alpharaposa: (micahicon)
[personal profile] alpharaposa
If you've read this blog long, you know I struggle off and on with depression. I usually don't feel like it's very awful depression, though. I don't get suicidal or have to take a giant pile of pills to get up every morning. I take vitamin D every day (in large quantity), but my prescription drugs are for my blood pressure, not my brain.

What I experience depression as is a strain on my resources, like wearing an invisible backpack all the time. On good days (usually in the summer), the backpack is empty and I breeze through life, getting things done and going out and meeting people. On bad days (more often in the winter), the backpack weighs 30-40 extra pounds, and just taking a shower and writing a post on livejournal is a real effort.

Last week had several difficult days. (Hormone fluctuations, I think.) But even there, I'm not as bad off as I've been in the past. Every day, I still did homeschool with the cubs, still ate properly, did some basic chores around the house (cat litter, laundry, dishes). I can remember when I was a young adult and the depression was at its worst, days when just getting out of bed and getting a shower was a major accomplishment. Compared to those days, I'm a marvel of energy.

There were things I wanted to get done last week that I didn't do. My dad had a birthday, and I barely managed to send a brief "happy birthday" to him. I didn't have the energy left for a phone call that day. I had a couple days when I was grimly getting necessary chores done even though I wanted to just sit and play video games, because I was the responsible adult in the house and the things needed to get done.

That means that I can be inconsistent in my ability to connect with people, or to get things done. I have to be careful not to overcommit during the summer, when the backpack is empty. (That old backpacking saw, an ounce in the morning is a pound at night? That's how dealing with meetings feels as the season turns from summer to fall to winter.) I rely a lot on the support I have. When the weekend arrived and my husband was home all day, I did spend some time just playing video games. And it helped, to relax a bit, like taking a breather on the trail. And maybe some of the weight fell out this weekend, too. I can feel a little drag, but it's not as bad as last week.

The main thing I ask of friends and family is to not write me off when I'm quiet or distant or haven't checked in for a while. I might just be busy or having a rough week. I still care, but some days I'm focused on what must get done, to maintain myself or my house or my family. That probably makes me a kind of difficult friend for some people, since I don't give the same level of effort into things all the time. But I'm not mad or sulking when I'm quiet. I'm just worn out for the moment. The season will turn, and things will get better again.
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