"Let's talk about how hard it is to explain to your friends and family that you have this heavy feeling in your chest for no reason." Talking to friends and family about your depression is really difficult to do. They want the depression to be connected to a situation, something they can understand and possibly fix for you. While I do suffer with situational stress, anxiety and depression, I also suffer with Bipolar Depression. Bipolar depression comes out of nowhere and can't be connected to any one situation. It just is. It is like being under a strong wave and caught up in the undertow. Depression is so damn heavy.
Succumbing to depression feels like a great failure. If I were stronger, I would be able to keep depression at bay. If I were braver, I would be able to pull myself out of the blues. If I just got out and exercised I would stop this depression in it's tracks. If I were more grateful I would see I have no reason to be depressed. But I am not stronger, braver, grateful or motivated to get out. I am slowly drowning in depression. I don't mean to, but once it starts it seems daunting to get through.
I go to my therapist appointments and we talk about what is going on to see if it is situational or Bipolar. We discuss med changes and I hate med changes. Three weeks or more of gambling that the change will ease me back to normal. Three weeks of the withdrawl of meds and waiting for the new drug to take hold. Even small med tweeks of dosage cause chaos with your system. Then you go back to your therapist to see if the med change worked. Some times it does, but just as often it doesn't. This is usually weeks of screwing with your system and lots of ups and downs.
I have an appointment next week and I will bring her up to speed that while the anxiety we were focused on was situational this time, and is being controlled by the meds, my depression could be from the chaotic past few weeks, but it isn't going away or being held at bay right now with my current meds.
What does depression feel like to me? I feel so damn tired, bone weary. Somedays I could nap forever. My nights are broken into waking up every hour or two to flip. I am awake enough to know I am awake and flipping. I get irritated that I am awake again. We bought a new bed a year ago thinking that might be the cause of my flipping and waking up, but even on the new bed, I am waking and flipping. Maybe this is perimenapause? Maybe it is Bipolar? I don't know. I feel overwhelmed by everything. Completely overwhelmed.
For me, sliding into depression means not wanting to bathe. I want to be clean, but the process seems just too much work. I don't want to be cold. I don't want to have to dry my hair. I don't want to get out of the clothes I am wearing as they are toasty warm. I want to just wake up and stay in my pj's. I just want to stay in bed.
My appetite comes and goes and I crave sugar and carbs. But neither of them give me any energy. When my appetite goes away, I rely on Boost drinks to get some type of nutrition in my body. Or when I am hungry, I eat tons of snacks throughout the day. Some of which are good for me and some are pure junk.
My irriation level also sky rockets. I become easily irritated and angry. I get mad about the clutter in my house and want to throw everything away. The clutter feels like the walls are closing in on me. And I can't get anyone to understand.
I have a short temper and snap at those I love about the strangest things. My aggrevation doesn't make sense. It is just a buzz inside my head that makes me uncomfortable.
When I can nap and fall asleep, I am at my most happy. I could nap the day away when sleep finds me. When I lay down to nap and can't find sleep, I am completly pissed. It is awful to be sleepy and nodding off only to lay down and have my mind busy. I just want to lay in bed and forget everything.
One of the worst aspects of Bipolar Depression is the brain fog. I used to have a sharp mind, like a tack. When I am in the fog, everythings seems difficult. Work related task fly in and out of my head. I try to write them all down, but sometimes I forget to. Some times I write the task down and still forget to do them. It is very embarrasing. Buying groceries is an olympic sport which both makes me anxious and zaps my energy. Conversations are hard to follow because my attention comes and goes. So I don't want to try to connect with friends because I feel overwhelmed connecting. I also feel like a whiney bitch who is in constant turmoil. I don't want to tell my friends about another episode of depression because I feel so damn needy. I don't want to be so dependant and needy. I can remember when I was the friend who everyone could count on. Now, I feel horrible.
"Let people feel the weight of who you really are and let them fucking deal with it." To me that means finding the courage to sit with those I love and say, right now I am in that dark, ugly place where all I want to do is cry and sleep. I don't feel like being brave to keep you in the dark. I don't want to scare you, but I am feeling depressed. Easier said then done.