D is for Depression

Not quite so positive as the previous letters… but no less true.

Depression has been ever present in my life for the past 10 years, along with anxiety, and neither of them look to be going away in any hurry.

Whether I am depressed because I am sick, or sick because I am depressed is something no doctor has ever been able to really determine, but I’ll stick by the justification that I am depressed because I am sick.

A complete physical inability to get yourself out of bed, or do more than the most basic of activities will tend to do that to a person, particularly when some of your favourite activities in the past were hiking, abseiling, rock climbing, and other such pursuits.

This was around the time when I rediscovered my crafty pursuits – knitting and crochet provide a similar feeling of achievement, without the ridiculously exhausting physical exertion. Also, even if you only do a few stitches or rows a week, you can see something growing and that’s great for mitigating the feeling of failure.

I’d been dealing with anxiety ever since Grade 2 & 3, when I was mercilessly bullied by a girl in my class at school. I changed schools at the start of Grade 4, but I’ve never quite gotten back the carefree little person I was before it all happened.

It comes and goes in waves – currently, I seem to be on the way up. The good days are more common, and the bad days aren’t as bad at the moment. But I know that a drop won’t be far behind – maybe it’ll be in a day, a week, a month – but it will come back. I’ve just got to make the most of the good days so that I can get through the bad ones without completely falling on my face.

When I’m working through a rash of really bad days, I drink more than is really healthy. Normally, I barely drink at all, and when I do it’s a couple of glasses of something at a social event (recent wedding being a deviation from my normal social drinking patterns – it was good wine). But when things aren’t going well, and particularly when Hubby is not around (if he’s away for work), I’ll drink a lot. My most recent bad run, which I’m only just coming up from, has meant that we are almost out of scotch. At Easter, we had 4 almost-full bottles of scotch. Now there’s 2 bottles left, both with only a couple of drinks worth in the bottom.

I know this is a maladaptive coping mechanism. I avoid it at all costs. I avoid alcohol as much as possible, so that when I do get in this sort of place, I only need 3 or 4 drinks before I’m comfortably muzzy, and everything starts to feel a little less, well, awful.

~K

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