My workout partner needed to go to the gym a bit later than usual. I have become used to having a routine. I might say that I don't like routine, but there is great merit in knowing what is on the schedule.
I didn't have anything planned for the morning except going to the gym, so I took the delay as an excuse to begin a mini-project.
Only I didn't really go about it in a rational manner.
Because instead of limiting the project to a manageable area (like one shelf) or a specific amount of donated material (one bag to go to Goodwill), I decided that I would continue with the "operation kitchen declutter" project until my friend was ready to go.
Of course, I didn't know when she would be done. And when she called I looked at the disaster that I had created and realized that I had a lot of work to do just to get the room functional by the time the rest of the family arrived.
And the mini project blossomed into a GIANT PROJECT that left me completely exhausted.
But at least I don't have any ancient dry goods in my cupboards any more. And I filled a bag with donations from the back of the cupboards. Things I didn't even know we still had.
In the afternoon I napped with the daughter.
Was 15 minutes late to pick up children from bus stop. Thankfully it was not raining. And there is a rec center building right there if it is raining. And another parent waited with them until I got there. But I didn't know this. Because my phone was on vibrate and I didn't get her call. And I was a nervous wreck. Anxiety ridden. Worst Parent In The World.
I left home in time to get to the bus stop (central stop for many different neighborhoods)
I was not energized by the nap with the daughter. I was wrung out. I let the neighbor children come in to play, waited for Spouse to come home and then collapsed.
Before dinner I grabbed a 30 minute nap.
After dinner I went to bed for the evening.
At 10:38 when Spouse came to bed I woke up and realized I needed to take my evening medication.
This is when I discovered that I had not taken my morning medication. Including my bupropion. Which is gone from the body within 24 hours. And which acts on Dopamine-- the neurotransmitter chiefly responsible for preventing me from feeling sluggish, groggy and forgetty.
Once again, don't know if I can entirely blame the drugs, but when the body is used to getting 450mg of bupropion every morning and then one morning it gets none... that seems likely to have some effect. Just like a regular morning cup of coffee does.
I got more than 12 hours of sleep last night. And today I feel groggy, irritable, sluggish and forgetty. I took my meds. I will go to tap. I will eat well and go to sleep at a Reasonable Hour.
This is day one of attempt to combine a desire to get back into writing with a desire to combat an ongoing wrestling match with clinical depression. I am hoping that by writing daily about things that I am doing (beyond popping prescribed pills) to increase the measly number of neurotransmitters I have available to me.
Brief history: I was diagnosed with clinical depression at age 18 and it has continued to plague me off and on for the subsequent 23 years. Holy cow. That's longer than I thought. Which is both an "Oh crap!" and a "Go Me!" Since the opposite of struggling with depression is often not struggling at all. So I am still fighting the good fight.
Things I know that work well for me: yoga, healthy foods, anti-depressants, and laughing.
Things I do not feel like doing while I experiencing an uptick in my depression symptoms: doing yoga, eating well, taking my meds (or remembering whether I have already taken them...), and laughing.
I am what I like to call a "high functioning" depressed individual. Many people who I work with have no idea that I am depressed unless I let things get very bad and stop answering emails or forget to turn in my timecard or start crying in the middle of a meeting.
And this is what is hard to explain to people who have not experienced this. It is not about mood for me. I am not necessarily sad. Although I might be. It's not like being depressed makes people immune to sadness, after all. Sometimes I am even happy. When my depression is bad, my brain just doesn't work.
I have trouble sleeping. I have trouble waking up. Small things are overwhelming. Like laundry. I avoid answering the phone, answering the mail or opening my email. I don't want to see anyone. Or talk to anyone. It's hard to make my facial muscles do much of anything. My face feels like it's made of unfired clay. Heavy and wet, not dry and brittle.
When I had my first major depressive episode in high school, I noticed that my abilities went away gradually...
First I couldn't do my homework because I couldn't concentrate on the big picture while reading text. I could understand words and sentences, but paragraphs were a big problem. So I stopped doing homework.
Then I found that I couldn't drive anywhere without getting hopelessly lost, even if I had been between the two locations many times before. So I made sure that other people drove me or I was able to follow behind someone else's car, panicked that I might lose them and circle forever like an ant that has lost the trail back to its hill.
I couldn't smile. Even if I tried really hard. It felt wrong and looked terrible.
I couldn't follow the plot of even the most mundane television shows, so I stopped watching T.V.
I couldn't practice piano. Which was a problem because I had a job as the church accompanist. They should have fired me. I am eternally grateful to them that they did not. I badly "sightread" the music every Sunday, loud voices drowning out my mistakes.
I couldn't read for pleasure.
I couldn't remember when I had done things. Brushed my teeth? Eaten a meal? Changed my clothes? Taken a shower? Had I just done these things moments ago or had it been days? Weeks?
Time was unreliable.
I had only the energy to stagger through the school day and then come home to stare at a yellow dot on my bedroom ceiling from when my brother through some playdough and it stuck there, leaving a stain even years later.
All of this and I still didn't want to go get help. I had recently been through treatment for an eating disorder and was too busy patting myself on the back for conquering that monster to realize that I wasn't done with recovery.
Here's what got to me: I was at band practice at school. The director handed out new music for us to play. And the notes on the page looked like Arabic or Greek letters to me. I couldn't make any sense of the black scribbles. I have been reading music since the age of four. I burst into tears and fled the room.
That's when I went to get help. Within a week on Prozac I was feeling like... me.
So I know that when my depression is controlled I feel better. I am better. I want to get to that point again. I plan to do at least 2 things every day to improve my poor beleaguered brain and post them here to keep me honest.
Quaker, teacher, parent,