Depression is such a difficult and insidious disease with which to have to live. It creeps around the corners of the mind like faint tendrils of mist, almost unnoticed, then settles in like a pea soup fog without warning. Forget little cat's feet fog, this one's more like wet woolen blanket.
People who have only been through brief or transitory bouts with depression, even those who have been felled by the death of a loved one and managed somehow to drag themselves back to life don't understand long term, chronic, repetitive type of depression. It can be like living in some frozen outer limit of hell, crawling out, then falling back down over and over again, a recurrent nightmare.
I have worked long and hard in the fight against depression. It is no longer forever lurking right there in the shadows, ready to grab me if I am ruffled by a stray breeze. I take meds and work very hard to live in the light. And I do well, a lot of the time, not looking over my shoulder, not looking only down, living my life the best I can.
I have learned that no depression will last forever, and I have crawled out of any number of dark periods, and will continue to do so. I no longer believe depression is my birthright and can claim how strong I am.
But it still slips in unnoticed sometimes, like the fog, and I move from cup-half- empty to cup-never-gonna-have-a-drop-in-it-again. And suddenly people on all sides are telling me I have to make the decision to think positively and act-as-if and stop being so negative, and I am catapulted back to all those who told me to "just cheer up" and "just move on" when I was so depressed that I could not get out of bed.
I say, I will do my process, I know how, I always do, just back off, give me time. But too many don't or can't. This week three important people in my life have pushed too hard at me: work not to be so negative and things will get better. That feels like: hurry up, you are wallowing. Of course, all this serves to make me see only the negative, to put up defenses like crazy, because I feel unheard and discounted.
I can see my depression clearly now. I think it's normal under the circumstances, I know it will get better as I do the things that work for me. I can certainly understand their frustration, and comprehend that they think they are helping me. They are wrong though, because looking at the positive is the next stage, one for which I do not yet have energy.
Right now that energy has to go into drinking Glucerna and water and not throwing up. Into getting my necessary meds in and keeping them down. Into getting to tomorrow when my surgeon's nurse wants me to call again. Into the struggle of finding a new doctor and a new shrink who can evaluate my meds. Into the energy to do 6 or 7 minutes a day on the stationary bike, and into not stumbling because I am dizzy a lot.
This entry is not a pity party, although some will think so. This entry is a concrete reminder to me of where I am, of what my priorities must be, and that I must not beat myself up for responding negatively to people who care about me. They are wrong to be pushing now, and I must find the energy to acknowledge my own negativity, and still tell them to back off for a while.
I'm not sure what direction the world sees me moving, but I know I'm stumbling along at the right rate for me.