A bit of rambling that may have little to do with anything.
Most of my long-time readers are aware that I have
dealt with depression, off and on, for quite a while.
It took me a long time, some therapy and serious soul
searching on my own to realize that it's been present in my
life for more than thirty years.
Clinical depression is not a choice.
It is not a spoiled brat whining for attention and hoping to be
excused from life responsibilities. Often, it cannot be explained
by life situations or circumstances. However, it can be exacerbated
by stressors. It is often accompanied by feelings of guilt when the
current bout of depression has no clear reason. That can cause a
rather vicious cycle of overwhelming frustration. More guilt.
Deeper depression. Emotional paralysis. Withdrawal from life
activities. Deep sense of inadequacy and hopelessness.
Even a huge lack of physical energy.
This usually goes on for weeks then the mind will begin to clear
and life gets easier. Hope and motivation returns. For a while.
I'm not talking about the horrors of manic depression/bi-polar
rapid extreme cycles. Thank goodness that isn't me.
I was brought up to be strong, independent, self-sufficient, reliable,
never ask for help, take care of my own life... yada, yada, yada.
When I started to make mistakes in some of my life choices,
I was ashamed and rather surprised in my lack of perfection.
For some reason, I, in my naivete/ignorance expected to be
all-the-time happy, smart, productive, successful and loved.
No question. No doubt.
Why? FuckifIknow. Influenced by fairy tales and June Cleaver?
When my husband offed himself (eleven years ago yesterday), that
almost sent me over the edge. But, still I was determined to 'deal'
with all that brought to my life. By myself.
Let's just say that didn't work out very well.
I relented and started looking for help. First, in books about suicide
and depression. Then in a self-help group for people who lost loved
ones to suicide. That succeeded in making me angry, because ya know,
I wasn't like them. Surely, I was stronger and smarter and better...
riiiggghhht. Another perceived failure. Damn it, now what?
Insurance allowed visits with a psychologist. Co-pay was reasonable.
Appointment made, I showed up on time and sopped up a couple of
tissues in the first hour. Boo-hoo. Made another appointment.
After a few weeks, he suggested that I would benefit from medication.
Oh, no no no, says I. I can do this myself. No drugs for this woman.
Therapy continued, I was feeling better, he and I laughed a lot.
He discharged me after several months (when the allotted insurance-
approved visits ran out). I was fine (I thought) for about six months.
The demons returned in full force. I still can't completely grasp why
my employers did not can me, with plenty of good reasons, about a
hundred different times between then... and even now.
Side note: I found out about two years later, after my final final
therapy visit with this psychologist, that his wife had threatened
divorce after finding out that he had had affairs with more than
one of his female patients. I don't remember ever seeing a male
in his waiting room.
This is getting too long for one post. I'll continue in a day or so.