Having a meh day. 1/10

In an ironic twist, after my last post, this is the first post where I’m feeling… off.

It’s low, an under-the-surface lethargy that could be contributed to not sleeping/eating well this weekend, or PMS. Sorry not sorry. My moods definitely drop around that time of the month, and even with the meds, it doesn’t seem to be different this month.

We had an AMAZING weekend though, Zach and I went up to Grandfather Mountain, just the two of us and went hiking all day Saturday. Like, I was rocking climbing and standing on the tops of the peaks and was only a little terrified. But Saturday night the other campers were partying so that, plus tent sleeping, kinda threw off my good sleep.

It hasn’t been the worst day. I am too hard on myself when I have a morning like this… where I watch YouTube for like, 2 hours, before I get up. But that underlying thing makes me just wanna lay there all day. And I think for any other person, this would just be an “off” day… but for me, it’s a warning sign. That I should be extra careful with myself because an episode COULD be coming.

This will be my first period on my doubled up meds, so maybe it won’t be so bad.

About to head to work, that usually lifts my mood as well. Something about the interaction with  people, listening to music and podcasts, and doing work with my hands that I’m comfortable with and good at makes me feel better. And hopefully all the chores I did this morning after YouTube (unpacking & cleaning) mean I can have a fresh start to the day tomorrow and get some writing done. I have a story I have to finish editing and re-submit, and I’m very close to finishing the book I’m working on! Exciting.

Goal for the evening… get some good sleep. And EAT. My appetite gets weird around depression, and not eating just makes it worse. Remember to eat.

What if my medication works and this blog is pointless?! 0/10

I guess this is a follow up to what I wrote yesterday.

As I’ve mentioned, May-July was a rough time for me. In early July, I went to see my regular doctor for a yearly checkup and we talked about the dosage of my medication. I was taking 75mg of extended release Bupropion a day, which is extremely low. The standard dosage is 300mg, sometimes as high as 450mg. She told me that if I wanted to double it, it might help with some of my mood swings. She also offered that I could take 150mg up until the time I had a positive pregnancy test (yes, we are close enough that I’m asking about things like that) and then could stop cold turkey. Bupropion is a fairly forgiving antidepressant, I’m so glad that it has worked for me.

I told her I wanted to think about it, as with all decisions with my medication. I had about four months of CBT1 before I decided to go on anti-depressants and that was after a lot of discussion with my therapist and family.

So, anyway, I’ve been on the drugs for almost three years now, and the doubling I’ve done in the past couple weeks has helped immensely.

I have been batting around the idea of a blog about my depression for awhile, maybe a few months now, and everyone who I run it by has been supportive and enthusiastic. People need to talk about mental health illness more, they say. I have great awareness, they say. I could help someone, even myself, is the hope. But now I’m like… what if this is the right dose of medication for me and I never have a bad episode again and then everyone is like what is the point of this blog anyway?!

Isn’t that hilarious? First, the thought that my disorder isn’t going to rear up again,2and second that I’m not “depressed” enough to run a blog about it. I wonder how long it will take for me to come back to this post and laugh at my naive self. It’s weird to be worried that I won’t be depressed… not like I want too, but the doubt that I have anything important to say on the topic hangs over me as I write these first few posts. It might be a way for me to cope with the nerves of putting all this online… Which, as of right now, I’ve done but haven’t shared… LOL. I’ve gotten the balls to write about it, but haven’t given the link to anyone but a few good friends. Baby steps.

This is a lot of rambling, I had some caffeine, and haven’t really gathered my thoughts as we are leaving for a camping trip in less than an hour, but I think overall I said what I wanted to say which is THIS SCARY. DEPRESSION WEIRD.

Maybe I should just delete the article except for those last two sentences 😛

When I’m depressed I feel like I’ll never be happy again, and vice versa. 0/10

This is like… my 7th good day IN A ROW. Which is awesome because May-July was mostly me living in a pit of hell and hating myself for it.1

I’m killing it right now.2 I’m working out, I’m writing, I’m sending emails, I’m having fun, I’m going to work, I’m eating well… all these things lead to a content Laura and a Laura that can rebound from setbacks.

Kinda.

I’m still working on that.3

It’s so strange to know though, that this won’t last. Because when I feel like this, like myself, it seems crazy4 that I have depression. How could I? How could thoughts of me WISHING I WERE DEAD ever, ever be in my head? Who is that person?

