Thursday, May 20, 2010

Never Forget

In March I went home to visit friends and family. While there I went out to lunch with a friend who had dealt with severe depression about eight or nine years ago. While talking I mentioned how I'd forgotten how bad it was when I suffered years ago and she responded "I'll never forget. I will make sure I never forget because I never want to be that bad again."

I'd forgotten. I'm not sure I know how to remember because the feelings are so hard to understand, let alone describe if you aren't in the middle of them yourself. What I do remember this time that I'd forgotten from before is that I didn't feel sad as the term depression might make you think; I felt nothing. I'd forgotten that...feeling nothing, feeling as though you'll never feel again. The fog, feeling as though you are moving through air that has texture, the weight of it. Every movement required so much energy, that was what I'd forgotten. Every thought required so much of me. Trying to come up with the energy to do something...anything was impossible some days.

I also forgot the fatigue. In my memory I simply wanted to sleep to avoid thinking. I'd forgotten that I stayed up until two, three, or four o'clock in the morning and slept until noon. I'd watch TV until just before the time for my husband to come home, rushing to get showered and dressed so he wouldn't know I'd done nothing all day. I thought that my days were just mixed up. I've read that depressive symptoms are at their worst first thing in the morning and get better as the day goes on. It was VERY difficult to make and keep appointments with doctors, or anyone.

This last depressive episode was different because I now have three kids to take care of. While there were a lot of things I could allow to fall by the wayside, I couldn't do that with the kids. Getting up in the early morning to get the kids off to school was hard, very hard. I knew that I had to do it, simply because otherwise I'd have legal problems. One visit from anyone involved in the law would have probably resulted in my children being taken away. If they saw the state my house was in during the worst of my depression I'm sure they would have said that their home wasn't safe. Plus it was easier to have them gone all day so I only had to deal with them for a few hours each day. After I'd get them off to school I'd frequently climb back into bed to sleep the morning away. I didn't remember how completely exhausted I was the first time. This time I have three kids, a job and volunteer work at the kids' school. I managed to do the minimum, though even my boss knew I was phoning it in at times.

It is so easy to forget how bad it can get. It is easy to think "I'm doing great, I don't need to keep taking my antidepressants." I can't let that happen again. I owe it to my children, my husband and myself to do everything in my power to keep the depression at bay. Part of the reason I write this blog is to make sure that I remember.

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