Or maybe we shouldn’t.
Talking about it is such a Debbie Downer.
Shining a light on a topic that isn’t all that uplifting may seem a far reach for the ADDiva-Sunshine-Positivity blog. Especially when it is so personal. But darn it, depression has kept me in its crablike claws for too long. I am overdue for a little light.
How does depression creep in to my life? On little cat paws (thanks for that image Carl Sandburgh). There are Big Things that have certainly caused legitimate sadness and upset in my life, but depression is different. It’s not sad, it’s not despair. It’s more like Thoreau’s bumping-along-the-bottom-of=the-ocean=floor quiet desperation endured by most men (and probably even more women).. And It is like a fog, seeping into the corners of my attitude, poisoning my resilience.
I find myself alternating between lecturing myself sternly to “get down to business and get things done” and admitting defeat: “I just can’t force myself to do even the simplest tasks.” My formerly dependable get up and go has abandoned me.
It’s embarrassing and acutely painful to admit that I can’t live up to my own self-proclaimed standards. I don’t want anyone to know that I have fallen off the self esteem cliff, so I hunker down and hide, resting on my laurels, hoping no one will notice I haven’t DONE anything of importance in a long, long time.
I don’t want leave the house because I will have to Be Something I am not right now. I am ambivalent about donning the mask called Nice and Polite, yet I do. I wonder if all that pretending is taking a toll on my psyche. But I am too numb to notice. I am just trying to push myself through the day.
I’ll tell you the worst of it: I hate poor-me, pitiful complaining. When I Google “depression” I am thoroughly put off by the people who dump all their fine whines out in public. I hate them for wasting time writing about something that needs ACTION. Yet action is precisely what I cannot take at the moment. I am play-acting at living and that is unacceptable at all levels.
Could I give you a dozen reasons that I could justify feeling this way? Yes. Are any of them good enough to keep me stuck? No. So why am I stuck?
Depression is a cunning enemy and a deceitful friend. It pretends to want a cure, but smacks me down the minute I feel a rush of optimism. I have become the classic Pushmi-pullyu of Dr. Doolittle fame. I am trying to move two directions at once and am literally at a self stand-off.
Who know where this little stuck-in-the-muck game will go, or when. Wish I could give myself a kick in the behind but a stick of dynamic might be more appropriate. I just need to get myself out of this valley. The view is so much nicer from the mountain top.
Thanks Ardis…and you’re right, menopause can push you (me) into a bout of the blues. Low estrogen makes a huge difference in mental positivity and motivation.
My depression stems more from major life crises that have converged into a tsunami that flooded my psyche over the last three years. The good news is that I finally went back to therapy. It’s been more than 20 years since I have walked into a therapist’s office…believing I was FINALLY done with re-examining my previous life. But this is about my CURRENT life. And once upon a time, coaching actually helped me more than therapy. So returning felt like a little regression, even a hint of failure.
Last year, I tried to find a therapist who would work with EMDR (an add on to traditional talk therapy that supposedly bypasses the brain’s resistance to change). Ended up feeling shamed by a woman who refused to work with me because of my ADHD. I cried all the way home…I know it’s her choice, but I guess I was just “too much” for her. That felt bad. Really bad.
This time, I reached out to a dear friend for a recommendation and OMG…she did me proud. The woman I am seeing now (for the third time in two weeks!) is, if you excuse the expression, just what the doctor ordered. I can see sunlight peeking through the clouds for the first time in many, many months. Proving once again that the right kind of help in whatever form it takes is priceless. I’ll keep you posted!
Oh, Linda, how I feel your pain! What I’ve been wondering of late is if my recent bouts of depression have more to do with menopause than ADHD. It is so hard to decipher all of these mid-life changes on top of my more recent digging into the realm of ADHD psycho-education. So I keep plugging away and trying to push through it. But hey, tomorrow is another day. Thanks for sharing your struggle. By the way, I’m also a writer, and do find that the simple act of publishing a blog post gives me a kick in the butt and a sense of accomplishment, releasing me from the blues. Hope this post helped you too.