Sunday, March 02, 2014

Serious Thoughts, For Once

I've been trying to put my mood into coherent words for a while, and this is the best I can do. I'm just closing my eyes and swallowing hard and throwing it up here. I'm not sure how coherent it actually is, but that's probably to be expected.

I know I've been an uncheery blogger recently; I hope it hasn't been too much like reading The Yellow Wallpaper, an amazing story but not exactly fun. Remember this, though: blogging is like an iceberg, there's more underneath than ever shows up on the surface. I'm not even letting the worst out here. I've really been struggling. To paraphrase my brother, you can go along doing okay, but you stub your toe and it's The End of the World. My best, lately, is only minimally functional. Some days are better than others, or at least some are worse; one morning, I was getting ready for work and found myself saying, "I honestly don't know how I am going to get through this day." I did, of course, and the next day wasn't as bad, but it's all been much harder than usual, and quite often normally I don't find life easy, all the things to get done, never enough time or energy to do them. Then you add this winter...

The brain is a strange thing. In others, I don't think that depression is weakness, but at the same time I want to be stronger. Depression is a brain chemistry thing, like migraines are. It doesn't happen to you because you're weak or strong. It just is. I believe* that, but it bothers me that I can't shake this off, can't be comforted by truths like "Spring is almost here," can't laugh when someone jokes that "It stopped snowing, I know that you're sorry about that."
*Interestingly, typing "believe" wrong means that spell-check offered me the right spelling or, alternately, Bellevue. Nice.

Anyway. I'm thinking pretty seriously about moving to Florida. Not right away, not this year, but making that the goal in a year or two. I may not have diagnosed depression, but when the mere fact of winter makes every day such a slog, when every year is harder, it seems like a sign that I just can't take winter here any more. (And I'm a little young to be a snowbird, don't you think? Given that I'll probably never be able to afford to retire at all, I don't see how I could afford to just winter there.) So, in a drastic simplification of my options:
  1. Stay here, and treat the depression. Which probably means medication, since I've been trying all sorts of non-pharmaceutical ways to raise my mood and it isn't enough. And medicating depression is, I gather, a lot like medicating migraines, which was pretty miserable: try this drug and that one, this dose and that, experience this side effect or that. Oh, that's worse, now you can't get out of bed? Interesting. Let's try this. And with seasonal effects on symptoms, how long would it take to figure out? In other words: how many years must I be miserable for a third of the year?
  2. Move to somewhere warmer, i.e., Florida. Moving is a royal pain in the ass. I'd have to sell my condo. Find a job there. It's tons of work. But if I could snap my fingers and have it be done? I would, honestly. Today. I'd miss my friends, and a lot of things about living here, but I'd move in a minute not to feel like this.


Blogger Leslie said...

I feel for you. We've never met but I get the impression you're in your early-to-mid 40's and I'm wondering how much of what you're feeling is hormonal (i.e. "the change"). I had a long, miserable one and my psyche was screwed up royally. A move to a sunnier climate might seem like a good move but it's not a guaranty that you won't develop an aversion to hurricane season akin to what you feel toward winter.

The goal won't hurt to have but I also suggest you find a good clinician who can coordinate your physical and psychological therapy to get you through it.

7:57 PM, March 02, 2014  
Blogger Jennifer said...

A few thoughts about depression … first I am sorry you are struggling right now. As you know, I also experience this and go through periods where functioning is difficult.
I would suggest telling your GP and getting a referral to see someone who should be able to determine if you are indeed clinically depressed. If that is the case, it is treatable and it's not necessarily as bad as shopping around for the right migraine medicine. Once it's being treated, you will be better equipped to figure out how much of it is weather-related versus other stuff, and then decisions about moving, etc. can be made.
Love you and will support you no matter what.

9:26 PM, March 04, 2014  

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