Tag Archives: depression

That’s Too Much, Man!

A lot of people probably think that depression is strictly feeling sad, lonely, and, well, depressed. But depression affects all of one’s emotions – differently for different people, of course. When I’m going through a period of depression, another main emotion that I find effected for myself is anger.

Little things irritate me far easier and quicker. And those little irritations build quickly into frustrations, which snowball into screaming sessions when I’m alone in my car just to vent my anger.

I have an example from just the other day at work. My workday was going by normally, nothing to be excessively frustrated with. But then my computer system kept freezing on me, even after repeated restarts of both the system and the computer.

That initial irritation at the system I depend on to do my job not running smoothly escalated into frustration with the callers on my phone not having patience while I did my best to help them despite the slow system. That frustration maxed out when I had to spend 10 minutes after a call contacting this department and that department and the other department because of an error message that would not let me exit the account to take the next call.

I ended up solving the issue myself because no one I was contacting was being of any help. But the cumulation of one small irritating thing after another was me trying to hold back tears of anger at my desk to the point where my boss came over to ask if I was okay.

Depression is a thing that I live with. As part of that, I have days where I won’t seem depressed. It’ll seem more like I’m on a war path. It’s something that will be a part of my life probably forever. I’m learning ways to deal with it, but I appreciate those around me who are understanding.

How do you deal with mood swings and irritations when you’re depressed?

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Weekly Update #41

Today I actually had motivation. I wanted to get things done. It’s a change from what feels like my usual lethargy, and a welcome one at that! I got so much done today – I checked everything off my dauntingly long to-do list!

This sudden burst of productivity makes me want to just keep chugging on and plow through this depression-based lack of energy. I’m hoping this marks an upturn in my mood, but if not, maybe accomplishing small goals every day will help me manage this illness.

Today, I cleaned my living space, played a little Minecraft with M, switched my sheets from my spring/summer cotton to my amazing,y comfortable fall/winter flannel sheets and washed my comforter for the first time in probably two months.

I also started on the second of four cross stitches that I’m making for friends and family for Christmas. Trying to get an early start this year since needlework isn’t all I’m crafting. Also, it’s hard to craft things for people when I live with them and share the space that I need to craft in with them.

The other thing I started working on is revamping my blog. My goal is to have everything redone by the start of 2015. By everything, I mean redoing the layout, the pages, the posting schedule, the post structure itself, even redefining my blog. I’m basically aiming for a fresh blogging start for the upcoming new year. It gives me something to work towards.

Other than that, I floorwalked a bunch this past week and will hopefully do it a bunch more in this upcoming week. I also have my fingers crossed for a possible interview on Monday for a promotion within the company. So, we’ll see how this all goes.

Stay tuned to find out!

Anti-D

If you’ve been keeping up with my more-sparce-than-usual-lately blog, then you know that I was on an antidepressant called Fetzima from February of this year until the end of September, when my prescription ran out and my financial situation and a switch in insurance forced me into a tough choice to go without the medication.

It’s been a rough time.  At first it wasn’t too bad, but day by day I feel the mental illness creeping back in, making itself at home in the familiar crevices of my mind.  I’m more irritable and I feel like crying at the drop of a hat.  Negativity clouds my every thought.

This makes it hard not only for me, but for the people around me.  I do a pretty good job of keeping it together at work, but my significant other has a time of it, too, just by living with me.  M really does his best, though, and I love him for it.

M’s actually the reason I’m holding it together so well.  He understands what I need when the depression takes an especially firm grasp.  He doesn’t tell me to “just cheer up” or to “get over it,” he lets me feel whatever feeling that I’m feeling – however strongly it needs to be felt.  Whether I’m crying over wanting to heat up the cheese dip for my chips or overly annoyed with the cats being cats, he doesn’t tell me that I’m overreacting or that I need to calm down or get over it.

In fact, when I do get irritated at tiny, insignificant things and take it out on him – “M, why do you always just kick your shoes off and never put them away” or “Do you always have to put your coat on in such a weird way?” – he doesn’t take it personally.  He complies in situations that call for it, like putting his shoes away.  Or he calls me out on it, like telling me I’m being hurtful.  His honesty helps keep me grounded.

