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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Still Must Handle Depression Hits

It seems so strange now, in the evening when I'm feeling great, to remember how earlier in the day and especially before dawn when I woke up several times, I was hit and hit and hit by the agony of depression. Truly, it is almost hard to believe that I felt so bad. Right now the possibility of depression seems terribly remote. Why would I ever be depressed?

You would think, at the very least,  that I could get rid of depression instantly, just because of all I know about it. But the truth is I can't just "turn it off."  This morning it still took work, and the dumb exercises, and absolute determination to ignore it and then, in a short while, it was gone again.

And all today, five minutes after I got up and got out to do some gardening, I felt fine. There might have been a few left-over tendrils of weak depression but I simply ignored it and concentrated on what I was doing and the depression just faded into nothing by the time I went for my swim. One thing that may help is that the water in my pool is now only 52 degrees, and in my barest of swim suits it is terrifying to jump in and swim for 25 minutes. I remember I even joked to myself this morning that maybe this was as good as a shock treatment for any left over depression lingering on.

During the night, whenever I woke up I used the  "Yes, we have no bananas" song as I walked to the bathroom and back.. To get back to sleep I used counting 1, 2, 3, 4 over and over.

I keep wondering, like now when I'm feeling perfectly okay, how can I still get hit like that? It can't be THAT agonizing . How come I still take it seriously when depression hits me. How do I still get sucked into believing that depression is some kind of reality?

Well, it's not entirely a belief. It used to be a belief that depression was my reality and I simply succumbed to it and suffered for as long as it lasted.  But now there is some residual awareness that I am "just depressed" and some part of me can still carry on. I don't have to "cave." The "feeling" is that everything is hopeless and futile. Evidently this is the depressive syndrome that makes it all "work." But, in addition to the hopeless and futile syndrome, comes the little tag-line I have made into a learned association that, thank goodness, always pops up at the same time any depression hits me: "but instead of thinking all this horribleness, I CAN just do the exercises, can't I? Maybe dumb exercises is not the best use of my brain, but it's got to be better than using my brain to suffer depression.

I do make a stand against depression every single time. In retrospect I realize I am encountering it, I realize that I feel hopeless and that everything is futile. But there is something else. I also realize that I can carry on.  I can actually suspend my depression to carry on a very pleasant chat with my husband. Then, when the chat is over, the depression returns. But then  I can do the exercises.Then I do the exercises, I get to work, I get interested in what I am doing and the depression always goes away in about twenty minutes. Lately I have two kinds of depression. The five-minute variety and the 20-minute variety.

Tonight, though, in retrospect, I wonder how I can still be so reduced to such agony. Tonight, I'm in such a great mood. Tonight, depression makes no sense. Why would I ever be depressed again? Tomorrow I will probably get hit again. If I do I'll try to write my blog while I'm depressed and see if I can discover anything helpful, A. B. Curtiss

1 comment:


I'm sorry you had to go through this tonight. I'll tell you the truth. I've taken to reading excerpts from your book every time I am in pain. I have been hammered today by thoughts that weren't helpful but I always put a thought in with it saying to myself that I have a choice and I choose to think something else. It has helped but recently my mind seems to have given out on me. I have trouble remembering anything even what I said just a minute ago. Its so odd to me. Slightly unnerving and it makes me wonder if I can keep this up. Maybe its lack of sleep or just chronic pain but my mind feels so muddled and has for the last while. It reminds me of that quote in your book about how there is no hell but confusion no heaven but clarity. I feel like I am in a constant hell. It hurts and I wonder if I can get my mind to work for me. Reading this post of yours tells me that this is doable. I'm still not completely sure how but I do know that your post up here tonight wasn't coincidence. I needed to be reminded. Thankyou.