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!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Honored again

Just returned from a beautiful weekend in Duluth, on the shore of Lake Superior, where I walked miles with my friend, soaked in the sunshine, ate some really good food, enjoyed my coffee, and decompressed by the water. Lake Superior is my favorite place on the planet. It brings me such a sense of peace and serenity. It's even where I plan to spend eternity, as all of my friends and family know, when my ashes are left to the waves. I love it. It's always difficult to leave.

My arrival home brought a pleasant surprise, however, as Healthline.com again honored me with a Best Blog Award. It is truly humbling to be included in their list of best depression blogs. I don't know how many blogs they review, but there must be hundreds of depression blogs out there, so I appreciate the acknowledgement. Thank you, Healthline.

I also appreciated what the reviewer said. In her blurb about my blog, she mentioned I post about my good days as well as my bad. I'm glad that's appreciated, because it's often more difficult to write when I feel well. I always want to offer something of value when I write, but I struggle with that when I feel well. I find my "feeling well" posts rather boring. I'm certainly more verbose when I feel like crap. Nevertheless, I hope writing about the good days gives at least one person hope that good days are possible, even when dealing with severe and persistent depression.

I certainly had a series of good days this weekend. I already miss Duluth, but it's always nice to get back to my little house, too. Time to ready myself for a busy week. I'll be working 5 of the next 6 days, and we're still swamped with patients. I'll need to take it one day at a time.

Tomorrow is the last day of April, and thus my final day of daily walks. I'm proud of myself. I stuck to my commitment, and I feel stronger for it. It's back to running (and walking) on Tuesday. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Feeling well

Hello, my friends. I apologize in advance, as I'm without many words these days. Things are going well. I'm feeling well. Life is good right now. I'm not sure I have much to offer today, but I'll fill you in on the minutia anyway.

It's finally turning to Spring here. It's actually been warm enough to open the windows the last couple of days. There are still piles of snow here and there, but the grass and the trees are beginning to turn green. The days are long, which has been really nice for Jet and I during our early morning walks. The evenings are long, too, so I get to enjoy a little light after work as well. I'm feeling energized.

Jet and I have walked for 24 straight days, mostly as the sun comes up. I feel good about sticking with my commitment to walk. I've noticed an improvement in my leg strength already. I'm getting anxious to begin running, but I'm going to wait until the calendar turns over to May. There's nothing magical about May, but I committed to walking every day in April before making my return to running. So I'm again just sticking to that commitment.

Unfortunately, my right knee is still pretty creaky. I see my orthopedic surgeon tomorrow for a follow-up. I'm not sure what he's going to be able to offer. I think my knee is either going to get to a point of being pain free, or it's not. It's certainly better than it was, but I can definitely feel the loss of cartilage in that joint. And unless my surgeon has discovered how to regrow cartilage, I think I'm going to have to learn to work with what I've got.

I'll certainly know more about my future once I begin running next week. Hopefully my knee will allow it. Nonetheless, despite my physical worries, I'm glad to feel well. I hope all of you are the same.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Doing well

More snow here in the Northland. It's crazy. We got about 8 inches yesterday. It's certainly made my daily morning walks more interesting and challenging. But I'm continuing to walk every day, nonetheless. Unfortunately, my left foot slipped out from under me a couple of days ago, ice. I caught myself before I fell, but my right knee ended up in a flexed position with a jolt. Since then my right knee has been more sore, and I've been able to do less. Another set back. I'm hoping it's a brief one.

While my knee may not be as okay as I'd like, my mood has been good. It's nice to feel better again. Everything is so much easier when I don't have to battle my brain. Work is still crazy busy, but I'm handling it. I'm sticking to my routines, taking care of my house, and keeping up with my errands. I could be socializing more, but that's nothing new. Basically, I'm taking care of myself, like, dare I say it, a normal person. I like feeling "normal." It will be nice when the weather normalizes, too! Carry on, my friends.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sick

Last time I wrote I told you about my intermittent nausea, annoying but not tremendously interfering with my day to day life. Well, that changed a few nights ago. The nausea finally amounted to an all out sprint for the bathroom. Vomiting...not my favorite thing. That was Thursday night. I ate very little yesterday, slept a lot, and I felt better overnight. But the nausea returned this morning. Silly me, I ate some toast for breakfast. I'm not sure what's going on, but I really don't care for this new turn of events.