His honesty when I’m being hurtful and his validation of my feelings helps me keep my emotions in check and helps me manage my depression.  I really do appreciate M standing by me as I live with this illness.  He’s so supportive and I wouldn’t be handling being off of medication as well without him.  He’s like a real life antidepressant, and I love him for it.

Here’s a song that I’d like to dedicate to M.  I know it’s rough to deal with me when I get lost in my own head.  This video is a tribute to M and to the fact that while medication does help many people, it’s not the only thing that I need to treat my depression.  I need love, and M, you give it to me.

Without further ado, Anti-D by The Wombats:

Weekly Update #40

I know it’s been about a week since I last posted. Depression is a real motivation killer for me. All I’ve wanted to do basically all week is sleep and play video games. Which is more or less what I’ve actually done with my time.

At work, I started floorwalking, which is basically me answering questions as the new hires take phone calls for a few weeks before they’re on their own. I enjoy it quite a bit. It’s actually the favorite part of my job now. I enjoy helping the new hires and sharing my knowledge. Thursday, I was asked to stay an hour later than I’m usually scheduled with the promise that on Friday I would leave an hour earlier than I’m usually scheduled. Friday comes around and I get pulled from the phones to floorwalk again. When 3:45 rolls up on the clock, I practically begged to stay longer.

I’m also bonusing finally at work, too. An extra dollar an hour! My team lead is encouraging me to apply for the same position – team lead – since some spots are apparently opening up. I would very much like to floorwalk more permanently or move up in the company to the team lead position. I feel like I have the skills to effectively do either of those jobs and I just want someone to take a chance on me. No, I don’t have the experience, but how am I going to get any if no one gives me the opportunity to gain the experience? I hope the higher ups can see the potential in me like my last two team leads have.

I started cross stitching again. It’s been probably around four or five months since I last stitched something completely from scratch. I know I finished my first cross stitch not too long ago, but that was finishing something. I’m feeling more normal now that I’m stitching. And I can’t just put it down for six more months before finishing it – I’m stitching for Christmas gifts. I’m excited to give them to the recipients!

And to bring it full circle, outside of work and stitching, I’ve been sleeping and playing Borderlands with M. We plan to play through Borderlands 2 and then the Pre-Sequel. We’ve just made it to New Haven. Not bad for a week’s worth of playing after M gets off work! I play the Hunter and M picked the Siren. We actually work really well together, although it does annoy me sometimes how M needs to explore every nook and cranny when I just want to move on to the next mission.

Do any of you play video games with your significant others? Do you play well together or not so much?

Anyway, that’s it for me. As you may have realized, posting schedule is out the window for the time being. Keep it tuned in, though, I have some cool things in the works!

Blogging With Depression

I am not shy about talking about my depression.  In previous posts, I go into great detail about my struggle in dealing with depression.  I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now, and I’ve been through various phases of depression, with and without meds.  Currently, I am now off of the medication I’ve been taking since February, Fetzima.

Unmedicated, I have to relearn how to manage my depression.  It does affect my blog.  I have no motivation anymore to do much else aside from sleep and mindlessly watch TV.  Since I’ve yet to get the hang of scheduling posts, I still blog on a day-by-day basis of posting.  A post doesn’t go live unless I write it that day.

Even now, it is a struggle to make myself type out a post.  My bed is right behind me, I have Ghost Adventures playing in the background.  I want nothing more than to curl up under my covers and just stare at the TV screen.  I know I won’t really register the show.  I’m fine with that.  I just have zero motivation to do anything.

I am tired all of the time.  Prior to getting off my medication, I had severely restricted my soda intake, opting instead for water or tea.  But lately, I can drink two to three bottles of Mt. Dew a day and I get nothing from it.  Not even the tiniest energy boost to make it through my workday.

I know I need to force myself to keep working on my blog.  It’s something productive to do with my time and, honestly, I do feel better when I’ve done something I enjoy (or feel like I should enjoy because I’ve enjoyed it in the past).

