I’m not going to offer an explanation as to why I haven’t written anything in a month; no, I’m going to tell you a story.

My depression starts at the back of my esophagus. It begins as a small hole, only noticeable at three in the morning when I trace shapes  with my eyes on the ceiling of my new house. Slowly, the hole gets bigger. Soon enough it feels like the size of my fist.

Now, in case you are a literal reader, there isn’t actually a hole in my throat. I haven’t burned away a fist-sized hole in my esophagus because of heartburn, puking, or eating acidic food. This hole is metaphysical. I have no proof that it is there or not other than the way I feel. Consider it Schrodinger’s Hole (that’s what she said): it is both there and not there at all times.

And, to add insult to metaphysical injury, it is a black hole. It is a vacuum of the space-time continuum (and boy, does it suck).

Cylinder vacuum cleaner for home use.
It behoovers you to keep on reading. (Ugh, sorry)

The first thing that the hole obliterates is my motivation. I haven’t written anything in a month. Not because I’m too busy or because there aren’t stories floating around in this apathetic noggin of mine, but because the act of writing takes more energy (ie–little to semi-little) than I am willing to expend.

Then my confidence goes: I convince myself that you, my audience, doesn’t actually read what I write, or want to read what I write. I tell myself (even though I know, logically, that it doesn’t make any sense) that you are all too busy and follow much more entertaining writers who post on a daily basis and don’t disappoint you with a lack of stories.

Next, the hole gobbles up my logic and self-worth simultaneously. I am now convinced that anything I write will not be up to your standards or mine, so, combining that with a lack of confidence and motivation, I stopped writing completely. I stop because I convince myself that I, as a writer, am not good enough for you, as a reader, so why bother.

A toddler girl crying
Oh, boo-freaking-hoo.

For the past month, the only thing really getting me out of bed is my dog, Atreyu. If I let this depression take control like I want it to, I would stay in bed all day watching the Olympics, Say Yes to the Dress, and True Blood (there’s no accounting for taste, but at least I didn’t say Toddlers and Tiaras… I only watch that show when I’m too happy and need to be reminded how shitty the world is).

True Blood
Something about melodramatic supernatural characters really lets me get in touch with my emotions…

I would also refuse to spend time with people. I would eat entire bags of chocolate chips in one sitting. I would wear my PJs all day every day and I would cry into toilet paper (I am too pathetic to have tissues).  But, fortunately, my dog needs to eat, and go to the bathroom, and stretch his legs. So I force myself out of bed, feed him, sleep for an hour more, and then I make myself take him for a two-mile walk, rejecting excuses for why I should turn back early (the most common being, “he has pooped and I’m pooped“).

The other night a friend came over to keep me company. We snuggled in my bed, and at about one in the morning, I started sobbing. I haven’t sobbed, full-on chest-wracking, hiccup-inducing sobbed for years. But I let it all out. I wailed and talked about how I feel like everything I do is wrong, that I don’t really feel attracted to wonderful people and I don’t feel attractive to anyone, that I’m constantly disappointing everyone, that I’m not worth my friends’ time or effort, and that I’m a terrible person.

Caption not needed.

My friend laughed and said, of course those things aren’t true. His laughter, while well-spirited and kind, only made me angry and cry harder. A tiny voice in the back of my head says he’s right, of course he’s right, but as that voice protested, I also heard it scream its way into the black hole.

I am depressed. But I am fighting it, not because I’m against upping my medication. But because I know, with enough effort, I can defeat it myself. I’m not afraid of calling my doctor, but I am afraid of not trying myself.

So what do I do?
Step one: Get out of bed every morning before noon. That may be easy for you, but my entire body feels exhausted when I’m depressed. Getting out of bed feels like climbing what we Coloradans affectionately call “fourteeners” (a 14,000+ ft mountain).

Pike's Peak preview 2
Damnit, I forgot to fluff the pillows and pull the sheets up. This just looks sloppy.

Step two: Shower–forcing myself into cleanliness makes me feel a teensy-bit better, and also helps alleviate my disgust towards myself.

Step three: Take Atreyu for an extra-long walk. Sunlight helps ease depression symptoms, so I’m not afraid to look like the loner Iam and sit on the bench by the park and soak it all in.

Step four: Exercise. This is the most important step. Setting a routine helps you not only get in shape, but provides endorphins which will break you out of a depression faster than you can bulge out of your fat pants. I am, unfortunately, at a point where I know that’s what I have to do, but I don’t care. (I’ll get over that once I hate myself enough. Probably)

Step five: Be social. Other people have the uncanny ability to lift my spirits and make me feel loved. This is the 2nd most important step. Isolating yourself only makes depressions escalate. I feel like staying in bed all day, but I always feel better after hanging out with friends.

Finally, step six: Write more, constantly, all the time, whenever I can.  This is as much for my depression as it is my craft. I am probably a good writer, but holding back out of fear doesn’t help me improve, and it also lends credence to my “I-suck-balls” thought process.  So, while I don’t believe that my writing is any good right now, and it’s kind of upsetting just to write this post, it is more upsetting to wallow and know that I’m not living up to my expectations simply because I gave up.

And I’m a fighter, don’t you forget that.

32 thoughts on “Depression

  1. I love how you started this post. It sounds like you have a battle plan, and at least you are aware of what is happening. Many depression suffers believe that sick cycle of self doubt. You’re a fabulous writer! Keep it up!

