Funny thing, and not funny ha-ha, about Depression, it affects me in maybe a different way that it affects others. For me, it’s not necessarily something that keeps me in bed all day, or feeling like I can never leave the house, or puts me in a constant state of sadness and despair. Trust me, I do get those feelings often, but it’s more of a thing where it hits me in an instant and then I’m out of commission for awhile.
Case in point, the other day I was at work, and things were pretty typical throughout the morning. Then a situation happened and I immediately began to get frustrated. Now, I know that we all have things at work that can drive us nuts and ruin our day, but when you already have depression, the slightest thing can set off a chain reaction that brings on the despair much quickly and more intense.
So, after a few hours, my mood began to improve a bit and I finished out the day and left. I was feeling kind of ok, and was looking forward to a session that evening and hanging out with a friend after work for a couple hours to blow off some steam and relax. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as planned.
I texted my friend about 45 minutes before my session, and she said she was sick as a dog and couldn’t go out anywhere. Now this person never calls off work so if she is sick, it’s gotta be bad. Before I go any further, keep in mind that when you have Anxiety, Depression, and your OCD on top of it, plans changing at the last minute is not something you handle very well. It’s no different for me.
The news that I couldn’t hang out with my friend took my mood for stable and maybe even a tad bit optimistic, to sadness and lonely. As soon as I walked into the room, my therapist could tell something was up. I mean let’s be real here, I’m not exactly super chipper on a regular basis as it is, but this was way worse than usual. The sadness and total look of despair was painfully evident.
It’s a tough thing to live with, having moods change so quickly. Honestly, throughout my life it’s been this way, but I never knew why, paid much attention to it, or even attempted to investigate the cause. I didn’t know I was depressed or had PTSD. I knew I had anxiety issues but I never thought it was worse than anyone else. I just chalked it up to just part of who I was. To be quite honest, I guess I was pretty naive or just didn’t think there was anything wrong with me. Everybody also thinks of me as this lovable, care free, easy going, guy who is a good listener, and would do anything to help his friends out. You know that kind of person, maybe that’s you or someone you know.
I would say, that’s not so much me anymore, at least not in the last couple of years. I’ve become much more of a recluse, keeping to myself, and don’t share my feelings with anyone other than my therapist. I keep everyone at arm’s length and go about my life putting on a happy face at work and around my kids, only to crash hard when I’m alone.
The worst part is, that these mood changes can happen so quickly and I don’t see them coming. I expect that something will set me off at any given time, but even though I know this is coming, it still hits and when it does, it hits like a freight train. I not only will get the sad, lonely feelings but the hopeless and helpless are really what can put me over the edge. Then I get flashbacks of being bullied, and how helpless I felt to stop them. The flashbacks of the sexual abuse as a child and how I couldn’t stop them or didn’t stop them, also come into play.
So…yeah….I just wanted to share because it was on my mind today, just how quickly depression can set it in and take over, and too often I can become powerless to fend it off until it runs it’s course for a few hours or for the rest of the evening. Maybe in time I will learn how to control it, so it doesn’t control me. Dare to dream…