There are a million articles out there that list symptoms of a “low” swing of depression, but none of those give a clear idea of what it truly feels like to someone who has never experienced it.
The symptoms listed online and in pamphlets include:
* constant fatigue
* change in appetite
* loss of concentration
* quick to become angry
When I enter a downswing, these are not always my symptoms. My lows also range from mild to severe… and one must always remember that nobody experiences this in the same manner. What is mild or moderate for me may be severe for another person, and what triggers me may not trigger them. Heck, sometimes there are no triggers and you just start crying at your desk for what feels like NO reason… and that’s just the chemicals in your brain going haywire. So please keep in mind that from time to time you will see me crying and I will not have an answer for you when you ask what is wrong! “Nothing” or “I don’t know” are (sometimes) legitimate answers for someone who suffers from depression.
Last Friday, I went through a moderate downswing. Being my day off, I typically schedule any appointments needed and make a list of errands I need to run before my husband gets off work. By Thursday I had a few appointments set and a number of things I wanted to get done, but when my alarm went off on Friday morning, I could not bring myself to get out of bed. Every single ounce of energy was drained from me. I told myself I needed to reschedule my appointments… and I couldn’t even do that because the thought of talking to someone on the phone was daunting and exhausting.
YouTube, Magic Kingdoms, and various other games on my tablet weren’t even entertaining. My mind drifted off back to sleep and I slept through every single alarm that was set. My husband texted me here and there throughout the morning, but I had nothing to say in return. I was not excited for the things he was doing at work. I had no positive words to offer him. I had no encouragement to give to help him get through the day. At that point, I figured the least I could do was drag my ass to the shower and look presentable for him when he got home and be ready to run errands with him since I clearly didn’t do so that morning.
Did I get that far? NOPE. I plopped myself down on the couch thinking “what’s the point?”… half the day was already gone. I felt like a lazy, worthless hunk of junk… so naturally, I forced myself back to sleep on the couch so that I didn’t have to feel like shit. That is one of my classic symptoms right there. I don’t FEEL tired, I sleep so that I can ignore my feelings. I sleep so that I can ignore the world and the judgmental people in it.
Before I knew it, my husband had unlocked the door and was standing in the doorway smiling sweetly at me. It was 3:45 in the afternoon and the only thing I had done that day was brush my teeth. Lucky for me, my husband is very supportive of me. He encouraged me to get up and took me to a nice dinner. The evening was great and I felt okay while we were out, but at bed time, I was restless.
Saturday at work I was like a Zombie. My regulars couldn’t put a smile on my face and annoyance set in every time the door opened. I wanted to be sad and alone at my desk. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything. Sunday was pretty much the same.
It wasn’t until after my 1st session with my new trainer (that’s a story for later) that I started to feel better. During that workout session on Monday, I felt like a weak, fat, disgusting excuse for a person. By the end of it, I was not proud of myself at all. My trainer, on the other hand, was beyond proud of me. He kept pushing me through the workout and even after it was over, he continued to inspire me via text. My husband told me what an awesome job I had done. My mom told me she was proud of me for going to boot camp and planning to stick with it. Facebook friends left words of encouragement… and that is when I started to float back to the surface. That is when I found the courage to start this blog. That is when I found the motivation to keep getting up this week and “do life”.
This may sound extreme to some of you who are reading this, but trust me when I say this is nowhere near a severe low for me… but that is a story for another time.
Until next time,
XO – Tink