I have depression. If I’m honest, it has been there, off an on, for my entire life. In my last few years of drinking it became really bad, but I refused to recognize it for what it is, or do anything about it. It almost took me down then, and I have my semi colon tattoo to remember.
I take cipralex, a SSRI. It brings my general mood from despondent to normal. I am definitely not always happy, but I can cope with life. I love my life. It is full of beauty and joy and contentment. My ordinary life.
This fall has taken me down a good notch. All of October I felt myself become more tired, prickly and sad. I tried to rest more. I did less hot yoga and more restorative. I ate more regularly. But it continues.
Small things added to it. I was taking an online course in self care and the instructor, a yoga teacher, was mean to me. I knew, that sounds silly, but it’s true. In the group forum she called me passive aggressive and insinuated my criticism of her flippant disregard for fulfilling the course outline was due to unresolved issues of mine. And when another classmate joined in, they ganged up on me.
It sounds minor, but it was enough to push me down that last step. I cried and cried. I felt so hard done by, and finally I left the course. That was probably the best thing about self care that I learned from it. That I don’t need to remain in a situation that isn’t working for me, just because I paid for it. Sometimes you need to cut your losses.
So…as my mood dropped I became more worried about myself. I had a day where I honesty considered driving to the hospital and checking in, fearing I might hurt myself. Just writing that is hard. Why would I think that? That is the scariness of depression. There is no reason.
So, I told people. Like addiction, for me, depression seems to like isolating me. When I tell others it lifts the weight of fear and stigma and let’s me see the love and support I have from so many others. It reminds me that I am an important part of lots of lives. And I needed that.
I’ve been to my doctor. We have done lots of blood work to make sure it’s not an underlying issue and will go back next week.
In the mean time I have slightly increased my cipralex, upped my vitamin D and started using my happy light every day. And it has made a difference. The black cloud of doom has parted enough that I remember that emotions come and go in waves. And when I feel a bad moment, it is not all moments. It is temporary.
My doctor asked me if I thought I was putting expectations on myself to be above depression with all the meditating, yoga, spiritually I use. Maybe there is some of that, but I know depression is a chemical imbalance and sometimes our bodies just can’t keep up with the demands placed on it. I am thankful there are medications to help. I am thankful the medication is working for me. I know it isn’t always so simple.
None of this would have been possible without sobriety. That is the catalyst that has brought me to a place where I can deal with life as need be. And where I realize happiness is available to me.
Stillness and peace