January 4, 2015

What Do You Do When Depressed?

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I’ve made no real attempts at hiding the fact that depression chases me around & pins me down from time to time (probably more frequently than that, but lets not get into the semantics of it at the moment). With all of this “experience” I am getting with being down in the dumps all the time, you’d think I would find a way to work it to my advantage. . . But, no. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works.

(Image from morgueFile.com)
If it’s not one vice, it’s another. . . (Image from morgueFile.com)

To cope, there’s the usual tears & crankiness that you might expect, but there’s also an unhealthy amount of sleeping. . . I can sleep for 10, 12, or 16 — even 18 hours at a time if left alone. I awake for the restroom or a quick sip of water. (We do live in the desert, after all. It is dry, dry, dry!) OR, I go to the other extreme & can’t sleep unless I take a gulp or two of the ZzzQuil bottle & read until my eyes go crossed & my head is swimming & I have no other choice but to close my eyes & succumb to my exhaustion & the drug’s effects.

If that was all, frankly, it wouldn’t be so bad. . . It might be one extreme or another in regard to sleep, but eventually it tends to even out. When I can’t sleep, there’s plenty of writing — I can’t speak to its quality, but it is usually quite therapeutic & that is the word of the day quite a bit lately. . . So there’s that.

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Sometimes the lack of sleep turns into binge cleaning too. It’s rare, but it does happen. There’s pretty much always a pile of clean laundry in our bedroom since I absolutely despise folding it. (Maybe that’s because, as one of my chores growing up, I had to fold the entire family’s laundry? Who knows. It’s a fact, nonetheless.)

None of those things are so horrible. What is horrible, though, is that I also seem to binge EAT. It’s a problem. One moment, I am typing away on my little notebook computer or zoning out on some silly television show & the next moment, I am answering the door to the pizza delivery person. Pizza, wings, & some kind of sweet something or another. It’s my weakness. Or, anything potatoes. Or super meaty dishes. Occasionally veggies work their way in there too; don’t get me wrong. . . But, the point is, I eat my feelings & I am just figuring this out.

The times in my life when I didn’t do just that, it was a different vice. I was a smoker for years & years. I sure could chain smoke when I was upset or feeling down. . . (Caffeine & nicotine diet, anyone? I lived on it.) I also had several years of practically living at the bars. I drank way more than anyone should, was probably way more promiscuous than any lady should admit to, &, of course, paused for a smoke break as often as possible. . .

Now that I quit smoking, if I am feeling depressed & I slow down on the binge eating, I pick up a glass of wine or Jack Daniels & Dr. Pepper or a bottle of beer. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all of these things. . . I just realize that I don’t always enjoy them for the right reasons when I do indulge. It’s sad. . . & of course that warrants a further slip into depression.

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It’d be nice if, instead of eating & sleeping when I am feeling down, I exercised — walked, bicycled, gazelled, Pilates,  whatever — &, you know, like, cleaned regularly. . . If I could find a way to channel the negativity into feeling & looking good & making my home reflect that, it sure would be a nice change. . . It just seems like more work than I am willing to put in. . . Which is also depressing to say “out loud.”

I feel exhausted. . . & I didn’t even do anything. I wake up feeling exhausted most days. Part of it is the depression & part of it, without a doubt, has to be weight-gain from eating too much of the wrong things. I am tired of being tired. . . & of disliking the mirror — more than usual.

Sure, the parts of my brain that are capable of logic tell me that these are all things that I can control. They all have actions that I could take to improve. . . But the other parts of my brain tell me that it’s too hard & that I am ungrateful of what I already have & unworthy of having more or doing better. “The Bitch.” Remember her?

One day, I will wake up & realize it is not as difficult as I am making it out to be. . . One day.

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8 Comments

  • You’re describing textbook depression. The eating your feelings, waking exhausted, sleeping forever or not sleeping at all, “knowing” what might help (clean, organization, etc) the situation and feeling it’s too daunting of a task, the spiral of one thing leading to another, to another, binge cleaning and then burn out…

    Textbook.

    I don’t mean to drag you down by saying this; I just mean there’s a definite cause, you’re not alone, and there is hope. This is a sickness with a treatment.

    I love you.

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