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, March 17, 2020

the gym is closed

Ever have that feeling you're standing on the precipice, maybe a cliff or a bridge or metaphorical despair? You're standing there knowing it would only take one small nudge to knock you off balance. One small bump and you'd be set free from your perch. Free falling into an abyss--the very abyss you were just contemplating--with uncertainty, yet not fear. Not fear. Maybe even relief? Ever have that feeling?

I've had a few days on that perch. There's been a lot of contemplating going on. A lot of consternation, distress, questioning and fatigue. The isolation brought about by the coronavirus has been intense. My only salvation to the isolation has been my gym. For a couple of hours almost every day I've been able to mingle among other human beings while working to strengthen my hip. That was it.

At 5:00 PM today my gym is closing. Seems like such a little thing. After all I can do almost all of my hip exercises at home--alone. Maybe it is a little thing, a little nudge, but it feels like a full-on block in the back. There's no bracing oneself for that. I'm officially flailing.

Flailing, yet stuck. What an interesting dichotomy. I know there are things I can do to help myself. I tried yesterday to take a trip north with Jet. With great effort I got us packed and ready to go, but we didn't even make it 2 miles before I turned back. Even if I could have mustered the energy for the 3.5 hour drive, I couldn't imagine being able to socialize once I arrived. It was too much.

Socializing takes energy. That's why the gym was ideal. I could nod, say hello, and answer questions about my hip rehab. I could be social without expectation or pretense. Socializing with family and friends requires so much more than that.

I have friends. I love them, but I don't want to talk to them right now. It's too difficult. I can fake smile, get through a cup of coffee, and then leave feeling even worse. Or the other option, I could be honest about how I'm feeling, and leave feeling a burden. It must be terribly exhausting to be my friend. Full of energy, I am, for a month, or six, but inevitably there's the crash landing filled with doom and gloom. I'm tired of being that friend. And it's too invalidating and exhausting to pretend I'm not that friend.

I wish they hadn't closed my gym. My perch is shrinking. Because of my hip, I already couldn't do most of the things which usually help my mood, and now because of the coronavirus I'm unable to do the remaining few which, until today, were available options. Standing on the precipice... Sure wish I could enjoy the view.


HBF said...

Right there with ya. My gym(s) closed this week for 2 weeks. I'm glad it isn't 6 but still going to be a major bump in the road. Wishing you all the best during this tough streak :o)

Jenny said...

I'm a few hours into my first official day of quarantine after my work fell under a government call to close all bars and restaurants for the next 30 days. The unknown is what causes my anxiety to flare. I hope you can find a welcome substitution to your daily gym visit. I plan to try and take a neighborhood walk at least once a day to just see a few people (strangers) who aren't my husband and soak up some sunshine and fresh air. Just leaving home for a little while each day seems to help.