Depression notes

I’m still a little sick, which is fine. Emotionally, I’ve just about finished resurfacing, which is good. 

There’s this thing that happens when I’m depressed – this misperception of time – which I never really acknowledged until this episode. When I’m severely depressed, I’ll look out the window and see a beautiful, clear, sunny day, and realize that time is still ticking along for everyone else. 

Life goes on. Cars drive past, birds argue outside, dogs bark, kids play in the park. It’s normal out there, with people doing things and moving about in their lives, but in here, I forget which day it is, and what time it is. All I know is whether it’s dark or light outside. I’m either asleep or wishing I was asleep. Routine, which I love and cling to, evaporates.  

There’s a persistent feeling of surrealism. Nothing is true. In five billion years all this will be vaporized. Nothing matters. It’s so clear to me, and everyone seems so oblivious to it, absorbed in the minutiae of their lives. 

And yet –

I’m in this state because something matters to me. Something matters so much that the part of my brain tasked with keeping track of time just… shuts down. 

I exist in a state of suspension. Waiting for it to be over. I know it just needs to pass, like every other episode. I curl up in my emotional bunker, clench my fists, wipe my nose, and wait.

Is it weird to say that I feel like I get better at surviving depressive episodes every time? I still avoid plenty of basic self-care things, like showering, or eating things that are good for me, or doing simple household tasks. But this time I managed to brush my teeth most nights, clean my face twice a day, feed the dog, get some work done, and drink lots of water. Doing these things feel like major wins when I’m depressed. They’re cause for mini-celebrations. They’re the rungs on the ladder that helps me climb out of that dark, damp valley. 

Each episode feels like like an explosion of all the sadness I’ve suppressed since the last one. I get angry at myself for boxing up my daily sadness instead of working through it between episodes. I wrestle with my own feelings – every day – until I can’t anymore. I need to learn to manage this with professional help, and I have plans for acquiring this help… so, again, I’ve learned something from this, and this episode is a catalyst for positive change.