(Most of this was also posted in reply to a Forum entry on "Feeling Unfulfilled." I'm new at this and didn't realize that what I posted as a reply was better suited here on my personal blog or journal)

I'm a first time blogger and am desperate to get out of this "funk." But I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. I feel so pathetic because I have NOTHING to complain about. I am so blessed with a wonderful husband, healthy children, a beautiful home, etc etc etc. I do a good job of "faking it" in public. So nobody would suspect that I suffer from depression. Although, I am getting weary of putting on "a show" so I am withdrawing more often now…no longer volunteering at my children's school, no longer attending parties when I'm invited…I never did that before. I'm starting to "give in" to feeling depressed.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression over ten years ago and did the Celexa & Lexapro route…I did the weekly therapy sessions, etc. It got me through a few years. Then I decided to go "natural" and wean myself off meds and am trying holistic treatment with a naturopath. When I was on Celexa & Lexapro, I managed "better." "It took the edge off" any anxieties, is how I would describe it. However, I was not able to cry- happy tears or sad tears. That was strange…but it wasn't a major problem. Besides wanting to get myself off of chemicals, I hoped that it would help my libido. So I've tried some adrenal herbs for about a year and now I'm on 5HTP. But I don't think its working anymore because I've gone on a downward spiral. However, I do believe that I'm pre-menopausal now, so my hormones are on a rollercoaster, to make matters worse.

I'm hesitating about going back on the meds. And I hate the idea of starting up weekly therapy sessions again. So I thought I'd research "online group therapy." Misery loves company.

I am a performing & teaching artist (dancer) so when I'm on- I'm "on." But when I'm out of the spotlight and home alone…its completely different. I often wonder, "If my audiences/students only knew. …" I'm a perfectionist- workaholic too. I'm the happiest when I'm "on a roll" and am mad-crazy-busy because then I'm too busy to think about being depressed. Its "all or none" with me. My work is seasonal so when its slow, my work comes almost to a screaching halt. Then I am burned out from the demanding (yet successful) work schedule. I have a list a mile long of things I could do during my down time. But I'm too burned out, depressed and totally unmotivated to do them. Housework depresses & bores me to tears. I function on a "need to do" basis. I do what I need to do to take care of my two younger children ages 6 & 8. I barely keep up with laundry & the dishes…and cook only because I have to. I'm just going through the motions. My husband is the most patient man in the world, but I worry that one day, he might just get sick of my excuses & my lethargic moods.

I have considered "throwing in the towel" with my business. And then the next day, I'm Gung Ho with new ideas for PR and program development. It changes from one day to the next.

I couldn't wait for Christmas to be over. This is the worst its ever been. I really just went through the motions. I did the bare minimum (for my standards) It was horrible for me. But thankfully my six year old just said that she had "…a GREAT Christmas!" Bless her heart! I am dreading the new year because I can't see myself doing it all over again. I LOVE my children too much to do something stupid, such as ending my life, but I am in such a rut that I wonder how this will ever end. I am to the point where I can't bear it any longer. That's why I'm here on this site. I feel bad about venting to my friends or family because I don't want to alienate them, have them judge me or feel sorry for me.

So I think you and I might in the same boat…or very similar cruise ships (LoL) I think its good to share our experiences with others who can relate…or co-miserate.

There was a program on depression on NPR the other day. The author of the book "The Depression Cure- The Six Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs"- Dr. Stephen Ilardi was on. The book sounds very interesting. I will probably pick it up (and add to the pile of self-help books on my nightstand- I think I spend about $100 on books in the last couple of months). But he did sound very compassionate in giving "common sense" advice for lifestyle changes that we have to make. He realizes and acknowledges that it takes ALOT for a depressed person to put advice into action. If it were that easy, we wouldn't have this problem! He also pointed out that he wishes there were a different term for "depression." Most people think of it as "Oh, you're feeling sad…just go for a walk and get some sunshine- you'll feel better…" But when you are clinically depressed, its a legitimate illness. Would anybody say that to a person who has cancer? Its true. Its embarrassing to admit that you have it. Your family isn't necessarily going to want to acknowledge it or know what to do with it. So you feel like you're on your own to deal with it and figure it out. Unless you go around ACTING CRAZY or do someting stupid, the illness doesn't seem legitimate to anybody. Its the "all or none" syndrome again. Either your CRAZY or you're not- they can relate to the word CRAZY, but "depressed" is this huge gray area.

I don't want to just whine about this. I hope to accomplish something and learn how to cope and function better.

We do have to count our blessings and think about the people who love us. Even though we may not be loving ourselves very much at the moment, remember that there are people who do. These people need us and rely on us…so we have to keep trying to get better! Hang in there!

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