Thursday, March 11, 2010

My battle

I don't know where to start, because I don't know where and when this began. I wont go into to much detail. My moods have been darker, my sleep patterns have been very off, my weight has plummeted, my mind has been racing, my body exhausted. It slowly crept up on me. It didn't all happen at once. I just noticed the colors around me lost there vibrancy, music didn't inspire me, I had no motivation to get out of bed.
This is depression.
Does this mean I have a "mental illness" Will it consume me for much longer? Why am I this way? Is it a hormonal or chemical imbalance? How much worse can this get?

Here's my problem. If I have nothing to be sad about, how can I have depression? Well after much research, I realized it doesn't necessarily have to be about that. In my case, I believe there are numerous contributing factors.
So even though I feel like complete crap and want nothing more then to lay in bed under the covers, I am forcing myself to move. I am taking small steps, watching what I eat, trying to get enough sleep, sitting in the sunlight, and writing in my journal.

Yesterday, I went to see Tom in Orange County, stopped in Redlands along the way. I am always drawn to Redlands because of all the trees. I parked on an empty street next to a field of wild flowers, I took photos at different times when the sun was going down, had music playing in my car as I sat there. I get small increments of relief that distract me enough to get through the days and remind me of who I am.
Then it started to sprinkle. I went to my favorite thrift shop and bought a jacket, a purse and red velvet nightgown all for under 10 bucks. That in itself lifted my mood. I sat in my car and read some of the books I have been given by friends.

Seeing Tom was like seeing sunlight again. Ive been wearing his dog tags, he told me they are good luck, I believe him since he didn't die in Iraq when he wore them. He is taking Friday off and will be down tonight, I am taking things day by day and being gentle with myself. A few people have reached out to me in so many ways. These people have so much love and kindness in there hearts and they know who they are. I am thankful for there kind words, smiles, advice, and for there ability to just listen. I have a lot to be grateful for and hope to be myself again soon.


Fusion said...

My moods have been darker too. I've slept more than normal lately. I've sat around more. Ate more.

So, I take flaxseed daily because I know it helps me. I try to turn on the lights when it's dark and rainy outside.

I don't know where you live, but weather is shitty everywhere. It's darker and colder during these crappy winter months. Hell, I live in Florida and still experience S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder).

Don't allow the sick medical model that gets constantly shoved down our throats make you feel like you don't have any power. It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp on it and it takes courage to share things like that since another thing we are taught is to be happy and "normal" all the time. I think (and it may sound cliche) that women should support one another in times like these. I am glad you wrote. Actually, it helps me feel better about what's been going on with me. Also, my friend Melissa posted almost the same thing you did today. She feels the same way recently and is also blaming it on the shitty weather.

You aren't alone. Hang in there. As my mom always says "this too shall pass".

Steph said...

Thank you so much. I live in Southern California and usually like the rain, however we have had more than the usual amount lately. I am trying to bring myself out of it and feel so lucky to have wonderful friends and supportive family. Maybe it is the time of year... Whatever it is, Im staying upbeat and taking advantage of all the support around me.

amy said...

As much as we laugh and joke when we are together there is nothing funny about this cloud that is looming over you. It's almost like if your life actually were crap right now you wouldn't feel guilty about feeling depressed, but your life is better than ever and that seems to just confuse you more. One day at a time…because every day with a friend like you in my life is just one more day for me to smile. And not to one up you, but it really is all about my happiness now isn’t it?

Sorry, just trying to make you laugh. =)

Steph said...

Yes, just keep making me laugh, I crave laughter, thats why I sent you that Justin Bieber skit, I can go on that website and laugh all day.

Eliz said...

Steph, I went through the same thing. A few months ago. I just didn't talk about it because I felt ashamed, I didn't know what to do and I was scared. Reaallly scared that something was really wrong with me. It scared me into making little changes. I just isolated myself from everything and paid attention to whatever I needed. I read books, walked, ran, painted, drew, spent time with Brad. I know you do all these things already and not that this is what you might need but I'm just sayin I can relate. But what really what helped me, I mean like a miracle was after I did some research on hormone imbalances, crappy sleep patterns etc..and the one thing that it came down to was estrogen and serotonin...anyway long story short I found something called 5HTP..look it up but basically it is a precursor to serotonin, so it helps your body increase serotonin production naturally. After about 2-3 weeks I felt like a completely different person. I slept 12 hours a night, I had energy, felt happy...I am not kidding this stuff is a MIRACLE I don't know what I would have done without it and I don't know why more people don't know about it. but it saved me.
I still take it now but don't need it as much. Try it.