Monday, February 4, 2013

darkness and light

Darkness doesn't exist. It's the absence of light.

So when I feel this grey envelop me, I feel unworthy of it. Like it is making me not exist, too. And that's true, a little bit. At this point, I'm here, living just on the edge of my life. I feel better than I did, and the taste has spurred me on to even greater improvements. Thanks for the virtual rub on the back I felt from comments on my last post about this.  I have in fact received a diagnosis of garden variety depression. I'm treating this the same as I would a middle ear infection. Because depression is normal like that. Normal people get it. To recover, I have to modify things around my symptoms a little, follow a course of medication, and put some measures in place to ensure my whole health. Just like any other illness, right?

I am not deluded enough to be on the search for 'happiness' (whatever that is). I don't believe that happiness is a condition, the opposite condition of depression. I think that depression is poorly named. It should be called something else, something that indicates the temporary loss of ability to cope with the difficult or stressful situations. Because it is temporary (with treatment). I can already feel my treatment working. I'm sleeping a little better, the nightmares and daymares are much less frequent, I'm not as snappy and wound up. I'm excited to do stuff. I'm also exhausted at the end of a day or an outing. Faking it 'til I make it is taking it out of me! Anxiety still has a strong grip- I bailed on a night out with some lovely ladies because I just couldn't. But not as often.

There is no point to writing this today, other than to put a marker in time, to remember how I was feeling at this point, to say, things progress and the river carries me forward.


  1. I so hope you feel better soon. Depression is a family illness of my family, just as diabetes is a family illness of my husbands family. I am always so grateful when it's recognised as an illness, which you recover from with treatment. Thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery.

  2. Please let me offer another virtual hug again! Thanks for writing this, it is helpful to all of us and good on you for seeking help, that must be hard but very brave. I agree that happiness is not a condition, I read a quote once that said: "Happiness is not a destination, it's a manner of travelling." This is obviously overly simplistic - but I agree with it somewhat... I'm always happiest when I manage to see the joy in the little things in life (but sometimes the darkness, stress and lack of sleep etc manages to rob us of that.) I hope you're able to see more and more glimpses of happiness in the 'stuff' and 'nonsense' (the little things) of your life. HUGS XOX Jenny (and yes I'm a no-reply commenter, much to my dismay!)

  3. Thinking of you Sarah. Things do progress and the river does carry us forward. I wish we could look back and tell our old selves that: that everything passes eventually. I wish I wasn't so hard on myself a couple of years back but I was. It felt like it would last forever. But like you say with the right measures in place, slowly it evolves into something more pleasant. Hey listen we didn't get to meet that night, but when you're feeling up to it, why don't we go for a walk along the beach with the kids? Just give me a shout. x

  4. I have to say thank you for writing this Sarah, it is perfect timing for me. I have spent the last two weeks trying to understand just what my husband is going through. He has suffered depression or years, but it has gone untreated. It comes and goes,and he just forges on. But it came to a head two weeks ago, and I do my best to understand but its hard when I have never suffered myself. Reading your words has helped me. I'm glad to hear you are treating it now. Hubby has finally taken the step of getting help, but typically, the appointment isn't till the end of the month. Can I ask how you feel about the medication. As a nurse I see medication can be vital, whether physical or emotional issues, but I know he will be negative towards them if they are suggested.
    Much love xxx

  5. Glad you have noticed a spot of colour on the black dog. Notice those tiny moments of colour each day and hopefully they will multiply. Try and get some exercise if you can. Get a copy of 365 Thankyous, very good for blocking negative thinking loops. take care, mel x

  6. Thanks for sharing some of your feelings. I hope it helps a little and I know it helps others to feel they are not alone in those grey times.

  7. I saw a quote somewhere recently that said "Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you have been strong for far too long."
    I really like that quote.
    And I really like your way of looking at it as any other illness.

    I am glad that your treatment is working and I hope that you recover your whole health soon!

  8. xxx

    I remember, before I had children, that I wanted most of all for them to be happy. Health figured in there too, but above all else happy. I agree with you that happiness is not something you can leave to chance. We must all strive for it, work for it. At times it just comes, but for a lot of the time we suffer a lot of shite and down moments waiting for the ups to come. Then there are times when it's more than just being down and you are never alone in that. I know it can be so hard being left to your own thoughts so I always believe and encourage sharing. For me just getting stuff out there makes me feel a little better and I certainly respond to honesty in kind. At other times we all need more help than just a kind word and who can argue with that? You work on through, take support that is offered, remember to ask for help too, it's always surprising how many will reach out with caring words or an offer or help if we can just find a way of saying that we need it.

  9. Sarah I love how you have expressed this. I agree so much with your explanation - I often say depression is simply about developing coping strategies and looking at how we deal with change. I hope you are feeling lighter already. Soon you will look back on this post and admire how far you have come xx



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