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!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dear YOUniverse

I think you can have no idea what it’s like. How can you? Unless you’ve sat in this chair, early on a Sunday, or Monday, or Tuesday morning, you cannot know what it’s like. To wake up feeling a sliver of hope that today will bring something different. Something new. Coffee, toast, dog fed, but then it settles in. Just that quick. That sliver of hope is now a sharpened knife stabbing you in the chest with heavy, halting, excruciating glory. That sliver was a tease. Those brief moments, they are just a tease.

Already, I can hardly move. Do you have any idea how it feels to actually feel the weight of your own heart? Like a bowling ball settling low in my chest. I’m not sure how long I can support it. These are the times your encouragement rings hollow. Don't get me wrong, I need and want the encouragement, but at these times... And I know what to do. So easy, the suggestions are. So simple. Why can’t I just do one of them? Just do it! One of them, do any one of them! Do something to combat this! But depression is a cruel bully.

Depression is a cruel, taunting bully. “Ha, ha. You thought you were better, but you’re not. Here I am, already, so early in the morning. You haven’t even finished your coffee, and I’ve already got you surrounded. You can feel me closing in, can’t you? I feel best when you find breathing a chore. You think you can read your e-mail? You think that magazine might be an option? Sit outside and take in the morning? No way. I won’t allow it. Who do you think you are? I’ll tell you what, if you can lift the weight from your shoulders, unwrap the heavy layers of that leaden cloak, and somehow still support the sinking heart so low in your chest, go ahead. Give it your best shot. But you don’t deserve the attention span or energy for such things. And if you think I’m letting you go; if you think I’m allowing you to get off the mat… Ha. That’s a good one. Keep dreaming. Oh, sorry, I took your dreams a long time ago, too, didn’t I? I guess that settles it then. I'm here to stay.”

I think you can have no idea what it’s like to feel so dark, and heavy, and so very alone so early on what looks to be a beautiful day. To have hope squashed almost before the sun comes up and face living hours and hours of another day, with constant cruel bullying in my ear and at my side... I just wish you knew what it was like.

I’m not a bad person. I’m not lazy. I’m doing what I can, but right now what I can do is so very little, it seems as if I’m not even trying. And maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough, but depression steals effort, too. I am trying, but I'm not sure what else to do. And I feel unable to do just about anything. It’s winning. I’m losing. It's here to stay.

Maybe tomorrow... Maybe tomorrow will be different?


Amy said...

Etta - hang on. Just hang on and it WILL get better. It's not if, it's when. And it will happen, bit by bit.

Diana said...

Etta- You did do something you got up and posted on your blog. Mornings are the worst. It will get better over time- both today as I find when mornings are tough as the day goes on by the evening things are not AS bad--each day may suck a little less until you start to feel better in the afternoon, then in late morning and finally you will wake up and feel like yourself will get better. Diana

Truth Needed 9 said...

You describe the torment so eloquently. Is there something that can be done? If it is this awful do you need time in the hospital or does your medication need to be changed? I am worried about you. Unfortunately, I feel just like you do right now and it is truly scary.

Otterring said...

I know what it's like. I know times of feeling like I'm on pause while the rest of the world continues playing around me, of being swallowed by relentless hopelessness and crushed by the belief that I am, and always will be, truly alone. I'm in one now. Which is why I feel like showing this post to everyone I know and telling them "THIS is what it's like. This goddamn mad dog of a disease." Thank you for expressing it so clearly.

etta said...

Thank you all for your kind, knowledgeable words. This is one of those good news, bad news situations. It's relieving to know others understand while at the same time I feel so sorry you do understand! Depression is such an isolating illness. I appreciate you guys letting me know you can identify.
As for me, the hospital is becoming an option, although I hate going there...feels like such a failure. Med changes have been made. And I just found out today I will be restarting TMS early next week. That worked miracles just a few months ago, so I'm hopeful it will bring an end to this horrendous episode, too. Carry on and stay strong, my friends.

Nathalie said...

Etta, your eloquence knows no make the effort to express yourself so eloquently takes energy which I can imagine you are really struggling to find right now. Even for those fortunate people who have never ever suffered from severe clinical depression you paint a vivid picture enabling them to hopefully imagine how you are feeling. For the rest of us who can identify only too well with your experience, you enable us to get comfort by lessening our sense of isolation.
Your courage is inspirational.
Sending you love and hope for improvement in your mental state and wellbeing very soon.