help, probably in just a small way, anyone I may encounter who has depression. For sure, I will judge less and understand more. That is not small, is it?

Please know that every single post you write is constructive and is helping others. There are probably many people out here who, like me, have read your entire blog. It's just interesting to read something in "diary" format -- it feels "live" and real.

Thanks for your work and faithfulness in helping others.

Anna said...

I think baby steps are THE WAY TO GO!! And that advice of "be gentle with yourself" is ever so true! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and are able to keep stepping forward!! Anne

etta said...

@ Julie: Humbled I am. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Tears in my eyes. Back at work. Two hours is huge! Good job.
I love the "radical acceptance" approach. I can use that.
God bless you dear. I'm so glad you got to go up north to beautiful Lake Superior. It looked so fresh and alive.
Still too hot in Texas for me. High of 94 last week.
Praying for you too.

Beth Walker said...

My mum suffered from depression and her first couple of days back at work exhausted her so completely. She couldn't deal and very nearly relapsed into despair again. Two hours is a great achievement but remember not to do much! Comfort and confidence is key, just remember you're doing amazingly.