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!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Back in my environment

After four and a half days I exited the hospital yesterday. I'm not sure I was totally ready to leave, but weekends on the inpatient unit tend to be very, very long. There was no guarantee being inpatient a few more days would have been any more beneficial. Also being home allows me to use a few of my primary coping skills, including spending time with Jet and getting outside to exercise.

I utilized both of those skills when Jet and I went for a short run today. It was crisp and partly sunny. The fresh, cold air felt good on my face and in my lungs. Unfortunately my legs are still complaining. Nevertheless, I'm glad I got outside. The rest of the day has been less productive.

Maybe running was too much for a body battling inertia. I felt okay after I returned home, but then everything slowed. My brain slowed. My movement slowed. I felt heavy and flat. Fatigue took over and was oppressive. I had no choice but to hit the sofa. I don't know how long I slept. I'm still tired, but at least I'm moving.

I have to admit it's a little scary being home. Where I was, what I was planning, prior to my doctor sending me to the hospital was about as real as real gets. I'm not 100% yet. Sixty five percent is more accurate I think. I have fewer reserves with which to fight this unforgiving beast.

Perhaps more importantly I'm questioning whether I wish to continue to fight? This illness makes me weary. Every relapse steals another piece of my soul. It ransacks my resilience. Each episode plunders my thoughts, desecrates my perception, and absconds with my hope. Bit by bit I have been rendered less whole by a contemptuous illness. It's an evil beast. I'm not convinced I have the strength to keep fighting. Advantage depression.

I'm doing what I can, but depression has stripped me of so much, my current efforts feel ineffective at best. That's the unpalatable reality right now. I'm moving, but... This illness sucks. I'm tired, apathetic, and numb. Depression is a thief; a cruel ruthless thief.

6 comments:

Eva said...

Dear Etta,

I've been where you are right now. I know there is two sides to it. On the one hand your thoughts are making sense and are perfectly understandable. You don't want this anymore. You don't want to feel like this. And all the effort you put in seems lost. Because the monster keeps coming back.
And it's harder and harder to see: it's the depression talking. Because the things your depressed brain is saying also sound true. It really is both.

I was right there three years ago. I've commented on this blog before (don't even know how long I have been reading it). We have very similar stories. So I understand it's really hard to keep fighting. I almost didn't after suffering from this thief for 18 years. I came really close to ending my life.

I just want you to know that I haven't had a depressief episode for three years. I like to say I'm in remission. Because I know there are no guarantees.
So if it can happen to me it can happen to you.

Please fight a little longer. Please know although your thoughts are reasonable it's also the depression talking. Get yourself back into hospital or whatever you need to do. Talk to your doctor.
Give yourself one more month, or even a week, or a day.
Because this too will end and you really can't say what is on the other side of this episode of depression. I know that for a fact.

And feel free to send me a message. I'm here.

Eva

etta said...

@ Eva: Beautiful words. Thank you. We must have similar stories, because I refer to my depression as Relapsing-Remitting (it's actually an MS diagnosis, but works perfectly for my depression symptoms). When I am in remission, I am fully well; no dysthymia or disordered thinking just, dare I say, normal. But these relapses, especially when they occure one after another in a short period of time, as this one did, they ware me down. My resources are thin.
I appreciate your reasonable thoughts and beautiful words. I'm doing what I can...today.

Amy said...

Etta,

This is a fact: you will feel better. This episode will end. Likely sooner than you think but when you're in the throes of it, it never feels soon enough. You will get through it though. You always, always do. Hang on - the world has so much beauty to offer and soon you will feel that again.

Paul Lamb said...

As we both know, depression does NOT yield to reason. It only yields to time. You WILL get past this, and somewhere inside some part of you knows this. My longest depressive state was an entire year (2014), and I'm glad I didn't recognize it for what it was -- the evil grip of depression -- because I might have made a bad decision.

If I say you know you'll get past this, I know it sounds condescending. But, well, you will get past this.

I want you to get past this.

Eva said...

@etta. I know our stories are very similar because I have been reading yours for years :). I'm also fine when I'm in remission. I do think I have a lot of scars from all the depressed periods. My therapist described it as a form of PTSD.

I know the relapses coming one after the other with almost no time to breathe are so hard and it's so hard to keep fighting. I had three years of relaps after relaps. Actually I can't find the words to tell anyone how hard that period was.

Please be kind to yourself. I think you will know what I'm trying to say. You are not weak. Or lazy. Or incompetent.

When you suffer from this all encompassing form of depression everything is to much. When I try to explain it to people I tell them to try and imagine you need to brush your teeth but it feels like you need to climb Mount Everest.
So try to hang in there. And let people help. I know that is really difficult. But you need it and I think your friends and family need it too.

Keep doing what you can. Minute by minute. I don't pray but I'm sending all my strength and good energy to you.

And like I said last time. If I can do anything please let me know. (This time I checked the notify me button)

Katy said...

Etta,
Thank you for sharing this. You are loved and needed. Your words help me every day. Please reach out if you need to: gracewisdom15@gmail.com.

Katy



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