adventureswiththepooh

An honest take on life and parenthood

My Blue Period

on January 12, 2017

It’s always there. Depression is always lurking for me, a sleek granite gargoyle waiting to move in on my mind. Sometimes he is far away and I don’t notice him. Other times, like now, he is up close and personal, invading my space.

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I’m not sure when it started, but I’ve been fighting a low-grade depression now for a couple of months. Some days are better than others. The clouds break and my feet and hands feel lighter, and I can actually get some things accomplished. But many days, I’m forcing myself to put one foot in front of the other, and trying not to cry in front of people, especially my Pooh.

Fortunately, it’s not the kind of debilitating depression I have experienced in my 20’s and 30’s. On those occasions, I barely existed, dead on the inside, unable to work or do much of anything. Right now, I am able to get out of bed, stay clean and presentable, fulfill my responsibilities, and accomplish the tasks of basic living.

But it is frustrating. I’m a busy person and I have so many things I want to do. Depression cramps my style. It sits on my productivity like an anvil. I am annoyed because it takes tremendous effort to take care of the things I need to do, and there is no energy or creativity left over for the things I want to do.

I am working to stay social and connected to others, because I have learned that isolation will send me into a terrible downward spiral. But I confess that I want to retreat from everyone and just be left alone until I come out on the other side.

I have started a gratitude journal as one small way to fight back. I also have resolved to keep moving and stay engaged in daily life. I will continue to build my writing business so that I can look myself in the mirror and not feel as if I have wasted my talents. Domestic life as a stay-at-home mom and housewife may be okay for some, but it is not for me. The paid work gives me a boost of much needed confidence. It is a path out of the drudgery of housework and cooking, and the demands of parenting.  The paid work died down over the holidays, but I am already working to build it back up in the new year.

If I am going to be a mom to myself, I also know that I need to get more sleep and exercise. Finally, reaching out to other people and helping them in small ways brings me little bursts of happiness, a targeted antidote to the deadness creeping up on my edges.

You don’t have to worry about me (in case you were). I’m around and about and accessible. I’m not avoiding anyone. I know I just have to get through this blue period and that it will end. If it goes on too much longer, I’ll find a doctor to prescribe a mild antidepressant to pull me out, but I want to give it another month or so.

But if I seem not quite myself, you know why. I have experienced this before and I know that it will pass. The granite gargoyle will retreat back onto his perch, far away and out of sight, and I can get back to fully living again.

Thanks for listening.

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5 responses to “My Blue Period

  1. Carla says:

    Now that we’re neighbors, I’d love to get together. Thank you for being so open about how you’re feeling. Love you xoxo

    Like

  2. Ayde says:

    I so appreciate your posts! Thank you for putting into words what I have often experienced. I have struggled with chronic low grade depression since I was 11. It comes in waves and when it hits i try and remind myself that I’ve been there before and it will pass. I have some anchor friends I reach out to in those blue times to keep me grounded. I hope this blue period subsides quickly. Much love to my dear friend.

    Like

  3. Andrea says:

    Wendy, as always I appreciate your humanity and authenticity. Great post. You are a goddess, you deserve the best self-care you can cultivate for yourself. We cannot be fully present for others if our own health is neglected.

    I like the wisdom in this reflection on self-care by Pema Chodron, a buddhist nun:

    “We don’t need to change ourselves. Loving kindness toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. It means that we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s the ground, that’s what we study, that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.”

    Like

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