We do have the Rotavirus going around one of the facilities in which I work, so perhaps I picked up the bug and have been fighting it off for the last few weeks. I'm going to lay low over the weekend, as I don't want to miss any more work. I missed yesterday. We're so busy, I felt really bad, but there was no way I could have worked. I also don't get paid when I don't work, so missing time for any reason is never a good thing. And I really hate just sitting around. I'd like to feel better now.

Despite feeling under the weather, I did keep up with my commitment to walk daily over the last couple of days. By mid-day yesterday I was feeling well enough, and bored enough, to slowly mosey for 15 minutes, so that was good. I think it will be another short day today based on how I'm currently feeling, but I hope to get it done. I miss running so much, but my right knee just isn't ready yet. I'm worried it will never be ready, and I can't imagine life without running, but I'm trying not to go there. One day at a time. One day at a time.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Quiet

With the exception of being insanely busy at work, all is quiet here on the Northern front. I'm doing okay. My mood is back to nearly normal, whatever that is. I'm not low. I'm not ecstatic. I'm just moving through life one day at a time. The only blip I've been experiencing is with my physical health, but again, it's nothing major.

I've had several days of low grade headaches, body aches, and nausea. It feels like I'm about to get sick, but it never advances to that point. I actually left work early yesterday because I was sure I was about to get nailed with major illness, but after a few hours it passed. Unfortunately, it returned today. I'm just nauseated enough to be annoyed. Napping helps, but the nausea keeps coming back. It's weird, but I think I'll survive.

Work, as I mentioned, has been insanely busy. I don't know where all these patients are coming from! I'm feeling a bit stretched, and I think I let it show a bit more than I'd like a few days ago. I was a bit more impatient and felt like I needed to rush throughout my day, which I didn't like. I generally try to enjoy my patients and coworkers. I like to have fun. I don't think I was much fun on Friday. I'll do better tomorrow. I have to remember I can only do what I can do. I'm human.

I have been getting up early to walk every day. I'm proud of myself. It hasn't been easy, as we've had unseasonably cold and snowy weather, but I've stuck to my commitment. I really dislike walking. It's so slow. Also, my left foot, which still slaps when I walk as a result of continued leg weakness from my back injury, goes numb after about one mile. It's quite uncomfortable, but I'm pushing through. It would be easier to run, but my right knee isn't quite ready for that yet, either. It's frustrating.

It's hard not to give up. I feel like my body is failing me. It's been an awful long year. I'm coming up on one year since my back injury. I'm heavy, the heaviest I've ever been. I've lost muscles I never worried about before. My clothes don't fit. There are so many reasons to throw in the towel, but that won't make me happy, either. I'm determined to get back on the road. I just wish the process wasn't quite so long. Forward, I go.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

No foolin'

It may be April Fools Day, and I did get fooled once today, but all kidding aside, I'm happy to report I'm feeling better, really. My days of severe fatigue seem to have passed. I only took a one hour nap today, as opposed to the 3-4 hour naps I took most of this past week. With all that sleeping, I didn't have time or energy to exercise most of last week either. I exercised today. I took a 4 mile walk with Jet. It was a crisp, sunny day, so it was especially nice to be back out in the world. And that's what it felt like. I was out.

When I feel poorly, my world gets very small. My world isn't large to begin with, but when I don't feel well it gets tiny. For the past two weeks it's been me, my house, and my job. Besides work, I didn't go out. I didn't get to the gym. I didn't run any errands. Very small... But today, I got out. I walked, and I bought groceries, and it wasn't even painful to be in the store. It seems I've regained some of my energy and relieved some of my isolation. How nice.

During and after my walk I was pleasantly surprised to discover my knee tolerated the activity fairly well. I developed a plan to get back to running, but it's going to begin with daily walking. I'm going to attempt to walk daily, even if it's just 15 minutes, in order to begin re-strengthening my legs. I want to establish the habit and get stronger before I begin running again. The past two weeks have wreaked havoc on my exercise behavior, and I've lost a ton of fitness since my knee surgery 7 weeks ago. I need to get my running life back, but I'm so far removed from it, I need to go slow.

That's the scoop, my friends. I've got a busy work week ahead, but I'm going to try to take it one day at a time. I'm praying I'll continue to feel more and more back to normal over the next several days. If I don't, I guess I'll deal with that one moment at a time, too. But I hope I do. Life is so much easier when my mood isn't dragging me down.



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