I used to tell people in high school or college that were struggling with depression or anxiety to get involved in stuff. I would tell them to volunteer or get involved in a hobby. I, too, struggled with depression and anxiety at that time but I found the energy within myself to distract myself from it. So, I would tell them, “Hey, you’re not alone, but you need to get a life.” Hmmmm…well, now I’m at that point where others are telling me the same thing.
I used to paint portraits. I have paintings from the east to west coast of people who commissioned me to do paintings of their family or pets. I also used to be an avid photographer and almost put myself in the “poor house” with all of the camera equipment I “had to have.” Now my paintbrushes, canvases and photography stuff have started gathering dust. The very things I used to take so much pride in and found endless hours of joy in are just sitting there. It is so so aggravating. Does anyone else think, “I will just give it a go, (“it” being whatever used to make you happy) and maybe I will rediscover that “feeling” of happiness? Only a few seconds later thinking, “But why? What is it going to accomplish? Why even bother!” That is what I have been coming up against lately. This THING of self-defeat. This mean-spirited inner voice that defeats and overtakes that whisper of hope. Today I am feeling weak and unable to even talk back to that voice. Today, all I can muster is a word of kindness to my husband and cat and listen blankly to the Weather Channel playing in the background. I managed to get dressed, clean the bathroom and put the roast in the crock pot. But that’s all I can do. I have no strength for nothing else.
Where did my inner fighter/warrior go? I can remember being in high school/college shaking my head and telling myself, “Get UP. Get GOING. Get WITH it.” And being able to push myself towards my destination. The old adage “Fake it til you make it” worked so well for me then. Maybe because I was younger and had more energy was why I was able to put on such a face of gumption and stubbornness. Now it seems like I wear my heart on my sleeve no matter where I am. My husband knows when I’m struggling. And when he tells me to paint or go take photographs I feel like a failure. I don’t tell him that. I just say, “I don’t feel well today.” With a face of concern he constantly tells me that I always say I don’t feel well anymore and that he is worried.
I am considering going back to my doctor for the upteenth time and telling her, “Hey, guess what? This one isn’t working either!” But dang….I know, I KNOW there is no magic bullet but surely there is SOMETHING that will help. I’m trying to get through this on my own. I mean, you have to be willing to try to help yourself before others can help you, right? So, I’ve been reading books about depression, books about things that are of “interest” to me but after about five minutes the words start to blur together and I’ve found I’ve reread the same paragraph fifteen times. I WANT a life…it’s just getting more difficult to have one. I should clarify…it’s getting more difficult to have the life I long to have.
I guess the whole point of this blog is to: 1) release my feelings; 2) don’t tell people to “get a life” because they want to, they just can’t; and 3) it’s okay to just feel totally blah some days even though it hurts. Maybe it’s days like this when we really need to just take care of OURSELVES, not worry so much about what we COULD be doing and just do what we CAN. The world won’t stop if we can’t leave the house. Maybe tomorrow I can get ready to go talk to my physician. I’m not worried that she will think terrible of me. I’m not worried that she will judge me. My biggest fear is that there really isn’t anything she can do to help me. What if I am stuck feeling this way for the REST of my life? I don’t want to die depressed…if that makes any sense at all.
Thank you to those who have taken the time to read this. It may sound like a lot of mumbo jumbo but that is the state my mind is in today. I wish you nothing but peace and happiness today and if life is hard for you right now, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Never give up hope. Even when you feel like giving up hope.