I was debating whether to do D is for Daddy or D is for Depression and Depression won. It won because it is such a huge part of my life. I live with it every day. Yesterday I was at my therapist’s and he asked me to describe my depression now and I told him it was something I had to struggle through and fight with every single day of my life and it wears me out.
He told me a story of a woman he had in a group who described it as having a can of soup you really like in your cupboard and really wanting the soup and some toast but just not being able to get off the couch and going to the cupboard and getting the soup and making it. How hard is that? That’s depression. You just can’t do it, as much as you want to. It’s like being an astronaut tethered to the space shuttle and working on something outside the shuttle and suddenly becoming unthethered. You are left floating in space, isolated and alone and can;t get back to the shuttle even though you want to. That’s depression.
I structrue my days to stay busy and active and productive and fight the depression and I can tell you that it wears me out. But if I didn’t, I wouldn’t get out of bed. I get up at 5:45 and make my morning ablutions for prayers and brush my teeth and read the Qur’an for 20 minutes then say my prayers. Then I take the dogs out and check my email and blog. Then I put Ernie’s meds in his eyes and my daily activities start–my appointments for the day, my classes, my appointments, my things that I have to do. I do have some down time to read or watch Tv but there are prayers to say a certain times so that helps structure my day. By 8 p.m., I am exhausted and off to bed. That’s the only way I can fight off the depression. There is no joy in doing everyday things. I go to my classes and I like them but I am not joyful about them. Depression saps the joy out of everything. I go about the day doing the motions of living. I battle through the day. That’s what wears me out. It’s the fight against the depression that takes the pleasure out of life. It takes the feeling out of life.
I’m not depressed about anything. I’m been this way nearly all my life. I know I’ve been like this since high school. It’s a hell of a long time to live like this. I hate it but there is nothing much I can do about it. The meds help a little but not much. I have chronic depression that doesn’t really respond to treatment. I see my therapist every two weeks and he helps me with life and living. I see my psychiatrist every two or three months and she helps with the meds (sooner if things get wacky). I have learned to accept that I have this condition and that this is the way life is. The alternative is not better. I have learned that from my health care professionals. I make the best of it. This is depression.