It starts with a feeling of unease. I wake up and spend my days feeling as if I have forgotten something important or am missing some detail, appointment, or errand. Then the anxiety kicks up, the panicked worry and dread about aforementioned unease and other innocent things. The physical symptoms come on with nausea, stomach pain, and exhaustion. And finally, I am left with a severe lack of energy and motivation, where even the act of leaving the house is unappealing.
Depression and those familiar feelings have returned.
After many experiences like this, I can finally recognize what it is. I may not recognize it right away, and I may feel powerless in my attempts to quell their return. I can spend hours in guilt, shame, and tears; or I could also get to the root of the depression instead. Easier said than done, yet it is the only way to fight this return.
You see, I do not want to be this way. I enjoy being happy and content with my life. I love my family and where I live. My life looks good on the outside, as it usually is. But I know that appearances are not everything. I know that these feelings are not indicative of an unhappy life but of deeper emotions and anxieties within myself. So the only way to fight this is to go introspective and find what, if anything, is triggering my depression.
I miss working. I need a job and am feeling the pressure to find something, anything, that I can do while still being a supportive and often solo parent to my children. This pressure leads to anxiety, which leads to thoughts of failure and stress, which leads to feelings of helplessness and sadness. The feelings grow worse as days and weeks pass, especially since I have not had luck in a job search. Then suddenly, it’s a Friday with no plans, and I am nearly in tears at 11:00 am because I’m exhausted, stressed, sad, and overwhelmed.
Those feelings, the depression – it creeps back into my life without any consideration or care. It’s awful, and I hate it. So because I hate it, I’ll do what I can to fight it.
So I wallowed today and resolved to do better tomorrow. I will hike with my daughter, get supplies for some home repair tasks, take another daughter to guitar lessons, and focus on what I can do in the moment. It’s not much, but it’s a start.