I’ve written myself into a bit of a pickle, I’m afraid. My overarching goals for this blog are candidness and encouragement. Good, great. Those are good goals.
But what happens when those goals are suddenly at odds? What happens when being truthful means I have to share things that are not exactly inspiring or fun to read?
Do I cross over to new territory, and share the hard stuff while the hard stuff is happening?
That’s sort of where I’m at today.
Share or no?
I don’t discuss my depressive symptoms much, partly because they are less frequent, and partly because I haven’t had much specific treatment for them, which means I feel much less able to share tips and advice. And I also lack the vocabulary to express my symptoms clearly.
I did get a diagnosis of persistent mild depressive disorder at the same time as my social anxiety diagnosis two years back, but my mood has been really stable for a long time lately.
But sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, my mood will nosedive. I don’t just mean I feel a little “blah.” I mean I feel like a piano has fallen on top of me, but slowly. This is what I’ve been dealing with since Saturday night.
Resist urge to hermit
I don’t really *want* to share this, because when I have phases like this, my inclination is to retreat, hibernate, and pretend everything is okay when I do communicate with others.
I hate to be a bother. I hate to be a drag. I hate to worry people.
But I don’t want to do pretend anymore.
I don’t want to just blog when things are easy, but let my blog go dead when my mood is low.
And I don’t want my “candid” blog to really only be candid when I’m happy. That really defeats the purpose of what I’m trying to do here.
How it feels
My mood is low. So low that my chest feels heavy, and also hollow, like it could cave inwards.
My brain is very, very foggy. I’m lethargic. I’m very irritable.
I did miss my dose of sertraline on Saturday, which is unusual for me, but I’m skeptical that I would feel any effects this quickly. (I took last night’s dose.)
Times like this
At times like this, my mind goes to things like, “What do I really bring to my family, other than the ability to robotically go through the motions of life?”
At times like this, I feel like my struggles with anxiety and depression aren’t just restricted to my inner world. They hurt my friends and family. I hurt my friends and family.
At times like this, I feel a little foolish for feeling so optimistic about my “journey.” I see how far I still have to go. How much emotional rubble I’ve left in my wake.
Basically, at times like this I get very melodramatic and doomy-gloomy.
But this time will be different
There is, actually, a faint silver lining.
This time, I know it will pass.
This time, I know I will feel better when the clouds lift.
This time, I know I get to see my psychiatrist in a couple of days.
This time, I’m not hiding.
The more you know
Life will not feel like this forever.
That certainty is greatly comforting to me. (I don’t *feel* comforted, because I don’t really feel anything right now, but in my mind I *know* this is comforting.)
Don’t hate me; I can’t bear it
I hope this doesn’t come across as wallowing in self-pity (I’m not wallowing, maybe just dipping my toe a bit), or fishing for sympathy, or crying for help.
And if you’ve interacted with me recently, please don’t think my mood is the result of anything you did or said or didn’t do or didn’t say. That’s just not how these episodes work.
I’m really okay.
I mean, okay, I’m not okay, but I know how to become okay again.
I just want to share the hard parts, too. Otherwise what’s the point of a mental health blog?
Be kind to yourself
I’ll take this opportunity to say that if you’re struggling today, I feel you. I really do. Let’s send each other good vibes and go easy on ourselves, k?
Let’s try to think of how we would want our best friend to treat themselves if they were feeling low — and let’s try to be a little like that with ourselves. (I know, I know, I REALLY don’t want to either. That’s the mood talking, though, not you.)