Without going into all the fascinating (insert sarcasm) studies on depression, it is often a given that as there is less and less daylight available around us (including the fun of going to work in the dark AND coming home from work in the dark in winter) that depression increases.
Most years I stay on my anti depressant medications year round. Every few years I successfully wean myself off them, only to go back on them in the winter.
This year I was doing really good. I was out of a toxic and stressful work environment. I was exercising consistently. I was eating fairly decently. I have been off all of my medications since last March (with the rare exceptions of asthma medications when I get sick). I had hopes to be able to stay off of anti depressants again. But I now know I will need them for a while.
Note: The following thoughts relate to depression when it is not crippling your life. There are different degrees of depression. For all I know, there are different types.
The depression I suffer from is fairly low level. If life gets too stressful I occasionally spend a day or two hiding in bed. But for the most part I can function around it.
About six weeks ago the injuries started. First the bursitis in my hip started crippling me. Leaving me in bed for a couple of days at a time when it flared struggling to find ANY position at all that would not cause the pain to flare. Or to even get the aching to a level that would allow me to sleep.
Then I had the surgery on my face. Not a lot of pain, but aching and discomfort.
Sometime in that period of time I realized my right lower leg was aching constantly.
Oh – and then I fell on the road one day and twice on the trails in a few minutes the same week. My ribs and sternum weren’t too happy.
Two weeks ago the ache in my leg was diagnosed as a stress fracture. No running or walking or weight bearing exercise for 6-8 weeks. End of season. What fun.
I’ve been letting my body heal. A lot of my spare time is just spent laying in bed reading. I am finally to the point where I can go and lift weights and swim. That will start tonight. YAY!
Anyway – this has led to the grey monster coming back into my life. Little flits in and out this time. I don’t know that I have realized it as subtly in the past – probably because life was overwhelming me at the time. I wanted to put it into writing so that I might recognize it more in the future and in hopes that it might help someone else that is not aware that they might be suffering from depression. Here are some of the flits – in thought format. It is kind of like a golden snitch from a game of Quidditch.
- I should go work out. Nah – too much effort. I’ll lay here instead.
- I really need to clean the house. Why? Who else will ever see it. Its not that dirty anyway.
- Time for prayers. But will it really matter if I skip it this time? And I don’t feel like praying right now.
- Not training constantly is a great time to lose weight. But self medicating with junk food sounds a whole lot easier. I’ll start this tomorrow. (repeat ad nauseum)
- I should give up all social media. Seeing posts of people running in the mountains is just depressing me.
- I need some friends. Other people have friends who help them when they are injured. (Note: I am really not a social animal).
- I could get in an hour or two of quilting before work. Nope. Instead I will just hide under the covers until the very last minute and then rush to work.
- Yikes – even junk food is not making me happy.
It is interesting to see the little things add up. It is very similar to the inversions in Utah in winter. They slowly build up until you realize you have actually not seen blue sky or the sun in days.
I really wish I could go and run for a few hours to shake off the fog. Instead, I guess it is time to schedule a physical and get to work dieting and back on medication until I can train again.
If you are physically able, I strongly recommend walking 30 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be all at once. It doesn’t have to be hard or fast. But physical exercise does incredible things in helping your brain and body battle depression.