(This post is being done in connection with the #DayOfLight initiative on Twitter and Facebook, dedicated to "bringing depression out of the dark". You can learn more about it here. I've only known about this for a few hours, but wanted to make my contribution.)
Although the primary focus of this blog has been diabetes, I've also often written about my struggles with depression and other aspects of mental health. (You can, if you choose, view those posts here.) Most recently, I wrote a post in which I compared my depression to a dragon and about fighting not to lose grip on some healthy changes I'd been making.
That last post turned out to be early on in what has proved to be a lengthy episode of depression. Though this is hardly measurable, it has felt both longer and deeper than I've experienced in several years. Over the last several weeks, I have watched as pieces of my ability to function have fallen away. My never-very-robust attention span is gone with no forwarding address. Making plans seems futile, because I don't know if I'm going to be able to meet my commitment to myself. Though I haven't gone too far in the wrong direction, there has been significant decay in my baby healthy habits. Being sociable (also not ever my strong point) has become difficult as well.
Perhaps telling the dragon about his bad breath was not so smart, huh?
Beyond the persistent sense of disappointment in myself, perhaps the worst aspect of an episode like this is a weird, unfocused sense of dread, that disaster is about to occur and that it will probably be about my fault. This morning, after a fairly successful exercise session, I was continuing to listen to my exercise playlist. As the Led Zeppelin song "When the Levee Breaks" came on, I could not get it turned off fast enough - the song's foreboding meshed so completely with my own, it was almost like a physical wound.
But, I have not lost perspective. I know it will get better. My internal life is pretty unpleasant right now, but I'm hanging in and will continue to do so. There were a couple of hopeful signs today, so maybe the mood is easing a bit. I also know that there have been times in the past that were much, much worse. And, even those episodes eventually eased.
It will get better.
The picture below, which is entitled "But I Repeat Myself", was my contribution to this past Monday's Diabetes Art Day.