  2. I understand this completely. This is the perfect description for it that I wish I had two years ago…
    Do not fret, my friend- You Are Not Alone. 🙂 (see what I did there? Dr Who reference… 😉 )
    I love you, miss you, and am looking forward to next month…

  3. I almost didn’t read this whole post, because it hit home a little too much, but I’m glad I did. And I’m glad to see you’re willing to fight it. That was the only thing that helped me to even start to get out of the hole (that I still fall back into sometimes…:/). Fish oil and exercise helped me out a lot more than I expected (trust me, I fought that one tooth and nail) and I’ve been without medication for a little over 2 months now. I’m gonna try that tip of yours about being social though…haven’t mastered that one yet haha. I wish you well on your journey, and thank you for being honest in your post!

  4. Spot on. The hardest part of this is forcing yourself to do something you have absolutely no desire to do. Great post

  5. I can totally relate. How did you manage to get through all the assignments at SC? I am embarrassed to say that there are assignments I never got past the first page of, because I cared too much and just felt like it was utter crap writing and my professors deserved better– and instead gave the impression that I cared not-at-all :/

  6. Meow. Sometimes a good cry is what you need to motivate you to start moving again. At least it’s that way for me. I love you, boo. I want my goddamn story about why fictional characters > real life men.

  7. Yay, you! Keep it up, girl! Baby steps. If Bob could do it, so can you.

    On a more serious note, I’ve really missed your words. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Depression is AIDS of the soul. Keep up the good fight. I go to work: Gives me something to do… Otherwise the dragon might get a foothold in and reign terror on the inhabitants of my head

  9. There are no good writers, only good re-writers. So no pressure. Also, if this is your worst, I look forward to your collected works.

  10. Well you might have read or heard this before, is going to pass. First you know what’s happening, second, you are doing something besides staying in bed, third you are sharing, and last but not least, you are admitting you are weak or not in the best shape.meaning you are brave. I lost my mom a bit more than a year ago, I’m not married, no kids, live alone and have two cats (I know one more cat and I will be walking the crazy lady with cats lane). I can’t stay home much, I gave a job to go to, were some job like attitude are close to me. My point, you are not alone in this process, it takes courage to do what you just did. So don’t give up, if living one day at the time is too tiresome, try one hour at the time. Oh and btw, I also have a blog here followed by 5 people 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, and please don’t give up, it will pass, it can’t rain forever. Hugs and blessings and a smile just for you 😀

  11. Loved it! If you still want to do Insanity (the workout), do it! When you’re eating right and exercising it feels so great. I got side tracked with vacation and am trying to get out from under depression as well so this was a perfect post to share.

  12. YOU CAN DO IT!!! You have the will to do it and thus you can. If there’s a will, there’s a way! I know for sure that you’ll beat this. Good job on taking action to try and not laying down to let it trample all over you like a thousand rhinos.

  13. i suffer from anxiety, pretty terribly, and i definitely understand the lack of motivation, the questioning of ones own self worth, fear of not living up to our own, as well as others, expectations… your reasoning for having taken time off from your blog is the EXACT same reason why i stopped writing on mine for 2 months.

    with that said, yes, keep fighting the good fight, my friend. exercise is key. i have been running, and certain days i seriously have to drag my butt onto the treadmill, though half way into my run and once done, i am glad that i did it.

    and above all, thanks for sharing. stay positive.

  14. I wish I had read this six months ago, as I seemed to have learned these same lessons over the past half year. I feel for you and hope you every advantage at battling your way up this tough road! I love your blog and hope oh can post more, look forward to more fun from you!

  15. It’s like you and I share the same brain. 🙂 Some of your depression characteristics made me realize that what I have called (my asshole phase) is actually depression (I knew it all along, I was just in denial). Thanks for writing this. It feels good to know I am not the only one. It also gives me hope. One thing, I refuse to take medication for depression so I just stick to the vitamin D but most days I am too depressed to even take it. Ha! Depression is awesome! Not!

  16. This was such a great thing to read. Not only was it helpful, but it was nice to be able to look into your mind for a second and understand how you think. Thank you 🙂

  17. Well, depression is why I just started my blog, so what you’re going thru is exactly where I’ve been before… and where I’m clawing at the edge of the black hole trying not to disappear into again. You can’t always “will your way out of depression” (trust me, I’ve tried!) which is kind of what it sounds like you are trying to do. Fighter or not, it’s not always in your hands. It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough if you need a change in meds. That’s what I’m trying to come to terms with myself.

    I hope you’re doing well… it’s been awhile since you posted. You don’t suck balls. 🙂 1815 people aren’t wrong.

  18. i’ve been missing you..
    doesn’t help? I was wondering where my “whit” went about 🙂 I’ve had the same and mine feels like a hairball of muck stuck between your gut and esophagus which makes you breathe funny.

    We’ll it seems you already know what to do, just snap out of it. You make conscious small efforts to build it up to steps then activity, then routine, then, for all you know… it’s life 🙂

  19. I am amazed that anybody can get anything done these days, myself included. The symptoms you talk about are all too familiar! And even though you know what helps make you feel better, actually doing it is hard when you have zero motivation!

Leave a Reply to Highest Form of Whit Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s