Friday, December 17, 2010


I apologize in advance; I don't think I'll be blogging much for a while. I got depressed again.

This happens fairly often for me, usually when unfortunate life events coincide with the onset of winter, but it's particularly bad this time around. I just wondered today, as I was sitting in my chair staring off into the future, how many of you know what it feels like to be really depressed. Maybe all of you do; an uncorroborated statistic in my head is that 2/3 of adults have experienced depression at some point during their life. But if you haven't, let me try to explain.

Normally, I fix problems. If I have a problem, I 'll keep working at it until it is fixed. If I can't fix it, I get terribly upset. And if the unfixable problem happens to relate to the single most important goal in my life, I get more than upset.

I can't stop thinking about it. I analyze every aspect of it. I consider and reconsider every course of action that I could possibly take and realize none of them are acceptable. Even when I stop thinking about it, it stays in the back of my mind. I'll be going about my daily business when all of a sudden I'll realize I am so sad. This goes on for days. I start to get irritable. The small problems that I used to fix now cause me to burst into tears.

When I am alone, I obsess about it until I cry. Loudly, ceaselessly, in the most horrifying manner I hope you never have to hear. Sometimes, I cry until every sinus in my skull is completely impacted, or I have pulled muscles in my throat and ribs. I rail at the Problem, but finding it undefeatable, I have no choice but to attack myself instead. When I realize that hysteria is getting me nowhere, I swing to the opposite extreme and shut down.

Because quickness turns sadness to anger, I go slow. I walk slow, I move slow, I talk slow. I don't think people notice because my normal speed is ultra-fast, and my super-slow speed is the normal person's normal. But if you're watching me, you'll see me stop periodically and space out. Everything is so hard to do. I draw on all my reserves to muster the willpower to do normal things like open a box or put on my coat. I don't really have the strength to stay awake and do all those normal tasks, so I indulge in extremely early bedtimes. When I'm sleeping is about the only time I'm not utterly miserable. When I wake up, there are a few moments of foggy-feeling normalcy, and then the blanket of sadness descends.

Sooner or later, the physical symptoms begin. I lose my appetite. When it gets to the point that I'm dizzy with hunger, I'll try to eat something, but afterwards, I always wish I hadn't. I feel heavy and nauseated. I would like to think that this would at least help me lose weight, but unfortunately I think my metabolism slows down so much that if anything, I get fatter. In the mornings before breakfast, everything feels unreal. Something indescribable happens to my vision: Everything looks the same, but it feels like it looks different, as though I'm seeing it through a window on another world.

On the days that I don't work, I can spend hours on end staring into space or crying. I never bother to change out of my pajamas. I alternately close off all communication channels and open them all in a flood, hoping someone has missed me. They usually haven't. Although I am desperate to feel some love, being around people induces anxiety. Being alone is the worst thing you can do for yourself when you are depressed, but having to feign happiness – or even a sort of stable melancholy – for others' benefit is so draining. While I am interacting with others, I can laugh at jokes and even enjoy myself for seconds on end, but the terrible thoughts will insert themselves ruthlessly into any situation. I want to take some sort of action on my oppressive emotions, but I have to put on a brave face for these people! The stress of it causes mild panic attacks. And as soon as I leave, I start crying again.

I know that this will end because it has every time since I first got depressed. But the thought of the weeks or months that I will have to endure this is enough to send me into another fit of hysteria (please, no). And when I recover, it will only be to a state of resigned sadness. If you try to console me, it won't help (though the effort will be appreciated), but if you think about it, pray for the solution to the underlying Problem. I'd like to, one day, get back to being the ray of sunshine that everyone thinks I am.


Anonymous said...

i know it doesn't help but i love you and reading this breaks my heart (please don't regret sharing though.. what is a friend if not someone who shares in these times?)
My heart aches when I read how you cry.
At the risk of sounding trite, I would like to share some thoughts that stick in my mind as i read your words. Take them or leave them as you so desire.

Perhaps "getting back" to being a ray of sunshine is not what you need as much as "stepping forward" into becoming the truly joyful person God intended you to be. Joy is elusive and hard to catch, but it is my hope that one day this brokenness will not only be undone, but will actually be turned to something beautiful.. somehow...
Please don't think I'm being shallow and minimizing what you are going through by saying all this. Perhaps you will think what I am saying is merely a silly attempt at being optimistic, but I strongly believe/hope/pray/anticipate that your life story will have an ending happier than you could hope.

In one of my most broken days, a day when I was sure I would end my own life, I let my bible fall open... and it fell on this verse:
"I am still confident of this:
I will see the Goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14
And that day I knew God was talking to me. And things did get better eventually. I know we each have our own paths, but I know you have a path set before you to change the world. And joy will be yours one day.