So yesterday I posted my article “Taking a Moment to Breathe” where I updated everyone about how I was doing. In that post I mentioned the turmoil of this past December (and the second half of November…and October…and September…all in all, I had a pretty cruddy Fall) and promised a post about all the things I went through. Here is that post.
I should preface by saying that this post, and its following updates (Part Two, and maybe a Part Three), was written over the past several weeks as I reflected on my depression around the holiday season. So if it seems a bit jagged, that is probably why. Hopefully you get an idea of some of the things I went through and what I
did am doing to pull myself out of the funk.
So here goes nothing.
I never put much stock in the saying “Be careful what you wish for.”
Everyone in my life said it–everyone went through something truly suck-tastic and complained about how they wanted it, wanted it so badly but once they got it they realized what a burden it was. I thought I was better than them, smarter than them. I think things through, I thought, I weigh the pros and cons before signing my life away. I’m more considerate of the consequences of my actions than anyone else. Look at them. They don’t have a clue what they’re doing. But I do. I’m hyper-aware of everything that goes on around me.
Except I wasn’t. I’m still not. My burden? Adulthood.
I’m introverted by nature, so I was never into big parties, late night runs to the movies, PLDP’s (Parking Lot Dance Parties, a.k.a. Public Humiliation). I pictured myself a cut above the rest, one of those teens ready for the freedom and maturity of adulthood.
I turned 22 this year and graduated from college. I got a desk job in a field unrelated to my major because it fell into my lap and paid A LOT. My eyes were mesmerized by cashed checks and shiny credit cards and so I hunkered down and worked, putting the thought of my new sedentary and unexciting future on the back burner. After a few months they hired me from part-time to full (I hardly had enough work to keep me busy three days a week, let alone five. And it isn’t as if my job is all that difficult to begin with). My lazy days on Facebook and Netflix were exchanged for more zeroes on my paycheck. And so I hunkered down even more, staying at work even when I felt ill, making label after label, and typing thousands of words a day.
All the working began to take a toll on my health. I was nauseous everyday (to be honest, I still am occasionally), I had less-than-zero motivation to exercise, and my evenings were spent at home, binge-watching Parks and Rec. I wasn’t doing anything, and I was stressed about it. Where the usual feelings of anxiety waited until the PMS-riddled hormones cut through the emotion-stunting fog of my anti-depressants, they now seemed ever-present and crippling.
I almost cried. Several times. At work. I had no motivation to the do the things I once loved–trying new recipes, writing, exploring nature–and I felt like a sneering poltergeist was sitting on my chest, shrieking with laughter at my weak attempts to break out of the cycle.
I almost didn’t recognize this feeling for what it was, which is absurd–I’ve been taking anti-depressants for years–but somehow this stuck-in-a-rut, never-going-to-get-out feeling was given a name. Depression. Cold, hard, unyielding depression.
And for weeks, I didn’t know what to do about it.
To be continued…