06 July 2015

mental health monday: fear of a name

One of the sessions at FitBloggin was led by my dear friends Liz and Stephanie, and it was called Mind Games: Depression, Anxiety, and Healthy Living. I wasn't able to attend, which is unfortunate because from both women's recaps it sounded like something I would have greatly benefited from. Luckily, they've taken the session outside of Denver and onto this here interwebs with a bi-monthly link up. As someone who has had her fair share of depressive episodes and sought professional help, I've always been open about that part of my life and am appreciating an opportunity from some of my blogger friends to talk about it more.


I'm currently in a.....transitional season of my life. One week from today I'll be leaving the company I've been with for the past 4 1/2 years. Two weeks from today I start a new job that I'm very, very excited about but is still a big change. That same day, my book is released and three weeks from today I'll be giving a talk about said book that will also include a book signing.

This is all very, very good. Life in general is good. I've never been happier.

And yet.

And yet there are moments, more moments than not as of late, that I feel like I'm living in a fog. I spend entire days curled up in bed binge watching Netflix and the days I don't do this are spent wishing that I was. I've grown listless and restless. I'm overeating and have gained weight. I've found myself feeling anti-social and withdrawn from social interactions. Physically there is this constant stress in my shoulders, a weight pressing down over my entire body, like wearing a heavy cloak I'm unable to shrug off.

I keep telling myself to snap out of it. That I have so many good things happening in my life, I have no need to feel this way, even though I have no idea what "this way" actually is.

Albus Dumbledore once said, Fear of a name increases fear of a thing itself. For weeks I've been too afraid to speak the name of what this is. For weeks I've resisted identifying it because once it's identified, once it's been named, I have to acknowledge it.

Depression.

This actually isn't depression, what I'm feeling right now. It's more like a first cousin once removed. I know full-fledged depression and this isn't it, but it's close. Close enough to give me pause, now that I've identified it. And it's complicated -- complicated by the fact that it's not actually depression. Complicated by the fact that I'm feeling quasi-depressed about good things in my life. Of course, if I take a step back and analyze the situation I know it's not the good things themselves that are causing me to feel this way. No, it's everything else that surrounds them: the speaking gigs, the new co-workers, the new schedule, etc., etc.,

It's not the good things. It's the everything happening, all at once.

By telling myself to "snap out of it," I'm doing more harm than good because I'm acting as if this is something I can just snap out of. But that's not how this works and for that reason alone I am grateful for Liz and Stephanie starting this link up as a means of putting more personal faces to the different facets of mental health.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

18 comments:

  1. Curled up in bed binge watching NetFlix all day is my definition of depression. It doesn't always manifest itself the same way.. but that's a pretty fair description of it.

    Why do you think it's only a first cousin?

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    1. I think because I'm used to it hitting harder than this. I think I'm viewing it more as an outsider and if I were to describe what I'm feeling to someone else they wouldn't say it's depression -- I guess maybe I'm still, for whatever reason, scared to call it what it is right now.

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  2. I love how you say telling yourself to snap out of it wont help. I 100% agree with that!

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    1. Yes, I have to keep reminding myself that I can't just snap out of it. It's all a process!

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  3. It's hard to admit to ourselves when we're depressed, especially when it seems like everything is good and it feels like there's no reason to be depressed. I suppose depression's a bitch that way, it doesn't need a reason to rear its ugly head. I'm proud of you for acknowledging how you're feeling. That's a huge step forward!

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  4. I feel like this is the blog post that I wanted to write but the words just elude me when facing the truth. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. :) I'm glad my words resonated with you!

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  5. I totally get it. Sometimes I feel like I'm not "depressed enough" to need help or something. Which is odd. I think even recognizing that a relation of depression is moving in is an important step. I think the stresses of life (even good stresses) lend themselves to opportunities for mental shifts. Thank you for sharing friend!

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  6. I can certainly relate with your inbetween feelings and it not being fully depression but has similar symptoms. You have so much going on, I was super excited and then began feeling overwhelmed with so much good stuff in such a short amount of time! It is tough to be in that position but you have acknowledged it. That is most important.

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    1. I agree that acknowledging it is a huge step, maybe the hardest step!

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  7. Can I just tell you how much I love that you quoted Dumbledore?? <3

    Overwhelming times in life, times of change, always affect me oddly. You are recognizing it though and that will allow you to take action. I'm so glad you are sharing with us!

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  8. What a beautiful and honest post. I too have been feeling this same thing. I've known it isn't depression because I've experienced plenty of that in my life. But it's been something close to it. I think I'm coming out of the "dip" for now, but I always worry another is on the horizon. I'm wishing you the best in all your new experiences!

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    1. I think since acknowledging and naming it I've started to come out of the dip. Just have to take it one day at a time.

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  9. Depression has varying degrees of severity, sometimes even by episode. For myself, I call them all part of the same disease but with wildly different effects on my day-to-day existence. Sometimes it's just feeling sad and icky for a few days, other times it's a week of eating all the sugary/floury foods I can find, and then once a year (sometimes less frequently) it's an all-out, multi-week battle for my soul. They're all depression for me but the way that I handle each of them is very different.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. I get the multi-week battle for my soul usually in the fall. This is more the kind of general ickiness. Blah.

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