Sunday, September 27, 2015

It's Still Depressing

There are lots of things I could say about depression, none of them all that positive.  One thing's for sure, it's unpredictable.  So I thought I was feeling better, and expecting to improve from there.  I was wrong.  I've been wrong a lot lately.

I felt much better Tuesday just talking to my counselor on the phone, knowing that I was getting my meds refilled.  I told him that he was a true life line for me.  The sound of his voice, the words he uses... it gave me a light at the end of this long, lonely tunnel.

But by Friday I was exhausted.  I was still recovering from the depressive episode.  And I was teaching ERP at the same time.  Faking it in front of a classroom was actually a good distraction.  But it's exhausting.  Being emotional is exhausting.  My counselor has told me that being emotional is five times more work on the mind and body than using the intellectual side of the brain.  I can vouch for that.  So when I got home from work Friday, I took a nap... for three hours.

Saturday, I was looking forward to my appointment with my counselor.  I was thinking of it as an emotional reboot.  He'd help me put things into perspective, remind me many times that this is temporary, and give me a positive take on things.  He'd also give me a list of things to do to help keep me in a more positive place.  Lucky for me, all of that was true.  He gave me homework.  And he wants to see me again next week.  I left feeling better and looking forward to feeling even better as the week went on.

I then had lunch with Jeff.  That went really well too.  I talked about a few things going on in my world.  He talked about a few things going on in his.  It was really nice getting together with him.  The only thing left on my schedule for the day was mass and dinner with the folks.  An emotionally successful Saturday.

Wrong!  Within minutes of walking into the church, I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally down.  I don't know why.  But I wanted to leave.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to cringe.  But I stayed.  And by the time I left, I could hardly fight back the tears.  I cancelled on my parents for dinner and came straight home and cocooned myself in my apartment and couldn't wait to just fall asleep.

So here I am on my Sunday.  I knew I needed to do my laundry, which I need to leave my apartment to do.  My counselor has told me many times that depression will make me feel like doing nothing, but to do something anyway.  So I got up and gathered the laundry and made my way to the laundromat.  It would have been okay had I been there all alone.  But I wasn't.  And even still, I was nearly okay until the screaming baby came in.  I'm not even going to tell you what I imagined doing to that small, unhappy child... or her mother!

Thankfully I'm home alone now.  I've had lunch and the laundry is done.  That in itself is a victory.  And I got to read some today.  I always say that any day where I got to read fiction was a good day.  And now I'm writing.  And in a little bit, I'm going to watch a football game.  Now if the Colts could just win one.  Maybe my day would feel worth it if my team actually won a football game.

How sad that I'm hanging the success of this day on whether or not 'the most disappointing team of the year so far' can win a football game.  Unfortunately, win or lose, my depression will still be with me.  And then I get to go back to work tomorrow... feeling like this.  It's so hard to look forward to anything.  That alone is depressing.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Fog Is Lifting

I'm happy to proclaim, the fog is lifting.  I'm still recovering, but I'm doing much-much better than I was Friday through Monday.  I called in sick Monday, but I've been working ever since.  In fact, I've been in front of a classroom.  And thankfully that has gone well.  It's been good to keep my mind off what I'm feeling and actually focus on something more productive.

It took me a week, but I finally got a hold of my counselor.  I think I have a bad phone number for his office in Evansville and apparently they don't check their messages in Washington as often as I'd like.  But by the grace of God, I was able to talk to him on the phone Tuesday.  Whereas I was mad as hell at him before the phone call, feeling ignored and abandoned, I felt oh-so-much-better after speaking with him for just ten minutes.  My meds have been refilled and I have a counseling session scheduled for Saturday in Evansville.

Good news on my meds too.  Instead of costing me the usual $1,070, they were only $508.  What a blessing.  So the week is turning out immensely better than it started.  Praise the Lord!

I hate it that I didn't make it four months depression-free.  But I'm ready to start my next stretch depression-free.  Here's hoping I can go another three months and 29 days.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I was wrong yesterday.

I am depressed.

Today would have been four months depression free.  I didn't make it.

I have a lot going on in my head, but mostly I blame this one on the job.

Calling in sick tomorrow.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Batten Down the Hatches

Let me first say, I'm not depressed.  I've been weepy nearly daily lately.  And I've outright cried a couple of times this past week.  But I'm not depressed.

I'M ANGRY.  And frustrated.  And a little bit sick and freakin' tired.  And did I mention ANGRY?

I'd just as soon avoid explaining why I feel the way I feel.  I could get myself into trouble if I outright express my real feelings.  And I can't deal with any more stressors right now.  You're just going to have to trust me when I say, I have a few things going on in my world that are getting to me a little too much.  Maybe a lot too much.

