Sunday, August 21, 2016
Note to Self: Variety of Depression
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This last m-t-m depression was indeed mild but in a strange turn getting back to normal was harder. Maybe I wasn't as desperate enough; I was unsure for the last while whether I was still sick or lazy. Once out of the tunnel, though, life looks so clear and there is that grip on my own life I hadn't felt for months.
Last Sunday Ben helped me in the garden for a couple of hours, which got me back on track; though I'm way behind schedule, (when am I ever not?) and though hay fever started at 9.50 this morning, let's say the place is looking tidier today than it did a week ago and more plants got out of pots and into the ground.
For my own record, here's how this last version was different from all previous:
* Usually I have such hard time falling and staying asleep, but this time this was not a problem. Overall I got plenty of uninterrupted sleep at night, but often I could not stay awake during the day and had long naps as well.
* My appetite was as erratic as any other time. Some days I only had one meal, or just fruits, but I still gained weight, and haven't lost it.
* Indecision was just as bad as in the past, but I didn't worry about postponing as I knew it was a matter of time before I could make decisions.
* I never did the South Pacific Greeting this time, raising both eyebrows simultaneously and opening my eyes; usually this is the tell-tale sign to myself. I was no more bothered by bright lights than usual, but loud voices/noises were still painful.
* I've picked up many ways to distract myself since 2003, they delayed my picking up the latest episode, but I'd like to think it's also how I kept it mild.
* Because it happened at the same time as my hip problems, (it started with a cold/hips/m-t-m!!) I build in a simple exercise routine into my day. Though it wasn't followed every day, getting to move was not a problem, (unusual,) but after I finished, some days I stayed motionless in one posture for long periods, (normal when depressed, impossible when not.) Since I've gotten better, I often forget about exercises and get on with "the day".
* I could do two or three things most days, rather an none or one; most days I cleaned the kitchen/cooked dinner, read and wove. Laundry has never been a problem, nor ironing in recent years; the house at time got messy but on better days I managed tidying/vacuuming. So no new corner niche stacked with things "I'll take care of when I can think better."
* On days I couldn't weave, I could think of future projects and make plans. This surprised me. I would have loved to have made warps as I find this most invigorating, but since there are so many made already, I made only three.
* I could read. Not in depth, but I could concentrate long enough to read a few articles or long books in short spurts. And I comprehended/retained as much information as I normally do. (Which isn't much but I'd need some kind of a brain transplant to solve that one.)
* Because I've made my life so much smaller to concentrate on weaving, I didn't have to cancel/avoid to many people/social gatherings. For me, this is a good thing, trust me. Although there are a few people I should get in touch with pronto. I'm learning more about introverts, and a few years ago I would never have considered myself one, but I have some insight into where my anxieties come from.
* Long periods of (mild) anxiety can lead to depression. It was especially true in '03, '09 and this year; I don't known how to avoid them, as they are usually extrinsic, (this year, so many changes in the neighborhood since Nov/Dec, and serial breaking down of things in our house, and Ben's continued dental issues,) but there must be a fancy-named therapy that could help. (A few years ago when I did an online NZ self-help thing, the one JK fronts, I was recommended to look into something besides CBT but I can't remember what it was. Must ring them again.)
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So here we are. My life is back to being quite cushy; the most dire problem this Sunday is appears to be no TV coverage of Brazil v Germany, (only the goal kicks, blah,) and the marathon, the one thing I look forward to four years. I hope your life is as lighthearted.