Darkness Visible

The gloomy title is thanks to William Styron and his book on depression, but is rather overstated for my own feelings at the moment.

For about the last week or so, I’ve been feeling depressed, which is pretty lame. I can describe it as such, because luckily this is not a bad bout. My first struggle with depression was in high school, and was without question the worst I’ve ever experienced. And I have a feeling mine was comparatively not that bad. For those who are lucky enough not to have experienced this, or think it’s just someone being down in the dumps and they should buck up and get over it, a pictorial lesson – here is what depression feels like.

There is a boulder on your chest. You are drowning. You really cannot breathe. Obviously, you are, but it feels like none of the oxygen reaches the parts it should. You can barely keep your eyes open, and you feel like you’re about to melt into the floor and die, and you wish you would, because nothing can hold your interest for more than five seconds. And worse, each time you try to fail to grasp the straws around you, you sink deeper into this inexplicable mire. And it’s usually not obvious this is going on. I shocked my family and several friends when I said I needed immediate help as I was suffering.

Depression differs for every person, but for me one of the significant symptoms is that my appetite’s been off. Luckily, this is a decently mild bout, so I can still eat, just not that much. I’ll get partway into something, and lose all taste or desire for it. One weekend in college, I was alone and INCREDIBLY depressed. I ate pretty much nothing but rice cakes all weekend. It wasn’t that I wasn’t hungry, my stomach hurt from being so famished. But I could not stand the idea of eating. So when Monday rolled around and I got my usual breakfast, I could only eat part of it, as my stomach had shrunk over the weekend and I felt sick eating so much.

I was considering making a therapy appointment – I haven’t seen my therapist since December, which is pretty good. We had decided I was now on a “come as needed” basis, but before I could make an appointment, I got an email from Dawn, the woman who helped me to start this blog. She was running an intuition class and remembered that I had been interested. I didn’t have anything going on Tuesday nights and she was offering a discount, so I went for it. I’m hoping it will help. Certainly having some activity beyond work will give me a healthy jolt.

In therapy during college, my therapist told me to rely on my intuition, which I always thought I was pretty good at, but I’m really not. So I’m hoping this will help – that I’ll be able to really hear my gut telling me something and my anxiety won’t get in the way. And I’ll also know for sure when a creepy boss is hitting on me….So that starts Tuesday, and I’m really hoping it helps.

Luckily, at the moment, I’m feeling fine. It comes and goes for unknown reasons, and little things tend to set it off. I was really productive yesterday, which usually helps, but this time it didn’t. And I’ll be seeing Lacey today, so that should do some good as well. But kind thoughts are appreciated.

And if any of this sounds familiar and you’re suffering from depression? You can drop me a line.

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About emilydnelson

A recent graduate of Hofstra University with a B.A. in anthropology, Emily is like every other twenty-two year old on the planet - trying to figure out what the hell to do now. Follow as she struggles with writing, her social work job, and bopping from coast to coast.
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