Which, ironically, is the opposite feeling I have during an episode. I lay in bed and wonder, how did I ever have goals, or dreams, or ambitions? How did I ever think I could fall in love or have friends that would love me no matter what? How did I ever think I could do anything with my life, to become a writer, to try? Who was I kidding?

That Laura is mean. But she’s still me. So, what I try and do is set myself for success when I’m feeling good, and not beat myself up so much when I’m feeling bad. It’s a weird balancing act, but I’m getting better at it every day.

Laura vs. Laura

I have to work hard to feel good. 0/10

I feel pretty great right now, which is awesome because I spent most of the last three months in and out of one of the worst episodes I’ve had in years. I blame overwork, stress, and the fact that once a depressive cycle starts it’s hard to get out. In fact, even after I quit one of my jobs I was still struggling, which is why I started taking more Bupropion.1

But sometimes it’s annoying how hard I have to work to be content. I closely monitor my sleep schedule, because if I don’t get a full 8-9 hours I’m more likely to slip into an episode. It’s difficult because Zach doesn’t need sleep. We joke that he’s Buddy the Elf..

I try and exercise daily, alternating between hikes and weightlifting. I have meals prepped  ahead of time so I eat well. I don’t let myself do chores after work, because then I would never relax. I have severely limited my drinking. I don’t even work full time anymore…2 which has been a huge benefactor in my feeling better. But it makes me feel broken. Trying to take care of myself and work full time is almost impossible. But “everyone” else does it. I know other people struggle, but still… it feels unfair. Like I don’t fit into the society that everyone else is living in.

If I get bumped off my routine, there’s a big chance I’ll get depressed. And then I feel bad about being depressed. And I don’t do anything. And then I feel bad about not doing anything. And on and on… You get it.

I guess that’s the struggle anyone with a mental health illness has to deal with. I like my life, when I’m feeling okay. I’m fairly content, with good friends and family, a job I don’t dislike, and goals with writing and exercise that keep me excited. But sometimes I wish I could just drink a damn glass of wine without wondering “is this going to send me over the edge? Will I be depressed for the next week if I have two glasses?”

I’m always wondering if I do something outside of my routine (eat too many cookies, stay up late watching TV, drink *gasp* three glasses of wine) will it push me over the edge? And I know that it will always be that way to some degree. It would be nice to not have to constantly monitor myself for fear of falling into an episode. Although the alternative is much worse… because being depressed sucks butt.

I have depression! 0/10

I’m not sure where to start my first post about living with Major Depressive Disorder, so I guess I’ll start by admitting it.

I have depression.

To my family and friends, this is not a surprise. I’m fairly open about it. If you ask me, I’ll tell you that I’ve been seeing Dr. R for a few years now or that I recently upped my Bupropion prescription from 75mg daily to 75mg twice a day. I’ll mention it casually in conversation. And the most daring? I’ll share memes on Facebook about mental health illness.1

But, to be honest, that doesn’t mean much. If I’m telling you about my struggle with depression… I’m probably feeling okay. My meds are doing their job.2 I got out of bed that day. I got dressed. I went outside. All signs of an A-okay day for me.

Telling you I have depression is much different than coming to you during a depressive episode. The people who see me during a bout of depression are limited. Right now, there are two. Three if you count Dr. R.

And that is what this blog is about. It’s going to be an uncensored,3 honest account of the thoughts going through my head when I’m depressed. They aren’t pretty, but they’re real. I want to be more open about my mental health illness, hopefully to understand it better. And to take some pressure off the lovely people who hold me up when I’m down.4 And to assure you that you are not alone in your suffering.5

My fiance, Zach, and I have a number system to communicate my depression levels. 0 is feeling GREAT! 5 is rough, but handle-able, and 10 is can’t get out of bed, I wish I was dead. I’ll be posting my number daily, and telling you how I feel. Any post that is a 6 or above, I’ll go back later when I’m feeling good again, and add in footnotes so you,6 and I, can see how depression distorts thinking.

Today, I’m a 0, thank goodness.7 I’ve been riding a wave of sadness for the past three months which made it hard to work, write, and plan a wedding. That’s why I bumped up my medication. I love a 0 day, and if anything I’ve learned to appreciate them, because you never know when the next episode is coming.

Stay tuned.