Fighting Depression

“Another day well lived,” – from a sparkpeople chat.

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It’s like my brain has fallen asleep and cannot wake. On the worst days I have to force myself to make facial expressions, every expression feeling grotesque, like a grimace. I sometimes realize Elvis and Belle are watching me, alarmed, because I’ve been staring off too long,  my face and mind completely blank, or lifting my hands and studying them as if I’ve never seen them before (I don’t know what that’s about). I don’t feel sad, stressed, or preoccupied; there aren’t flashbacks or intrusive thoughts; there’s nothing. No thoughts. No feelings. During the deepest depressions I don’t even get hungry.

It’s usually hard to remember what it feels like when I’m not in it, but I can feel it threatening now, can feel my brain slowing down. I am weak. Carrying a laundry basket across a room takes all my strength and stamina so that I have to rest midway. Procedures that are usually automatic now take great concentration. And I’m so sleepy.

Thankfully I’m on Pristiq and have a very supportive environment. I have also worked to develop strategies for handling my illness. For the past half year, episodes are not as severe and last about a week – instead of the months of nothingness that I’ve experienced before. I’m usually very motivated to eat healthy when I’m like this because I’m terrified to make it worse and I know overeating is depressing. Exercise is harder, but I forced 10 minutes of alternating cardio and strength intervals this morning.

It will pass. And I’ll handle it well. When Belle comes home, I’ll ask about her day, provide a good dinner (even if it’s delivery pizza or a frozen dinner with fruit, and help with her homework. No illness, nothing, will ever be stronger than my love for her and commitment to be a good mama, which is more important to me than anything.

Eat: Breakfast was a PB and baked banana flatbread.

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For lunch I had a Chobani flip with a banana, spoon of peanut butter, and sixteen 60% cocoa chocolate chips.

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For dinner we had two slices each of Domino’s pizza and an orange. Belle has a project on conspiracy theories and informed me Paul McCartney might have died in 1969. 😉

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Move: 10 minutes of intervals.

Focus and motivate: read 6 articles, including the salad recipe collection I linked this morning. Congratulated others on their successes at sparkpeople’s community feed.

Heal: EFT. I forgot to do it first thing and while waiting for coffee. Starting this blog reminded me. I listened to classical music while sipping orange and vanilla scented teas today, reading romance novels, bundled in my hoodie and blanket. When I’m depressed it’s critical to surround myself with pleasant experiences. I also colored in an adult coloring book, which felt a little silly at first, but then felt meditative. It’s supposed to help. I feel better this afternoon. Tigre also gave me extra cuddles.

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