Especially when it comes to the topic of depression and mental illnesses, I know I need to blog.  I am a very strong believer that the social stigma of depression needs to change.  We need to be able to talk about our mental illnesses in the same way we talk about our physical illnesses.  If I can add my voice to that change by discussing my illness through my blog, then all the more reason for me to push through my depression-based apathy and write.

Oh, Nostalgia

Being in Minneapolis really brings me back to that time in my life.  When I was still in school, mostly unemployed, going to shows all the time and hanging out with friends when I wasn’t at a concert.

Even though I was struggling with depression, I remember my time in Minneapolis fondly.  In all honesty, if I hadn’t been living there when I was dealing with that particular episode, I don’t think I’d be where I am today with the disease.  I started antidepressants while living in Minneapolis.  Partly because of the people I met there.

Some of my best friends live up in the 612 area code.  In fact, the person I commonly refer to as my platonic soul mate lives there.  I’ve written about him before.  His name is John Kargol and he is amazing.  It was really great to see him and his lovely girlfriend Jamie, who is also a good friend of mine.

I also tend to thrive in a city setting.  I do well when I can walk around a downtown and have everything I need within arm’s reach.  One of my favorite things M and I did in Minneapolis was we went to a movie at a local theater.  St. Anthony Main Theater, to be exact.  We went to see Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For on discount Tuesday.  I really liked being able to make that choice on a whim, and then have something to do while we waited for the next showtime.  M and I hung out by the river and went to a cafe I’d never been to before.

But the thing I think I miss the most about Minneapolis and my life there is that I feel like I had more of a purpose back then.  I had a goal I was working towards.  I don’t really feel like I have that anymore.  Visiting what I consider my home town, I got that feeling back again.  Like I have something to strive for.  I don’t know what I’m working on yet, but it’s something.  I need to focus on something.

Coming back home to Iowa, I need to find that something again.

Weekly Update #21

Wow, so I fell off the planet for a bit there, didn’t I?  I’m out of hiding now, though, and ready to get back to business.  So, this is a weekly update, yeah?  I guess I’d better treat it more like a monthly update since it’s been about a month since I last wrote.

Okay, let’s see.  Still working at the call center.  Still not my favorite thing.  Still with my boyfriend. Still my absolute favorite thing.  In fact, these are the two things I’ve been spending all of my time on.  Picking up overtime at work and spending the rest of my free time with Mr. English whenever possible.  Oh, by the way, I decided the boyfriend’s nickname on the blog is going to be Mr. English.

On the topic of work, I’ve been skilled in web and member services for the past few weeks except for these last couple of days, where they’ve had me skilled in strictly member services.  I gotta say, I’m not a fan of member services.  80% of the calls are people telling me that I can’t do my job (PROTIP: I can) or that I’m the reason they’re going to die because I “won’t” give them whatever medication (PROTIP: I’m not the reason you’re not getting your meds.  The reason you’re not getting your meds is because you don’t order on time or don’t pay your bills, thanks very much).  I haven’t yet mastered the art of not taking things personally.  I mean, yeah, I give zero fucks about half the things these people are calling in about, but as soon as they turn the call into a personal attack, my first instinct is to take off my headset and just walk off that call floor.  My second instinct is to simply feign not being able to hear them and telling them to call back before disconnecting.

Of course, being the good little employee that I am, I do neither of those things.  But my issues with how not being face to face with someone makes people feel safe in dehumanizing the other party and this whole bullshit “the customer is always right” mentality will be addressed in another post (or three).

And now to the topic of my boyfriend.  Mr. English.  What a fucking sweetheart he is!  I can’t get over how lucky I got with him.  He’s put up with some of my crazy these past couple of weeks and I can’t thank him enough for being there for me.  I bet he thinks he didn’t really do anything, but he’s so good, he helped me without realizing he was helping me.

