Hurray, I’m Depressed

On Sunday evening, I felt miserable and vulnerable and was looking forward to seeing Tom on Monday as my only gleam of hope. At the same time, I hated myself for needing him and using him as a comfort, when I had been fighting so hard for so long to be independent and not look to a lover to save me. I allowed myself to feel like: ‚Oh, I can’t wait to be in his arms and feel the sweetness of holding somebody who likes me‘ while there was this vague idea in the back of my mind: ‚I am allowing myself this weakness now, but will have to pay for it in the future, when Tom no longer loves me and I have no way of comforting myself and nothing to live for.‘

My misery felt like a water jar I was carrying. It was there and it weighed me down and could not be ignored, but if I walked very carefully the water would not drench me. And thinking of Tom felt like knowing I would be able to put down my burden for a second and stretch my back and feel sweet relief, knowing that taking it up again, it would feel even heavier. In this fragile state I went to sleep, and I still felt like this on Monday morning.

Starting this year, my Monday mornings will be more relaxed. I consciously rearranged my work hours like this to reduce the stress and anxiety of Sundays and Monday mornings. It helped a lot to go to work but be able to sit down at my desk and start slowly. Sometimes, when I feel weird, I type my thoughts into Google and see what comes up. So I typed something like ‚I feel sad and have lost my joy‘. And all the results said ‚depression‘. What?

‚No, I can’t have depression. I was depressed in my youth and it’s not that bad now…‘ But there are many forms and degrees of depression. ‚Ok, maybe I am a little depressed. When I think about it, I have been feeling like this more or less since Christmas. Overeating and seeing Tom have numbed it for a time, but the underlying joyless mood, the feeling of distance especially and the cravings and wish to hide and stop time, all those things fit.‘ Once I accepted the fact that I might be depressed, my point of view shifted drastically. It had been: ‚It’s all my fault, I should be happy because so many things in my life are good, something is wrong with me, I must hide this from Tom, I must hide from everybody and wait until it goes away.‘ Now it was: ‚I’m just depressed at the moment, what I feel is normal and common and my mind is not to be trusted, it will try to convince me that I’m worthless, but that isn’t true.‘

So if I’m depressed, I obviously want to get out of it. I have Mrs. H, so no need for a therapist. And no medication because it isn’t that bad. So I searched for strategies to cope with it, to function and make it bearable. On the personal level, all the helpful tips said to care for myself, eat, drink and sleep well, move and keep up work and hobbies. It also helped a lot to see it like having a cold: ‚Ok, you know you have a cold and it will make you feel bad and negatively influence your life for a while. Take good care of yourself and try to lessen the symptoms while it lasts. It is not your fault and you will get better again. Be kind and patient with yourself.‘

On the level of relationships, there were lots of helpful ideas as well. Just understanding that the feeling of distance between me and Tom (and really everybody else) is a common symptom, and not the truth, made me stop worrying and believing all the negative things. All the tips said to reach out to people, to fight the wish for solitude, to use others for support. So I was determined to tell Tom honestly that I was feeling a little depressed and that it made me feel distant and made me want to build walls, instead of pretending nothing was wrong and feeling this horrible loneliness and distance.

I was still feeling sad, but now my sadness seemed more manageable and less scary. I also knew that exercise would help me on every level, but didn’t want to spend one minute of our precious evening working out when I could be with Tom. So, I hurried to AS during lunch break to do some quick HIIT, and the music and movement made me feel so much better. Then there was work in the afternoon and it was hard getting back into it, but it wasn’t too stressful.

I was thinking about Tom while my hands worked, and instead of the vague unease, the distance, the ‚we are still complete strangers‘, the ‚is this it?‘, there was joy, and a feeling of wonder that he exists and is actually my boyfriend and seems to care for me, intense gratitude and yes, the strong wish to hug him, but no longer out of loneliness and need, but out of love. I felt as if I had something to give again. It felt right. The evening could not come soon enough.

About annalienor

Lover of beauty, adult ballet student, deliberate creator wannabe.
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