Monday, February 7, 2011

Fighting Darkness

De·pres·sion [dih-presh-uh n]

  1. a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason
  2. a low state of vital powers or functional activity
This is a condition I have struggled with for a long time. I have had ups and downs with it, and probably different degrees and manifestations of it, but it is something I have battled for close to 10 years. After both of my children, I had fairly severe post-partum depression. I wasn’t going to kill myself or my children, but it was extremely debilitating. About 9 months after the birth of my son, I felt like I was slowly starting to re-emerge. I am one who believes the research that depression is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, can be hereditary, and can be triggered by life experiences. About a year ago, I went through some events that I think triggered a spiral back into depression, and I’m having trouble working back out of it right now.
        I get frustrated when people imply that I should just choose to be happy, like it’s that easy. Trust me, I get that being over negative isn’t fun for anyone, but when I’m struggling with depression, I would love to just choose to get over it.
        I also think people who have never experienced true depression, don’t understand how painful it can be, and how it seems to rule your life. It can be almost physically painful to do the simplest task. Sometimes just getting off the couch takes every ounce of will power that I have. Taking a shower and putting any effort into getting ready is a tremendous hurdle to overcome. It sounds silly, doesn’t it? “Seriously. Just suck it up, clean up, put on a little make up… you’ll feel so much better!”
        There are times when I can muster the will to assume the role of a properly functioning individual. I think the co-dependent, don’t-want-to-disappoint-anyone; sense-of-obligation; wants-to-be-loved, part of me pushes me to pretend to be ok. My mom will get on my case if I act down too long without her. My co-workers expect witty, joke cracking girl. My kids need a mom to interact with them.
        However, I can’t sustain it for long, and I’m ripped back down into the darkness…. I kind of think of it like my kids who were sick this past week: They were both pretty sick and just needed to lie around and rest. As soon as they started to feel better, they were eager to play and get back to being silly. However, they did too much too fast, and the next day they were completely wiped out and feeling crappy again.
For me, it’s like I have two people inside me: the fat (‘cuz I’m emotional eater. To. The. Max.), blah, depressed girl (a Chubby Frumpkin, if you willJ) and the healthy (physically & emotionally), confident, smart-ass (because in my heart or hearts, I enjoy a loving & joking smart ass comment.) When the situation arises, the healthier girl pushes me to act like who I want to be, but inside the Frumpkin is yanking me back in. And when she does win, she sits of the other one for awhile- just to make sure she can’t try to escape.
How’s that for an analogy? J
I am noticing that there are certain environments where the depression seems much more oppressive, and these environments are tied to the triggers that caused the downward spiral last year. I want to work on seeking out and creating more peaceful environments in order to nurture my mental and emotional well-being.
Not all of my posts will be this boring or depression oriented. J But, since I’m currently my only reader, and this is something that shapes who I am, I will talk about it from time to time. J
Now. It’s time to go and work on budging that Chubby Frumpkin J