Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Depression: a New Frontier

(cont. from "The Set Up")

I don't think I've ever suffered depression as an adult aside from post partum stuff and after my 25 week gestation age baby died. But I think that it is different.

Over the past week I have found myself feeling down a lot. Not just sad, but paralysed. I will sit in front of the computer trying to figure out what the most important tasks for the day is, but not wanting to do the wrong one. So I get nothing done and I feel like a failure.

Amber has been down because of some love trouble. (I don't mean to be light, just be concise.) So she has been touchy. And I've been like a dormant volcano. And an active volcano. Dormant. Active. She has reacted to me, which makes me spiral more.

My little children just "are". They cause trouble, make messes, create havoc, fight and bicker. But they don't bother me as much. Typically I can handle their kind of trouble. However, this week I've had to use a lot of self control to not shout at them constantly. I yell when I get mad, so I've been yelling. A lot. Because it seems that everything pushes me over the edge.

Now in my defense I have to say that I haven't been abusive. No hitting. No calling names. Just talking very loudly without being very friendly. And I try to keep calm. I try not to get angry. But I get angry anyway.

Jared's blood sugar has been crazy; so has he when it is high. It just feeds my anger. It is something else out of my control.

Someone bugs me and I get mad. Someone ignores me and I get mad. Someone tells me that I'm not being nice and I get mad. Then I cry. And when I try to think of their side I feel like a loser. A waste of space. One night I carried that thought through very dark places. That nothing really mattered. I envisioned blackness, nothingness. It was a scary place to go.

On Saturday Steve and I went away for the day. We drove. We ended up an hour and a half away from home in a distant town. We went to a dinosaur museum that was awesome. We went to a sweet little store where I bought Emily and Amber Christmas presents. We ate at a place that had great food and wonderful chocolate cake. It was a great day.

But I couldn't feel it.

Imagine, if you will, a chart. At the top are ranges of good feelings. At the bottom are ranges of bad feelings. And there is, right in the middle, neutral.

I have been living at neutral and below with brief moments of getting above the surface occasionally before something made me go under again.

On that trip with Steve, I was at neutral. A very calm neutral. No shouting. No anger. I thought I was doing well. But it was a great day; I should have felt happy and joyful.

We got home. Amber had done some laundry and left it on my bed and I shouted at her. I made her feel badly. Steve stood up for her and said she was just trying to be helpful. I plunged.

Every move he made in my mind was hinged on whether he loved me or not. After that moment I told myself yet again that see, I knew he didn't love me.

I went to sleep and got up. Steve offered to go for a ride with me. Spend the day with me. I told him that he didn't need to. He should get some work done that he needed to for Monday since he'd been sick on Friday and had to leave early.

Something happened that I don't remember. I flipped. I grabbed my purse, keys and cell phone and went to the car. Steve came out to tell me something, but I locked the doors and drove off.

I circled around downtown so that he wouldn't know that I was headed up the canyon. I didn't want him to come and look for me. He didn't love me anyway.

There is a road up the canyon that I won't go up. It is really only big enough for one vehicle to pass over it. It scares me when we go up it. Steve has to drive and I have to close my eyes. But Sunday I didn't care. I wasn't going to kill myself, but I wasn't going to great lengths to preserve myself either. At one moment, as the road turned to the left, there was a parked truck in the crook of the turn. I tried to manuver around it. It was against the mountain on one side of the narrow road, and the cliff was bordering the other side of the road. As I as slowly going around, down came a truck. I had to back up. That would have freaked me out if I would have been myself, but as it was it made me jsut a bit nervous.

When I got to the top I decided to pull into a camping spot just to think awhile. I heard bubbling and realized that my car was overheating. I wasn't scared. I just thought things through and decided that there was a sleeping bag in the trunk and I had water, so I'd be fine. I didn't even think about Steve worrying about me. I didn't much care and I didn't think he or the kids would either.

I did get down off the mountain, stopping at rest areas to cool off the car. I took a hike for a little while to let it cool at one point. It was nice to be by myself with natures beauty around me: the smell of the pine trees, dirt, and water; the sight of the green trees, brown dirt, flowing water; the sound of other people passing by talking and the bubbling brook. It seemed to restore my soul.

After the canyon I went to my mom's nursing home. I visited with her for a nice long time. Then I got a call from Steve. He'd been worried and was glad I was ok. But even though he said it, I still didn't feel that he loved me.

I went through Monday much the same as the others: becoming angry often, not feeling loved, and feeling very, very tired.

Yesterday I felt like I emerged from the depths. I was *happy*. I could laugh. I found that the little irritations didn't require me to try to muster all of my self control so that I didn't yell. The day was the same as the others, but *I* felt different.

Never in my life have I experienced this before. Feeling under water, out of control, unloved one day and perfectly normal the next. I don't understand. I don't know if I'll suddenly sink again at some brief moment and not be able to emerge for days or weeks. It is uncertain. I've felt at many times in the past little bit that I'm fine and then some little thing will set me back.

I feel like I was able to enter a dimension I've never been in before. I went there without asking for it and I returned without reason.

I had to get this "down on paper". This blog is a kind of sounding board for me. It is where I come with my problems and my successes.

I've heard that depression comes when your reserves are low. After the past year I think mine are non-existant. I have had blow after blow to my psyche. The past few days I've really tried to do things to naturally build my seratonin levels. I don't know if that's why I've emerged or if it was dumb luck.

I'll most likely follow up in the next little while, but I will warn you in the title. That way if you are here for the warm fuzzy stuff or the entertaining stuff you will know to stay away for a day or two until I can move on.


  1. Melody, I'm sorry you are going through this. I think I've been depressed for years. I'm always at neutral. Sometimes I feel a little sad or a little happy but overall I feel tired and irritable most of the time. Thanks for writing this, I always thought it was normal to just be neutral, but now I'm not sure. Many times I feel like I'm going through the motions of life. I have to stop and remind myself to be happy. Maybe it is time to try to do something about this?

  2. Oh Melody, Wish I could give you a for real hug. I'm glad your writing all of this out.
    You have had some pretty stressfull events lately and its hard to come thru unscathed.
    I certainly don't have the answers,
    but if you keep feeling like this and can't seem to come out of it, please talk to someone or ask your doctor about it.
    You are loved and cherished by so many. I know you feel stretched and pulled in many directions. All of those hats are hard to wear sometimes. Mom, nurse, wife, schoolteacher, gardener, wedding planner, etc. I
    I respect your straightforwardness and honesty. I'll be praying for you.


  3. I know I sure don't have any answers, since I suffer from severe depression, too. All I can say is I'm sending you a big hug. And continue, to write, write, write. I think it helps to acknowledge the feelings in a safe way.

  4. I am glad you are feeling better. Kim

  5. Melody, I sent you an email. It's not long, but it was definitely too long for a comment. :) Hugs -I hope today is better.