It truly was only a matter of time. Given that I had just achieved a major life goal, I shouldn’t have been surprised when it happened. I just hoped to find some way of channeling the forward momentum of completing my Senior Project, and finishing my degree with such high marks, that perhaps I could prevent the onset. Nothing I’ve done so far has helped. Depression has descended.
For those blessedly free of this condition, let me fill you in on a few things. 1) It is not something I can just snap out of. 2) It has been the most constant companion of my life. Depression, as I experience it, is like wearing lead sneakers while trying to run through molasses. Every movement, every thought, sometimes just breathing is a massively exhaustive task. Crying helps, but sometimes, I’m so sad, I can’t even cry.
I’ve heard depression described as the state of being emotionally exhausted. There is a deep seated sadness within my soul that never goes away. It will grow smaller, fade to the background, but it is always there. Distractions – like entertainment, and socializing with others, are both helpful and not helpful. They can make the experience bearable, but they also extend the length of the episode when it finally hits. No, depression will have its time and its attention from me. Each bout is a little different, and each has a particular course to run.
No one interacting with me right now would believe I’m struggling with this. As I said, socializing can be a distraction. In the face of fun, I can smile, converse, serve, and focus on something other than the emotional black hole sucking all the hope out of me. When I’m alone, however, it’s a different story.
Speaking of stories, this has brought progress on The Prince and the Pirate Princess to a near stand still. I have added a few hundred words to the writing in the last couple weeks, but it’s been difficult to motivate myself to live, let alone be creative. The creative activities I’ve felt any desire to do have been anchored in other modes of expression (jewelry making, watercolor painting, etc). I plan to persevere through this, and continue to write, even if at this much slower pace. This, though difficult, will help with the depression. Failure after trying and failure from lack of trying are two different things. One feeds the depression, the other starves it.
Persevering in my goal to add another 12,500 words to my story by the end of July is not the only thing I can do to help with this process. I have other coping mechanisms. None of these coping mechanisms, though, would offer any comfort at all if God did not will it as so. Therefore, I also pray through my depression and seek the Author of all earthly comfort. I give thanks to Him for the help these techniques offer. I will increase the number of hours I sleep and listen to music designed to help with depression. I will laugh. I will watch lol cat videos, and cute furry critter videos, and squee-worthy baby videos. I will lift my head and continue to look for the rainbows of life. These always appear after the rain.