When the Darkness Comes

I can feel it coming. My body feels weighted down, I’m irritable and even more sensitive, which is saying a lot. It’s sort of like PMS but it’s more than being moody and there’s no relief in a few days. Sometimes I just want to die.

I can remind myself how lucky and privileged I am, who I need to live for but the pain is deep and distorts everything I know to be true. It’s a scary feeling and I hate feeling out of control. Despite having a safety plan (a plan of action for when or if you’re suicidal), I don’t feel safe. There have been times I have called the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and tried to use the chat feature but there were more than 70 people also waiting for help and support. I could have called the hotline but I resigned myself to sleep.

Things looked better in the morning but it was still creepily dark in my head. I didn’t want to get out of bed but had to take the kids to school. I couldn’t shower. I couldn’t brush my teeth. I forced myself to take my pills and retreated to the comfort of my bed.

After a couple of (weepy) days, I did feel the fog lift but it took awhile to return to “normal.” That’s the scary part of depression – one of them, anyway. You can do everything right – take your pills, see your doctors, see your therapist, put real pants on and shower but depression will find you.

So will anxiety. My depression and anxiety go hand and hand. Mine makes me obsess about the weirdest things – things that have happened years ago, hypothetical tragedies that could happen to friends/family, bad things happening. Sometimes there are no thoughts behind it. It’s just there, a heavy weight on my chest making it hard to breathe.

Since going to the Menninger Clinic these symptoms have gotten better but not all together gone. When I can muster the strength to combat my overwhelming sadness and panic, there are things I can do to help.

  • I take my anxiety pills
  • I get under my weighted blanket
  • I listen to guided mediations or favorite music
  • Write

But if you’re in a scary situation that you can’t get control of, please call the National Suicidal Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or call your city/county’s mental health resources to see what’s available to you. And you can always call your primary physician. There is help out there and I know sometimes you don’t feel you need help but that’s just the depression talking. People care.

I’d you’d like to list your positive coping skills, please feel free to in the comments.

Stay in the light, my friends.

 

2 thoughts on “When the Darkness Comes

  1. How I cope…

    Cuddle with my puppies.
    Sleeeeeep.
    Deep breaths and clear my mind, like meditation, but with less commitment
    Find a “Project” to distract myself with.
    Long hot baths.
    Weighted blankets are nice.
    Lo-Fi, Ambient, Chill Hop, Indie, Electronic Dance music.
    Head, neck, shoulder, and back massage.
    Retail Shop Therapy.

    J.

    1. Heather Loeb – I’m 36 years old and suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder and Binge Eating Disorder. I live with my husband and two small children in Texas. I hope my blog helps to end the stigma of depression and other mental disorders.
      Heather Loeb says:

      I forgot to add hot baths and I love getting massages. Good call!

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