A good friend asked me last night how I was doing.  For most people, I would have just said, "fine" and moved on.  But I knew she cared and actually wanted a real answer.  Instead of words, she saw my eyes tear up.  I quickly told her that I've been doing really well, having not had a depressive day since May 19th.  But I wasn't doing well lately due to a few stressful situations in my life.

She quickly reminded me that if I didn't take care of myself, I'd be headed right back to a depression.

I know she's right.  If I don't nip this thing in the bud, I'll be facing my demons.  And I don't want to go there.  I'd do just about anything to avoid going back there.

So I'm battening down the hatches.  No one gets in; no one gets out.  I'm spending the weekend in recovery and spending a lot of time all by myself, which is better for me really.  I'm sleeping and reading and doing a couple of other things I'd just as soon not share on the world wide web.  But know that they're things that will help my situation, if only to make me feel like I'm making positive progress to being/staying emotionally healthy.

One stressor I will share with you... I've called my counselor's office three times in the last three days... and have received no return call.  Nothing.  I run out of meds in less than a week.  I feel like I'm on the edge emotionally.  I need to talk with my counselor and get my meds refilled and I can't get anyone to return my calls.  It not only upsets me, it scares me.

So I've issued a storm warning.  Hopefully the storm passes quickly.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Mostly Sunny Skies

I've been good lately.  Mostly good.  But yesterday was a different story.  I wasn't depressed by any means.  But I was definitely weepy.  I don't like weepy.  Don't get me wrong, I'd rather be weepy than depressed any day.  But I didn't fully appreciate being all that weepy.  I cried probably five times yesterday.

When I'm weepy, I cry for no reason at all.  Or I cry for every reason I can think of.  I cried when Serena lost her tennis match.  This affects me in no way at all, but I was so sad for her.  Ugh!  When I'm weepy, I find every excuse to cry.

Lucky for me, today no tears.  I feel great!  I.FEEL.GREAT!  Thank You, Lord!

I have to admit, every day I am acutely aware of how I feel.  I analyze my feelings and reactions each and every day without fail.  Oftentimes before the sun even comes up.  It's probably not healthy.  But I don't think I could stop doing it even if I wanted to.  ...and sometimes I want to.  So when I say I've been depression free, I assure you, that statement has been fully vetted.

I often wonder if I'll ever graduate from this stage.  I wonder if a day will ever go by without me analyzing how I feel about things.  Today, I can't imagine what that would even look like.  But my counselor would probably tell me that I'll get there one day.  I can wait.  As long as I'm depression free between now and then, I can be patient.

And I can happily live with how things have been these last few months, mostly sunny skies.  Praise the Lord for answered prayers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Overcast - Chance of Rain

So I was on vacation last week.  I didn't necessarily have anything specific to do or anywhere exciting to go.  I just knew I'd been working long days and thought a break would do me good.  I felt I'd earned it.

And I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I slept in a lot.  I read a whole book in five days.  I did some housework that I'd been wanting to get done.  I spent a couple of days in Evansville with a few family members.  I even ate an amazing Italian lunch at Biaggi's.  I wouldn't have changed a thing.  It was lovely!

But I was truly hoping to completely refresh and renew my frame of mind in coming back to the office.  My plan was to have a whole new outlook and attitude with respect to work.

The fact is, I'm not at all dealing well with the dichotomy between what I hoped for and reality.  I've been so frustrated and angry these last two days that I could cry.  I've seriously been on the brink of tears several times.

It's not that anything at work is any worse than it's ever been.  I'm more saddened by my inability to deal with things better.  Moreover, I was hoping to OVERCOME the feelings of frustration.  I mean, I'd just come off vacation for heaven's sake.  I should have a whole new energy to side step the petty little things (and not so petty things) that bothered me before.  But I don't have that energy.  I'm not overcoming anything.  I'm obviously worked up.

You want to know something else?  (I'm assuming you said yes to that question.)  I've had an issue lately with my heart rate being really high.  When I went to give blood on the 13th of August, I was turned away because my initial heart rate was at 118 beats per minute and it only went down to 104 beats per minute after a ten minute focus on relaxing.  I've since been keeping track of my blood pressure and heart rate.  The lowest my heart rate has been in the last two weeks is 88, but it's averaged 102.

Since my depression has been so much better, I'm wondering if my mind, body, and soul are simply dealing with stress in a different way.  No more depressive episodes, but an over-worked heart.

I should also add that I take a medication for high blood pressure.  I've had an elevated BP a few times, but mostly it's good.  Strangely, the higher my BP is, the better my heart rate is.  (Or maybe that's not strange to someone who knows what that means.  But it was strange to me.  I expected them both to be bad equally.)

Anyway, so my weather/mood today is overcast with a chance of rain.  But I'm pretty sure I'm causing my own adverse weather (see picture above).  Here's hoping for sunshinier days ahead.

By the way, I was able to successfully give blood this past Friday, the 28th.  My heart rate was only 96 beats per minute.  So I got that in for the quarter.