I saw my therapist last week and we discussed my progress, agreeing that my energy levels are up, I was in control of my eating (notice I said was) and I’m no where near suicidal. What stayed with me after this particular session is that my therapist said it seemed that I was so much stronger, I could probably punch through the wall of depression.
So far, I only feel punched by it. I’ve since been a little dicey with my eating habits, i.e. overeating on foods I have no business eating in the first place, and my anxiety has returned – did it ever go away? – at nighttime. But even though I don’t feel like I’m that close to making a hole in the wall, I can’t argue with my therapist. I’m not weepy or lying around the house all day. Matter of fact, I’m doing the things that I enjoy and practicing self care, which you can’t do during a depressive episode.
But how do I punch through? How does anyone make a hole in that formidable, rock-hard wall?
My husband says its about eating healthily, working out and continuing my current self-care routine. What do you say?
I just want to feel that happy feeling again, instead of feeling like I’m just getting by. I want to see the world in color again, to feel the reverberating warmness that brings a smile to your face and makes you sing in the car at the top of your lungs. I want to laugh my loud guffaw, and I want to breathe without having to count and without the sickening heaviness that makes me think my lungs are buried in a swamp.
Happy. The yearning to feeling that warmness is so strong it brings tears to my eyes.
How do I punch through before I get punched back down into the darkness?
I’m only speaking from my experiences, and that is that I have never been able to “punch” my way through MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) when at my lowest. I always need something outside of myself to help bring me back to a point where I can begin to help myself again. And this is because MDD needs to be recognized for what it is; as you call it unruly neurons, a disease of the brain, something which you alone have no control over. It is NOT the situational depression that everyone in this world will feel at one point or another for a myriad of reasons like a death of a close family member, the dissolution of a marriage, financial bankruptcy, a failing grade in school, etc… And I think the reason so many people misunderstand it is because of the word we use to describe it. Depression can be felt by anyone, but MDD the disorder that shares that word within its name means you can’t just “snap” out of it or bring yourself back through sheer willpower alone. Your brain is working against you, and you have to find ways outside of yourself to help fix the misfiring neurons and chemical imbalances that rob you of positive human feelings and emotions. Eating right, exercise, talk therapy, those and many others are the tools you learn to help slow the downward spiral that MDD puts you through, but you can’t do it all on your own. Your brain needs chemical assistance like medications and other therapies available (TMS, ECT, Ketamine infussions, etc…) to get you to the point of being able to do those things in your life again that a lot of people take for granted. Remission is possible, but understand that a cure has NOT been found. So it’s best to use every lesson, tool, medication, and therapy you have available to you, to the best of your ability. Again, I’m only speaking from experience, but if eating right and exercising were all it took I would have never fallen into my first episode of MDD in high school at my physical peak. I’m not saying any of this to be nihilistic. I just want people to have a realistic idea of the struggles involved with MDD, and to use all of the resources available to them. That being said, everyones body chemistry is different and what has or has not worked for me may be different for others. As the Buddha would say, do not take what I say as truth simply because I say it, but use it and discover its truth for your own.
I’ve never been able to punch my way through anything obviously but there have been times when the clouds have lifted. Because I’m not near my lowest point and I’ve started new meds (Trentellix) I think my therpaist was being hopeful that there was some kind of crack in the wall already started?
But you’re 100 correct about the exercise and eating well. For me, it’s always been a hormonal and pharmacological crap shoot. Thanks for reading.