“Today I felt passing over me a breath of wind from the wings of madness.” Charles Baudelaire
It’s been a month. One month of apathy and lethargy induced by a dark anxiety-laden cloud that seems to surround me only. On days like this the most difficult challenge is simply getting out of bed. William Styron writes (with my paraphrase),
I get a fine warm feeling when I’m doing well, but that pleasure is pretty much negated by the pain of getting started each day. Let’s face it, [sometimes life] is hell.
Just Getting Up is Work
I lay there contemplating the energy required to wash my face, brush my teeth, comb my hair and get dressed. See… that IS a lot to do! And then I am faced with a day of indescribable unease. It’s called depression. Yea. Out of the closet. I have wrestled with depression for a couple decades.
The good news is I haven’t been depressed for a couple of years. But then it hit, suddenly and with full force, creating a feeling within like I’m drowning in an emotionless tsunami.
This is not sadness I am experiencing. This is a biological defect caused from too much or too little serotonin or dopamine. Then some event or series of events brings on the anxiety, awakening her evil sister, depression. Wow. It’s complicated.
I could write on and on about what it feels like to be depressed, but unless you have experienced biological depression, you really can’t understand. There is no vocabulary for it. What I can write about, however, and what you will understand is how to begin recovery.
Two things contribute to the dissolution of clinical depressions: (1) Let it run it’s course. It will eventually go away on its own; (2) Force Yourself into action. I have found that forcing myself into action during a depression may be one of the most difficult things I’ll ever have to do. That’s why this post is late. I’ve been too deeply depressed to write. Shoot it takes all my energy to even get out of bed.
Surprisingly, I even find humor in it. I feel like a disturbed cartoon character written by a zombie.
So what do I do now? Well, one thing I know is that my depression is on the mend, but the lingering effects are powerful. So it’s time for me to take control. It’s now a personal decision. Will I allow the demon to win or will I make an effort to overcome it? I think I’ll opt for the latter. After all, I AM writing this tardy post.
Here’s a list of tips that can help:
- Win the morning and win the day. Tim Ferriss talks a lot about this even when there is no depression, but this process is also a great demon slayer. For me it means getting up by 8:00 AM, eating well, meditating, and writing in my journal.
- Before I go to bed:
- Make a list of at least Two Tasks that I will complete tomorrow.
- Lay out my clothes for the following day.
- Be sure to take your meds. If you are biologically (or clinically) depressed then you most likely have a prescription for some kind of anti-depressants. Take them!
- Meet with someone you know loves you. There is nothing like the temporary relief that a good friend or loved one can bring by just being in their presence. You don’t even have to talk about your depression. Just be present.
- Go to a movie!
The Last thing You Want to Do
Is the Only Thing You Can Do
So, Just Do It!
Photo courtesy of fotofritz16 at istockphoto