Last summer, I was diagnosed with severe depression. I knew I had seasonal depression because I’ve struggled with it for a few years now, but the actual depression diagnosis was somewhat of a shock to me. Not necessarily that I had it, because I knew I had it a bit, but that #1 many of the symptoms I had that I was attributing to anxiety, were actually depression symptoms and #2 that I was severely depressed. This helped me realize that I’d likely struggled with undiagnosed depression for a very, very long time. And I didn’t learn any of this until I went to see a therapist.
My symptoms were/are:
- Sleeplessness at night
- Lack of desire to do anything under the sun
- Eating everything under the sun (excessive hunger that led to weight gain)
- Wanting to sleep all day (fatigue)
- Mood swings
- Lack of concentration (this is arguably the most annoying symptom!!!!)
- Repeatedly going over the same (negative) thoughts
- Social isolation (some days I really can’t talk to anyone but my husband and dog)
Treatment for depression is S-L-O-W. Even worse, it is very hard to get in to see a therapist. I had to wait two weeks, which is not ideal if you are having dark thoughts. On top of that, I had to go to another town to even see someone – not in the town I work in OR the town I live in. I made myself go 3 times just because I was literally out of ideas of what to do to feel better. I had to quit going after 3 times though because I was concerned about missing work so often. I have a somewhat flexible schedule but the fact is, it’s hard to find a therapist who will work around 8-5 schedules. In fact, I don’t know where to find one and I imagine if that person does exist, they are even more booked than the ones that see people all day. UGH.
The whole time I was doing all that, I felt guilty for having depression (another symptom of depression) because I am very blessed and truly have a great life. I felt like I should just be able to snap out of it and I couldn’t. I also learned that I am slightly OCD which is why I struggle with perfectionism so much.
Fun story: I never realized I was a perfectionist until I went to therapy.
Once I saw a therapist, I then had to go see my primary doctor who adjusted my medication to help me out. (My medication is still not as adjusted as it needs to be really, but I just am refusing to take any more than what I’m at now.) The medication took a month to work, which seems like an eternity when you are already miserable. Also, I would say, it didn’t have it’s full effect until about week 6. The doctor told me that, but it doesn’t make it any better. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to do ALL THE THINGS and I really just could not even.
Go to work. Laundry. Clean house. Take care of myself.
Everything was a chore. It is hard to understand until you experience it. It sounds ridiculous when you hear it on those depression medication ads, but it’s TRUE. It is now April and I am just now able to start taking good care of myself again. Making myself drink water, making myself go on walks, taking my medication, painting my nails, showering daily.
I fully understand how some people cannot keep it together. It took every ounce of my energy to make my 45-minute commute both ways and work all day. One day, my body just couldn’t handle it and I had to leave work early. That was the day I realized I had to start taking better care of myself.
I am just now fixing my hair and doing my makeup every day for work again. I feel sorry for my co-workers… they saw me look disheveled A LOT. They’re the real MVP’s.
I tried to keep going with the blog but I just sank lower and lower. I thought it was a good idea to try and start a business in the middle of all this mess, and of course it failed. That was a dumb idea on my part and I fully recognize it.
I knew blogging could wait and I needed to focus on myself first. I’m starting to feel good again. I’m starting to get back to my hobbies and want to try new things and learn new things. (If I owe you something, I’m sorry and I ask you to kindly reach out to me pretty please!! And thank you for your patience.)
Here’s to more regular posts and catching you up on all of our adventures! Thanks for hanging in there with me!