Tag Archives: depression

Depression Thoughts: I’ve Got the Blues

I’ve been pretty good for months now but last week was rough. Last week, I caught feelings and they weren’t fucking good. One day I felt fine, the next I felt like a storm cloud that got gangbanged by the Cure. I had no energy, I got all weepy, and sad and empty and…depressed? My first thought was, “Oh shit, the depression is back!” And I started to get a little panicked because depression for me isn’t just sadness and fatigue, though those things are worse, depression in me manifests as constant panic and terror, insomnia, nausea, and vomiting. It’s like my entire body goes on strike and just implodes. It sucks.

My therapist once told me to be extremely careful with labels. She said, sometimes people dip down and get sad. Everyone has low moments but that doesn’t mean you’re depressed. In fact, telling yourself you’re depressed can actually make you feel worse and cause the issue to manifest. So, I stopped myself and started that weird internal babbling that I’ve learned to do, the fancy self-talk. I told myself, “I’m not depressed, I’m feeling blue. It’s going to pass.” I got out my notebook and went down the line of self-care acts to stave off shitty feelings. I hit the gym, put on my depression meditation on my headspace app, wrote a long list of things I was grateful for (the list included: air, shiny things, books, puppies, gravity, paper, notebooks) and looked forward to my sister coming. Against my therapist’s advice, I tried to look for a cause. What triggered it?

For a lot of people, depression comes out of nowhere. But mine usually doesn’t. Usually, one small, seemingly insignificant thought snowballs in my brain like a silent bomb and days later I feel the painless explosion. What had triggered it?

I traced it back to a thought. One single thought: I’m not good enough. I revisited something I’d done not too long ago and thought, “Wow, this is way worse than I remembered it being.” Then that turned into, “I’m never going to get where I want to be with writing, with my projects, in life, I’m decades behind.” Instead of stopping the obsessive loop like I’ve been doing for the past year, I just let it go. I took my foot off the break and just let my brain speed toward a crash for most of the day. In addition to the shitty thoughts of inadequacy, I’ve been spending a ton of time alone. I need solitude to write, but too much does bad things to me. The day after the negative dialogue with myself, the blues came and obliterated my mood.

My husband came home and took one look at me and said, “Jesus, what’s that look on your face? Are you okay?” At my dad’s house that night, my stepmom did the same thing, “I’ve known you forever, I can take one look at you and know something is wrong. What is it? Why do you look like you might cry?” Three days of that. Three days of what’s the point? Everything is dark and cloudy and shitty. Three days of feeling like my life didn’t matter and 5.6 moments of fantasizing about my death. When I get the blues, the first thing that happens is I either become terrified of dying and panic or I start having fantasies about what people might say at my funeral. Will they even go? And if so, will they say nice things?

Then my sister came and I spent two days laughing and talking and getting out of my house. I wrote more about being grateful and to a few Barre classes and took Omega 3 and 6 oils, Vitamin D, B, C, E and wrote a letter to my therapist that I haven’t given her yet. And the blues lifted, slowly.

The clouds always lift at some point.

But it was a really important reminder that I’m in a space right now where I can’t skip on self-care, I can’t let my brain go rogue, can’t skip exercise or meditation, and can’t avoid people for long periods of time (not even if I’m working on a book). It’s a reminder that self-care needs to be a part of my daily routine for pretty much ever. And, a reminder that the stories we tell ourselves matter and have a large impact on our happiness (or unhappiness).

And honestly, this post is a reminder that I need to GTFO of my house right now and go stalk my neighbor’s new puppy because I haven’t talked to another human in person since yesterday and puppies more or less fix everything. It’s science.

While I was finishing this, someone left an invitation on my door to attend Jesus Christ’s funeral next week. So, if things get bad again, at least I have that to look forward to?

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I Could Outrun A Tiger: Panic And Anxiety

Sometimes, my brain is a real asshole and seems to hate me. I’ve had anxious episodes a few times in my life. I suffer from low-grade depression, not always, but often. I’ve had a few panic attacks throughout my life. Lately, it’s been bad.

About four months ago I went out for drinks with colleagues and ended up in the emergency room around two a.m. after I demanded Francesco to take me because I believed, completely, that I was dying. It felt like I was. My heart was beating out of my chest, my legs were shaking, I couldn’t take a full breath of air, and I felt a kind of fear that is hard to even imagine.

Panic attack, the doctor said. They handed me an orange pill, tucked me into some warm blankets, and monitored me until the Xanax kicked in and I fell asleep in the hospital bed. The next day, it was as if nothing happened. I was fine. I’ve been fine.

Speed forward to this week. For no rational reason, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety. It seems like I’ve been overthinking everything and it’s been leading to some shit feelings, terrifying thoughts, and bad nights. I lay in bed at night, my mind racing, thinking, “oh my God, Francesco is going to die. So am I. So is everyone.” And I’m terrified for eight hours in the dark. This last Tuesday night, F was in class and my anxiety crept up again. I watched Bad Moms, snacked a little, tried to stay preoccupied. But around ten p.m., I was struck by the same indescribable fear as four months ago. My entire body started to shake, and I felt, once again, like I was going to die. Somehow, though, I fell asleep eventually but the next morning I woke up with the same panic. Let me tell you, it’s a shit way to start your day. Good morning, terror.

I was able to get into the doctor at eleven a.m. and was given a prescription for Ativan. I hate pills. I am scared of them and I don’t trust them. Still, it I didn’t have a choice if I wanted the horrible, terrible, scary, awful, feeling to go away. I practically sprinted to the Pharmacy and popped it right then and there. Twenty minutes later,  I felt slightly better but not great. I still felt shaky, my muscles were still tense and trembly, and despite my burning stomach, I couldn’t eat. Even crackers made me gag, which made my anxiety ten times worse. Eating is the most basic human thing. And I couldn’t do it. I was convinced I’d die if I didn’t eat. Which made it so I couldn’t eat. Let’s just say it was a terrible fucking cycle.

Unlike last time, it took me two full days to stop feeling panicked and anxious. And six days later, I’m still not at 100%. I stopped taking the Ativan after the second day and I feel better but I’m still slightly weary and uneasy. I’m still not able to sleep through the night. I’m still worried that it will happen again. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who all but dropped everything to reassure me, cuddle me, and stay with me until this feeling passes.

Fun fact about anxiety: All of its horrible symptoms, are actually your bodies way of preparing for combat and or running away developed from some time where we needed to fight crocodiles or club your dinner to death. You guys, I could outrun a fucking Tiger right now. Seriously, bring it. outrunning-tigers-image

I’ve also done a lot of introspection and realized that ever since I moved home from Italy, I’ve been stressed out, irritable, distracted, just below the surface. I don’t know why exactly but it’s been there and I’ve ignored it. I’m not a highstrung person, in fact, my parents make fun of me for being “too relaxed,” all the time. Apparently, all of the stress has boiled to the surface and is like, “PAY ATTENTION TO ME YOU TWAT!”

I am. I’m paying attention. I made an appointment with a therapist and I’m going to go to Yoga. And, I’m going to stop thinking about things that don’t matter. You really don’t realize how great your life is until you’re cowering in fear for no fucking reason praying for the horrific scary feeling to pass.

It’s been a shitty reminder to take care of myself. I’ll be doing this for a minute instead of worrying about getting pregnant and starting a family. Apparently, I need some self-love for a minute. It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget to take care of yourself. Your body and brain will only take so much abuse before it bitch-slaps you from here to China.

Also, have any of you had panic attacks, anxiety? Have you experienced it with children? How do you manage? What has helped you?