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!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


My psychiatrist (and her nurse) is a dedicated genius, and the best one around. We've been working together since shortly after my journey with depression began 15 years ago. She very quickly suggested an increase in my antidepressant when my mood started to dip and appeared to be staying low. That was about ten days ago.

When my mood didn't lighten up as rapidly as either of us would have liked, she suggested a new, low dose medication to augment my antidepressant. I began taking that pill late last week. Faced with another depression relapse, and after barely surviving the last one this past Fall, I was willing to try whatever she threw at me. I so appreciate that she takes serious note of these dips, and like me, she wants to arrest them as quickly as possible. It feels like a true team effort.

The effort appears to be paying off. Saturday was a terrible, horrid, heavy, lonely day. But something shifted Sunday afternoon. I went to a cycling class late Sunday morning. It was tough to motivate out of my house, but I had a helpful friend offer to meet me there, so I went.

The class was tougher than usual, likely due to my mood, but I did it. I felt like a wrung out dishrag afterward, but I managed to get myself to the store for much needed supplies and groceries, nonetheless. And when I got home, I was able to put everything away. And then I was able to do some laundry. And then I did something else, and something else, and something else. Before I knew it, I was calling my friend to go out for dinner!

That's when things got really interesting. In the middle of dinner with my friend and her husband, as if from across the room, I heard myself laughing out loud. I saw myself gesturing dramatically, freely, and smiling. It was a very weird moment. It was as if I was outside myself, observing, and kind of wondering what the hell was going on. It was pleasantly strange.

In that moment, I felt amazed. There was a huge disconnect between how I had been feeling and that moment. Internally I heard myself think, "Hmm...this is interesting," while still in mid, animated conversation with my friends! And then I reconnected. I simply let what was happening, happen. And I enjoyed myself.

Enjoyment felt like a foreign concept just a few short days ago. But I'm happy to report I've handled the last two busy days, and some difficult patients, with relative calm and professionalism. I've felt lighter. I'm feeling lighter. I'm a little bit hopeful.

And I'm still a little worried. I guess it's difficult for me to let go of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Each lighter moment, however, allows me to hold tighter to the hope and kick more of the worry to the curb. The curb. That sounds like an excellent place for my depression, too. I think I'll keep kicking.


Julie Gathman said...

Very interesting!

HBF said...

Yes, keep kicking! Fascinating and I feel a bit jealous!

Anna said...

OK, I wasn't going to post but can't help myself. DITTO HBF! Anna