Over the past week or so, I’ve struggled with a prolonged depressive state.
Not the deep, suicidal depressive state, but one where I feel like I’m stuck in mud up to my waist and trying to move while I slowly sink. It’s cumbersome and frustrating and not pretty.
I don’t know when I’m going to “snap out of it,” and I become frustrated. I wish to force an upturn. The longer it takes, though, the more frustrated and anxious I become. Agitated, I wonder when I can feel better again. The numbness to what’s going on around me is fine for a while, but eventually it turns into “what’s the point?” I slide further down into my depression.
Sooner or later when I actually do something around the house, I receive praise for having done it. Don’t get me wrong; it feels good to be appreciated. However, acquiring a gold star for something so menial seems silly. Internally, though, I recognize the accomplishment for what it actually was for me. A triumph.
I’ve done some laundry. Ok, so it’s not put away. Socks and towels and shirts and such adorn my couch. It may sit a week or more (I’ve currently lost count of days this last stint). However, the moment I push through and put the socks and underwear away…hang the shirts…place the towels in the bathrooms…I’m proud with this small accomplishment. I wonder if one of those signs “It’s been # days since the last time the couch could be sat on” would be helpful.
How much my husband helps with chores around the home would amaze you; I know I’m lucky to have him. He cooks, washes dishes, vacuums, takes out the trash, and helps with bathrooms. Somehow, he is able to tolerate my string of low days. I know my mental health battles wear on him, as well. I often feel guilty of how hard he works to keep our family afloat when I’m just trying to keep my own head above the surface.
During these times, forcing myself to function is how I have to manage. However, the amount of energy I have during these downswings is barely enough. Oftentimes after completing a task, even if it only took fifteen minutes, I need to sit down and regroup. In comparison, surviving a workday feels impossible. I fake it as best I can, depleting all energy. Upon arriving home, I crawl into bed…desperate to recuperate even though I know there’s not enough time to do so. I’m exhausted. Recuperation often doesn’t occur until the weekend, if I’m lucky.
While in this depressive state, I don’t process thoughts and information well. I don’t communicate well. I don’t function well. Nothing is the best of my ability, yet at the same time it really is the best I can do in my current state. I cannot give up. I need to keep my head above the surface as I trudge on to climb out of this mental mud.
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