I’ve been off of my antidepressants for nearly two months before I was finally able to see a doctor and have them adjusted/the prescription renewed.  I was starting to feel the physical issues that came along with my depression.  Aching all over, lack of appetite, insomnia, and dissociation.  And the mental issues that came along with my depression also showed up for the fun.  Having Mr. English just text me out of the blue or would leave little notes in my locker at work or sometimes he buys me Mt. Dew and will place it on my desk at work and kiss the top of my head and even if I’m in the middle of a call, that kind of cheesy romantic shit made the beginnings of depression bearable.  And I count on him now more than ever because I’m now on an entirely new antidepressants and I know I can’t always tell when I’m acting off where as he can.

Well holy fuck, this post took forever to type.  I still have other things I need to get done tonight, like plan out more blog posts.  Or watch documentaries on Netflix.  Which is of course what I’m going to be doing, like a responsible blogger.

I really do plan on posting more than once a month, though.  Remember those New Years Resolutions I went on and on and on about?  I do plan on at least trying to stick to those.  Key word being trying.  But still.  Until next time, dear readers.

Weekly Update #11

So.  This week’s been a little rough.  My brother backed into the front corner of my car and caused about $2,400 worth of damage while my poor, innocent car was parked in the driveway.  So that’s been an ordeal.  I won’t go into details because I might hurt someone’s feelings, but it was just a huge frustration that I didn’t want to and shouldn’t have had to deal with in the first place.  So now I have no car for however long it takes the insurance adjuster to get out here and adjust and then get my poor Leo (yes, I named my car) into the shop to actually get fixed.  Hooray.  Just what I needed.

But enough about that, or I might say things other people will regret.

Over the weekend, my mom helped me unpack decorations and hung up a bunch of pictures and posters.  Now the basement feels a little more like mine, which is a nice feeling.

I’ve started doing my NaNoWriMo, but I only have about 300 words in.  I’ve been doing research into the background of the plot and such, so I have been working on it, just not quite writing it.  I only figured out what I was going to write about three days ago, when November actually began.

Other than that, I’ve been playing Pokemon a lot lately.  When I’m not filling out yet another online application or taking a seemingly pointless “survey” or “test” about whatever job I’m applying for, that is.  I haven’t cross stitched in a while and I keep meaning to dig out my embroidery floss, needles, and hoops to get something started.  But that would entail having to make a decision on what pattern I want to make, and I’m currently in a state of mind where decisions of any kind sort of paralyze me.  Most things paralyze me, mentally speaking, lately.  The thought of calling a job makes me anxious beyond belief.  I still haven’t made a doctor’s appointment because just looking at the number gets my heart beating wildly.  Most of the time I just bite my lip and force myself to do it, usually allowing myself to curl up in bed for an hour or two afterwards.  Doesn’t make it any less hard.

Well, that’s about it in my life, I guess.  I’ve thrown a posting schedule out the window for the time being.  I’ll post as I have things to post about, although I’ll try posting at least once a week.

Weekly Update #8

Holy crap.  I’ve been writing this blog for 8 weeks.  How on earth did I not give up immediately and go play video games, like, the second week in?  Maybe it’s cathartic to write my story in a place where strangers can read it, maybe relate to it.  Maybe it’s that it’s nice having some sort of goal to work towards while I’m jobless.  Maybe that’s all bullshit and I just like to pretend people are reading about my boring life.  Internet attention is still attention, right?  Someone (who’s not a spambot) likes my post or follows my blog and it’s like making a new friend that I’ve never spoken to and will probably never speak to.  My favorite type of friend!

Enough of that.  My head’s in a weird place.  I was turned down for the ECC job I was planning my immediate future around.  Now I’m stuck in my parent’s basement at 25 years old with no job like a fucking loser.  I know that my situation is not exactly like that, but now I feel like I don’t even have anything to work towards.  My one goal that I had been banking on crumbled in six cold words.  “We cannot offer you a position.”  We cannot offer you a position.  No reason why.  It’s policy at ECC Japan to not share with ECC Toronto what the reasons were.  We cannot offer you a position.  You’re fucked because we cannot offer you a position.

