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!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Improvement

It was so relieving to write the title to this post I may erase it and write it over and over again. I am still in the hospital, but I feel better. The first couple of days here were tough. I spent the first day and a half in tears, barely speaking, and probably moving even less. Prior to my admission I was struggling so hard just to stay semi-functional and safe. Once securely here I think I relaxed, and all the pain came pouring out. Apparently I needed those tears, because things got better from there.

It was probably early yesterday when I first began noticing an uptick in my mood. Now I feel a bit lighter. I'm not so slow, less quiet, and have a little energy again. Today I even laughed. I know this because one of my nurses was so surprised she pointed it out immediately! It's a relief to feel less pain.

The plan is to go home on Monday, which will allow me to begin outpatient Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatments Tuesday. After my last experience with TMS, I'm feeling very hopeful TMS will give me my life back. It's a commitment, Monday through Friday for 4-6 weeks, but it's definitely worth it.

I'll be very happy to get out of here and back home. This is a safe place, a healing place, and I certainly needed to come in, but it's not home. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also anxious about going home, but with my improved mood and TMS plan, I think I'll be fine. I miss my freedom and routine, getting outside to exercise, and most importantly, I miss Jet. He's happy as a clam with his dog-sitter, which is great, but I can't wait to be reunited with him.

I want to thank all of you, my readers, over these last 3-4 weeks. You hung in there with me while watching what can only be described as a devastating, slow motion train wreck. Your comments, especially to some of those painful posts, really helped. This is such an isolating illness. I always feel better when someone tells me they can relate to something I've written. I'm lucky to have such a wide net of support, locally, nationally, and perhaps even internationally. Thank you, my friends.

4 comments:

Wendy Love said...

Good news is good, isn't it? Glad to hear of your improved mood. Thanks for sharing the good as well as the bad. Will continue to pray.

Anonymous said...

Really, really happy for you.

paullamb said...

I'm glad to read this post and hear that you're getting better. I'm glad that you can recognize an improvement in your mood. I'm glad to see that you see you're making progress. I'm glad for selfish reasons, of course. You're a role model for me. (Not only as a runner at a level I can never hope to aspire to either.) You're showing me that as dark as this affliction gets (and it gets dark), there is strength enuf in all of us to fight it, to resist it, and live beyond it. I don't know if you realize how much your story gives many of us hope. And example. And even permission. I really think because of you I am seeing -- or maybe recognizing in the correct word -- moments of improvement in myself. I'm letting myself accept the small steps of actual improvement rather than wallow in self loathing, which sometimes seems easier to do.

And for non-selfish reasons too, as one human to another, I hope you continue healing!

Katheryne Patterson said...

I am so happy that you are feeling better. That is wonderful. I am so proud of you for going to the hospital even though that is not what you wanted to do.

I really relate to what you said about working so hard to keep it together. I am a teacher, and school just started back. I managed to do a great job with my students all week. I had intrusive thoughts every now and then while teaching such as (I am a failure. I can't do this, etc., etc.) I think it's normal to have some of these thoughts. They make me panic a little bit when they happen. I push through it and keep going. I'm not perfect, but I think I did a good job this week. I was so exhausted from the first week back that I did not exercise all week. By Saturday morning my mood had plummeted. I felt terrible. My mood was excruciating. I tried to explain it to my husband. I told him it is like a virus. I feel so sick, so sick, but I have to push through it. The moment I come home I just want to get into the bed and go to sleep. I have been sleeping too much all week. Then I wake up groggy and out of it. I pull it together for work. Then I come home, and the heaviness and isolation falls on top of me.

It was excruciating, but I forced myself to exercise yesterday. I ran/walked for an hour. I mostly walked. Every time I ran, it literally felt like I was running under water. I was so slow. I know that I can run faster. I know running faster will improve my mood, but the depression had my legs going at a shuffle.

After the exercise, the mood slightly lifted. I felt horrified at how terrible I had felt. The exercise took the edge off only. I told my husband, "I don't want to feel this way. I felt so sick, so sick, so sick. I can't keep feeling this way." The problem is that depression keeps me in bed until the last possible moment. Then I go to work. Then I come home exhausted mentally. It feels like I am physically exhausted, too. Running becomes an impossibility.

I am going to try to exercise again today and tomorrow. If I can exercise, it helps me so much. If I don't exercise, the weight is unbearable. I take my medicine; I don't drink (since alcohol is a depressant); I go to work; I try to force myself to be present when I can. None of this is enough if I can't exercise. Sometimes I can make it through a day and be ok if I exercised hard the day before. Eventually days without exercise cause my brain to become sicker and sicker. Oh God, please help me!

I hope your body and mind continue to heal since that will help you improve. Carry on, Etta! Carry on! It helps more than you know.



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