Contrary to what someone who has never dealt with depression might think, a person who suffers from depression isn’t depressed all the time; depression comes and goes in spells. Sometimes a depressive spell can last for a day or two but sometimes it lasts for weeks at a time. Right now I’m scared I’m in the midst of the latter.
Depression manifests itself in different ways from person to person and is triggered by different things. Sometimes a depressed person can’t even put their finger on what triggered their most recent spell. It just happens.
I think I can put my finger on where mine started, though. I wrote recently about having a really difficult time leaving a long weekend with Chris behind. The Monday I was to head back to Philly I sobbed– I sobbed while he napped, I sobbed in the car, I sobbed myself to sleep. And I’ve been in a funk ever since.
It’s not that I am constantly mourning that one moment all this time but that one emotional, difficult experience triggered something in my brain that has caused a depressive spell.
For the last week and a half I’ve been weak and tired. I’m often tired and exhausted but a depressive tiredness and exhaustion is on a different level. Getting out of bed, writing, going to work, dealing with difficult people, grocery shopping, even doing the dishes can feel like nearly insurmountable tasks. My apartment is a mess right now and, try as I might, I am struggling so hard to clean it.
Work has been equally challenging. It doesn’t help that I hate my job and I have a difficult relationship with my boss. But when I’m depressed even the work itself, even the simplest of tasks, seem so hard to accomplish. My brain is in a near constant fog.
And tears come almost daily. Or hourly. In fact, as I write this, I am holding back tears and I really can’t say why.
Depression compounds every difficult thing. When I’m not depressed I can deal with stress and responsibilities in a mostly healthy and measured way. But when I’m depressed, everything seems to snowball and I feel myself running on a wheel that steadily increases in speed.
For example, I’ve been sick off and on since early February which already leaves me weak, unmotivated, and tired. Depression amplifies and increases these feelings. And then mixes them with sorrow and hopelessness. These feelings pervade every area of my life from home to work and everything in between and leave me immobile.
Last night I should have cleaned my apartment, should have worked on a big project for the class I’m auditing, should have prepared for worship leading this Sunday, should have cooked for the week, but instead I sat on my couch and binge watched a Netflix show.
The icing on the cake is that I’m a perfectionist and need to always be doing something, accomplishing something. And right now my biggest accomplishment is dragging myself out of bed.
So when will this spell be over? Only God knows. And I hope it’s sooner than later.