Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Hanging on--

I'm having a blue period. Some of it is brought on by a medication that I took for three weeks, and don't have to take any longer. A big relief. That medication caused a real spike in my depression. For those of you who don't know, I have fought depression all my life. I now take medication for it, and I'm much, much, much happier. Life is just easier with an antidepressant in my system. I'm not "fighting" depression. I'm just being content, or being sad, or being happy. I'm not fighting to get through the day.

Taking that medication for three weeks reminded me of how I used to be. Not all of the time, but way too much of the time. I spent the last three weeks struggling to get through the day. Struggling to keep a smile on my face, not yell at my kids, not snipe at Dave. I don't have the patience for it any more. I now know that I don't have to live like that, so when I sink into it--even when I know that I'm sinking only because of a medication--I don't have the grit to fight it. I kind of let myself wallow in it. And I'm letting it be an excuse. Ah--there is a word that needs to be analyzed. Is depression an excuse or is it a reason?

Is depression a reason to set more modest goals for myself? Do I need to accept myself, as I am, and not expect myself to achieve, produce, etc. as a non-depressed person with the same skill-set could or would? Should I be proud of what I do accomplish in a day, despite my frame of mind? After all, I got out of bed... Some days that is a big deal for me.

And on top of my depression, I wonder how much having "special-needs kids" is an excuse or a reason to have blue days, difficult days, grumpy days, lousy days? Do I use my kids as an excuse? Or are my kids a reason for me to have a tough time?

I'm not looking for sympathy or answers. I'm just articulating a struggle going on with myself.

I'd be interested in thoughts of readers that have similar struggles--for similar or completely different reasons.

And I'm interested in the thoughts of those of you who don't struggle with this kind of thing. Until I married Dave I didn't realize people existed that didn't have these kinds of struggles. Just as he didn't understand that depression was real until he married me. He thought all those depressed people were whiners that needed to "buck up!"

1 comment:

hillary said...

I've been wondering how you've been doing. Now I know! Ugh, depression. It's no fun and because it is an illness I think sometimes it can be an excuse (a valid one at that). An excuse for experiencing symptoms that make life unmanageable at times. I'm glad that you've discovered that medication helps you and that sucks that you've gone three weeks feeling so badly. Now you REALLY know just how great your medication is and just how much better life can be when it isn't such a struggle to get through each day.

I think having "special-needs kids" is DEFINITELY a reason (not an excuse) to have blue days and difficult days, grumpy and lousy days. You've got some serious parenting challenges that you deal with on a daily basis. I think you'd have to be crazy NOT to have a tough time now and then.

I'd love to chat sometime. . . maybe when I get a chance I can give you a call. Hang in there.