Friday, May 20, 2011

Glass half full! Glass half full!

It’s been a topsy-turvy couple of days. I feel like I’m sinking back into “The Black Fog” again but I am struggling hard to avoid that.
Just to remind you,… I actually set up this blog as an outlet for me to talk freely and honestly about my illness. Depression. And that is what I am going to do here. Talk about “it”.
Depression is a mood disorder. And the past 3 days I have been struggling greatly with my mood.
It all seemed to start to go south on Tuesday. I had an appointment in Brampton. It had to do with my Mom.  (Need I say more?). The whole meeting lasted only 10 minutes. But it changed my mood completely. I obviously couldn’t stop thinking about Mom and her passing. It just hit me really hard. And that’s the way a mood disorder works. For most people, when they are hit with an emotion or situation they can regulate their mood. They can feel it,… own it,… and then move on. I can’t do that. And so there are times that I find myself feeling quite good when I get up in the morning. But the smallest of things can change my mood to the point where I plummet into a depression and can’t seem to shift that mood. So I guess you could say I don’t have a ‘regulator’.
I knew when I woke up that morning that my mood wasn’t the best. I have a cold so that wasn’t great. The weather was wet and gray. It rained the whole drive to Brampton. The meeting was of course all about Mom and that was upsetting to me. I left the building feeling sad and missing Mom. The long drive home just seemed to cement the mood in place. By the time I got home I was teary. I was once again struggling with that dreaded demon ~ depression. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t shake the “black fog’ off. I ended up curled up in my chair mindlessly watching program after program on the TV. And once you’re in a depression the rest of the world becomes distorted. You lose self-confidence. You lose motivation. You lose hope. You lose yourself. You become a big sad blob that can’t function. And that was what happened to me on Tuesday.
I don’t know the reason a depression hits me. It just does. I think a lot of times it’s caused by life situations that I find hard to cope with. But other times there just doesn’t seem to be any logical reason for the mood change. it just appears. I’ve seen it many times in people who are intelligent with great jobs and lovely families and on the outside they have nothing to complain about. But that’s the sneekiness of depression. you don’t have to have a reason. It’s a chemical imbalance in your brain that shifts everything in your mind to “glass half empty” when you have no real reason to feel that way. I have always wrestled with the question of why I suddenly plummet into depths of depression that are horrible. But I don’t have an answer. I don’t think anyone does or there wouldn’t be millions of Canadians suffering from this debilitating disease.
Anyway,… The next morning I woke up still in “The Fog”. I had taken my Seroquel the night before so I was really groggy and tired so I stayed in bed until noon sleeping. (Always my first symptom I’m slipping,… all I want to do is sleep) But I finally got up and had a shower and made my bed and,… blah, blah, blah,…. all the ‘normal’ stuff  ”healthy” people do every single day with no effort. Then I forced myself to get outside. I did some errands and then went for a walk. I was still feeling heavy and sad in my heart but at least I was making the effort to try to get out of this funk.
The next day (which was again overcast & gloomy ~ not helpful to a depressed mind) I had to get up early as the furniture store was delivering my new loveseat. Most people would have been happy and excited about this. I was still feeling “blah” and couldn’t muster up the energy to feel anything. But again I forced myself to do stuff. Make my bed. Do the dishes. Do some laundry. When a person is in a depression these small everyday tasks feel gargantuan and impossible to carry out. But I managed to do them. Suddenly the sun came out. So after the couch was delivered I put on my walking shoes and went for a nice long walk around town. That seemed to help a lot. I came back home feeling much better. RELIEF! Could this past few days mood just be a short-lived occurence? I hoped so. But a mood disorder is so unpredictable that I never know how I’m going to feel from one hour to the next.
And with that,… I again woke up really late this morning (at noon ~ really that Seroquel medication leaves you feeling like you’ve been shot with an elephant tranquilizer!) But again, I have forced myself to get up get on with it.
So,…  It’s the Canadian Long Week-end. And I have told myself that I am NOT going to waste it by feeling sad and depressed sitting in my apartment. And even though the weather is once again wet and dreary and overcast I will get outside. I think tomorrow I might hop in the car and drive down to Elora and get out walking and explore there. I’ve texted the girls to see if they want to go to a movie at some point. I have a new book I can start (bring a chair to a park and read maybe if the weather gets better) The hard part about living in an apartment (with no balcony) is that if you want to get outside you have to actually go somewhere. It’s not like you can putter around in your garden or sit on your patio,… so I have to use my imagination and find places to go (that are free). It’s a good thing I like to walk and hike. I may be out of shape right now after a long winter of being inside all the time but I do want to fix that by getting back into my walking every night after dinner. In short,… I want to be healthy mentally. It can be a struggle to do that but I want to work on it.
And that’s where I end my post today,…. struggling but determined to move forward.

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