The space between


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Sometimes depression is like bathroom mold, slowly growing over time, until one day you climb into your shower and think “yuck, where did this come from?” This process could take weeks to months before I notice. Other times it slams into me all at once, like the unexpected flash flood we’re experiencing here in Western WA. But then there are times where depression happens in the space between those two extremes. Sorta slow, but also sorta fast, and it’s as if there’s this warning light going off in my brain saying “watch out, it’s coming!” But it couldn’t possibly be coming, the warning signs have not been present, there’s been no trigger (except the end of summer) and by all accounts I should just ‘get it together’ and ‘suck it up’ and ‘work through it.’

I rationalize, by saying, “you’re tired, you’re stressed about work starting next week, you’re angry that your partner is being less-than-helpful-and-borderline-selfish, and your child is in the terrible-twos-four-months-early.” Lots of excuses. But the gray foggy gloom has been creeping, rolling in, like something in a bad horror film.

Things yesterday that did not make me feel better:

-pre-meditating my skipping yoga to justify a nap (that didn’t happen)

-playing endless games of Candy Crush on my phone, and paying for cheats and more levels…that’ll bite me in the ass

-watching 4 hours of trashy television

-driving to the outlet mall and trying on clothes. even buying two cute things didn’t take away the gray

-buying $12.95 worth of fudge

-getting $0.40 off a gallon of gas at Safeway because I used my parent’s phone # (don’t worry, they don’t get their gas at Safeway)

The part of me that hasn’t been completely taken over by this recent emergence is waffling back and forth…do I do something now (i.e. medication) since therapy is ending on Saturday? Do I wait and see if this is just a transition phase with the weather being crappy and the nerves of a soon-to-be-back-to-work-mama? I’m feeling very victimy overall and also like I really want to cry but won’t let myself. The six minutes of stillness meditation yesterday left me starting to cry, so I distracted myself with other things. My counselor brain knows that isn’t what I should do…

How do you tell the difference between a bad mood and lingering depression? Or the difference between being nervous and having anxiety? What things lift you out of the funk?

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3 Comments

  1. Well, if someone has some answers, I want to know too! 🙂 My therapist has started my therapy with teaching me some deep breathing techniques. After a week and a half of doing it, I feel that it really is helping! I have a hard time distinguishing the two, but I think the duration is the key. If I feel myself on edge for several days in a row, then it is probably anxiety, however if I get a good nights sleep, and feel better in the morning, then I know I was just having a bad day.

  2. I’m sorry you’ve struggled with your mood. It is so hard to be proactive and do things that make you feel good. I play stupid games and oversleep amd eat junk too, and I definitely remember living in Washington and craving the sunshine after so many dreary days. We all know that the keys to happiness lie in good sleep, healthy diet, exercise, mental stimulation, etc and it’s still hard to pick yourself up and make those efforts. Don’t feel bad. Just try again tomorrow. ❤

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