by New Dawn Rising
I went to the old dictionary to get a basic definition for depression. It said “Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and well being. It may include feelings of sadness, anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, irritability, or restlessness.”
I never knew fighting the depression would be just as hard if not harder as fighting RA and Lupus. No one forewarned me that depression was looming right behind my RA diagnosis and it was gonna poke it’s ugly head out and was gonna slap me so hard in the face that I would go from one day dealing with life’s changes to the next day in an almost “shutdown” mode. The tears, the sadness, the irritability, anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and restlessness hit all at one time. And then the thoughts of dying, wishing to die, not wanting to fight, the darkness started setting in. I didn’t mention it to anyone because I couldn’t believe I was having thoughts such as that. I was afraid to mention it to anyone because I was afraid it would be taken as a measurement of how much I cared for others. I was afraid they would take it that my love wasn’t strong enough for them to be willing to fight. I was afraid I would be posed with the question of “If your not willing to fight for yourself aren’t you at least willing to fight for me?” It had nothing to do with anyone else it was all the emotions swirling around from my head to my heart and throughout my entire body. It truly was “all about me”!!
So as you know, it got so deep and dark that it required an intervention of a neuropsychiatrist and medications and then required an 11 day stay in a psychiatric hospital. But it is daily work….you don’t just take your happy pill and your all better….oh how I wish that would work….but it takes a conscious effort to find joy in your day. To observe the world around you, in your home, your social groups, your church, your job. There are some things you really have to look at and evaluate whether they are healthy for you…..are they building you up or tearing you down. It may mean changing relationships, friends, social groups. I have done all of those things and in the beginning it was hard, but I knew in order to keep myself healthy, to keep the thoughts out of my mind and not wanting to fight it was important to surround myself with people that were gonna help me stay rooted….rooted in life…rooted in my beliefs. I do miss some of the other activities at times but when I compare that to struggling to live everyday it was so worth letting go!!!
So my question for all of you, how have you dealt with your own depression, what things have you given up to keep yourself rooted? Where are you finding your strength to fight for one more day and then one more day again? Talk to me and let me know what makes you get up and fight everyday because there may be something you say that someone will benefit from. What I do and what I change is not necessarily what will benefit others…..We are all in this together….