Friday, December 21, 2018

Hello Depression!

It's been a rough few weeks here at Casa Denise: I have a project at work that requires skills I'm not familiar nor comfortable with so it's pushing me out of my comfort zone, my mother-in-law lost her (very young) best friend to cancer, and my father had a cancerous skin lesion removed (requiring a skin graft from his shoulder). Any of these separately would be rough but manageable; all of them together are a lot to process through.

I'm not sure if all of that triggered the really nasty bout of depression I'm dealing with or if it's just a coincidence, or possibly related to the stress of trying to keep up with holiday expectations - regardless of cause, it's here and it's making everything so much harder.

Even simple things, like taking a shower, putting on appropriate, clean clothes for work, and doing laundry feel like huge accomplishments after I've pushed through doing them. Yesterday I shoved the outfit I'd picked out for work the night before back into the closet in favor of skirted leggings and a gorgeously soft cashmere sweatshirt because it felt like the closest thing to staying in my pajamas all day.

And, in essence, that's how I cope: I can't stay in bed at home all day, for a variety of reasons, but I can triple down on tactics that make me feel safe, loved, and comfortable.

Tactics such as -

  • Putting the flannel sheets on the bed - soft, comfortable, and indulgent
  • Buying myself a cashmere robe and slippers - ditto
  • Calling my mother more frequently (we usually chat every morning but recently I'm calling in the afternoon, too)
  • Listening to an Audible book that I love while I'm folding laundry (I really dislike folding laundry)
  • Finding ways to make my comfortable clothes look presentable for work
Of course, there are less healthy behaviors that I've also been engaging in, like -
  • Eating sugary baked goods - flour and sugar pack a one-two punch for me since they both raise my blood sugar and also upset my stomach
  • Procrastinating on things that need my attention at work
  • Skipping scheduled workouts that I don't feel like doing - daily activity is one of the cornerstones of my diabetes self-management plan and it cannot be optional
Something new that I'm using to help keep me safe and secure while the depression passes is a (completely free!) app called Booster Buddy, which lets you check in on how you're doing each day then gives you small missions to increase your coping skills, boost confidence, etcetera. It's intended for kids and teens but I find it very helpful for managing my symptoms while also reminding me to be kinder to myself. In fact, it was the app that sent me over here to write today, so that's a nice win-win.

If you are struggling with depression, know that you are not alone - I'm right here with you - and that there are a lot of people and tools that want to help.

If you don't feel safe right now and need someone to talk to about it, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, even on holidays, and there are trained volunteers there who are ready and waiting to listen - please call 1-800-273-8255 or you can start an electronic chat here.


Depression is so hard because it's wrapped around the inside your brain and all of the horrible things it tells you about yourself feel real, but, with proper care and patience, it will pass. Take care of yourself, reach out, stay safe!

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