My meds aren’t working as well as they used to.  And that’s part of the problem.  I’m all of a sudden in this negative spiral of failure that I didn’t expect to be.  The “YOU’RE A FUCKING FAILURE”s my brain keeps screaming at me blindsided me.  Before I was on my meds, it was a build up to that sort of forceful self-bullying.  I could brace myself.  And I am trying to fight back.  I keep telling everyone I’m fine because I just don’t want to talk about it.  And I don’t want to fucking talk about it.  I want to sit and mope for a while and work this out myself.

I need to accomplish one thing and then I feel like I can pull myself out of this hole opening beneath me.  Just one thing.  Just one simple thing.  A goal I set for myself.  A task of my own.  I tried tonight.  I tried to sit down and make a new friendship bracelet pattern.  I couldn’t finish the first pattern I picked.  It was too hard.  75 steps just to get one chunk of the pattern.  Nope, too hard.  The second pattern I picked, I fucked up right away.  Scraped it and wasted all that embroidery floss.  How is something as simple as making a fucking friendship bracelet an impossible thing for me to accomplish?

If I can manage to accomplish one small thing, then I can shout back at my brain, “I’M NOT A FUCKING FAILURE SHUT THE FUCK UP” and shove my own face into the stupid little thing I accomplished.  I can breathe and believe that I can make it across this chasm that opened up and swallowed the future I wanted.  I can believe that I’ll make a better future from the pieces of the old one.

I said my head was in a weird place.  I know this isn’t the usual format for weekly updates, but it’s just all stuff I wanted to write.  And since it’s my blog, I wrote it.  And if you’re a fan of Night Vale, you’ll understand this next reference.

And now, the weather.

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day.  It’s the middle of Mental Illness Awareness Week.  And I’m going to tell you about my struggle with depression.

This is going to be difficult for me.

I suppose my depression really started in high school.  Mild, very mild then.  But depression nonetheless.  I was a straight-A’s, straight-laced student and kids like me didn’t have depression.  Kids like me were happy working on their homework more often than hanging out with friends.  Kids like me.

My depression got worse when I started college and fell in with a bad influence.  She had problems of her own that, in effect, brought all of mine to the surface.  It’s because of her that I started self-harming.  She self-harmed, and that both put the idea in my head and made it okay for me to follow suit.  Like I said, bad influence.  It all culminated in a suicide attempt you can read about in this post.  Because of that attempt, I finally sought help after spiraling down for what seemed like forever.  And I was diagnosed with clinical depression, now more commonly known as major depressive disorder.

I went to two counseling sessions at University of Iowa Student Health.  The first session was productive.  I talked about my suicidal thoughts and my self-harming issues and got some good feedback.  The next session was far less productive.  I came in with nothing new to talk about regarding self-harm and instead wanted to talk about other issues like my self-esteem and issues with my relationships.  When I said “See you next week!” to the therapist, she said something along the lines of “You don’t have to make an appointment if you don’t have anything to talk about.” Woah, right?  Okay, devastating blow to me.  That one sentence prompted me to decide therapists were a load of crap and I could and would just deal with myself by myself.

I stopped majorly self-harming in 2009.  I still kept doing things like punching walls, but that’s over now, too.  Moving to Minneapolis has helped me immensely in dealing with my depression.  If I hadn’t moved and met the people I did, I wouldn’t have reached out to a therapist again.  I wouldn’t have asked about antidepressants.  I wouldn’t be on antidepressants.  And while the dosage and/or specific medication needs tweaking, it helps me immensely.  I still have bad days (see yesterday’s post), especially when I neglect to take my meds, but overall I’m starting on a more even emotional level instead of down in the depths of self-loathing.

Depression is a hard thing to describe to people who haven’t experienced it.  I still have a difficult time describing it.  I haven’t found a better collection of descriptions of depression than this list on Buzzfeed.  I know, I know, Buzzfeed.  But it’s a perfect list.

Anyway, I’ve had another bad day so I’m going to cut it short.  Tune in tomorrow for a creative post.  And thanks for reading this special, emotional, important post.

Whatever your problems – mental or physical – enjoy the journey.

-Kate