I personally think that being a high functioning depressive is more exhausting than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life thus far. This is coming from a woman who has experienced everything from single motherhood (SO exhausting) to abuse (childhood and adulthood, even more exhausting). I’ve experienced sleep deprivation, burn-out, and extreme work out fatigue. The exhaustion that comes from depression is a whole new level. A level that there are no valid description options to fully define what my mind and body are doing to me at present.
I’ve discovered that my depression is manifesting in new ways. It was not fully acknowledged until I had a discussion with my housemate about her anxiety. She told me the cycles in which her anxiety has morphed every time she feels she has a handle on it. We both have had therapy, and both have learned tools to combat stressors when we are triggered. I utilize those tools on an almost daily basis; painting, writing, my pugs. But still, it’s there lingering like a painful hang nail that you’re not ready to cut off just yet, but causes mild pain when poked wrong.
Here I am, going along with life, feeling mighty fine, owning my place in this world only to find out that in the back of my subconscious is a negative world. I mean, I have known it to be there since childhood. I learned how to navigate this world with ease. I’ve learned where to change focus, self direct, and change the self talk. But it never truly goes away, does it? It will always be there. So, again, here I am actually enjoying life. I mean, what do I have to complain about? I have a great job. My housemate is one of my best friends, and coworker. My bills are taken care of. I have some cushion financially. My son is such an amaze-balls young man. My pugs are the bestest doggos ever. I have a routine where I’m able to contribute to and create my artwork. What is to complain about?
Over the last month or so, I have honed in on the fact that I am bloody exhausted. I mean totally wiped out. Or as Grandiloquent posted, “Forswunke“; knackered. I know a lot of this empty and exhausted feeling derives from the fact I have no vehicle now. I am a bit cabin fevered and reliant on my housemate to get me to and fro. I am pretty sure this is the epicenter of my current depression manifestation.
I could sleep at any given moment, just give me a comfortable spot and light’s out. This is new for me. I mean, I’ve always been a gal who thoroughly enjoys her naps, but this is different. Weekends consist of waking, feeding doggos, feeding my face, and being awake for maybe two hours. I then go back to bed for a couple more hours. I cycle like this all weekend. If it weren’t for my work responsibilities M-F, I am afraid I’d have no living existence on this planet. I know for a fact that when I had my own car, I was able to go do outdoorsy things. I would gather up the puddles of pugs and head out to geocache’, or something similar, which I know would combat the murk and mire.
On a subconscious level, I believe my inner guardian knew this was an indicator, and began putting my therapy tools to use. I have been working a lot more on my art and painting. However, I have also been spending more time “zoning out” on my phone. Two things I do religiously when I start to feel a slip in mood regulation. Fast forward to a few weeks later, and after the discussion with my housemate, I’m starting to take note on the various forms of manifestation outside of the sleep patterns. I am not getting good sleep, at all. I don’t wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated. The cup hath runneth over…. as the lack of sleep has created a muscle weakness. I feel like I’ve been running a marathon every day. My ankles, knees, hips and lower back are always aching; albeit, my weight is a huge part of this. i know when I’m getting out more they don’t hurt nearly as much. I also know that when I’m tired, when it’s combined with my sarcoidosis, my legs cramp. I have this uncontrolled jerking twitch when I try to relax at night. It makes it virtually impossible to fall asleep.
I’ve always been a firm believer in allowing my emotions to be exactly what they are. Emotions were stifled so much so growing up, that I internalized a lot of them. They would usually manifest in an angry, anxious explosion. Things were said that weren’t meant. Actions were done that weren’t intended. I finally found a therapist who broke those flood gates. I cried, literally, for two days straight (over EVERYTHING). My ex-husband thought I was broken. He kept asking me, “How do I stop the flood?” Since then, whatever emotion arises, I allow it to take course and I cater to the needs my emotions are trying to convey. However, lately I am unable to “emote” properly. I am on edge and feel like I could cry. If I could cry, I would. It’s like a sneeze that’s right at the tip of your nose, it tickles and you can feel it coming on strong… but nothing happens. My cry function right now is like that.
Speaking of sarcoidosis, and breathing issues, this is a new manifestation for me. I don’t feel like I can breathe. I can’t get a good, adequate, oxygenated breath in. The more I try, the more I panic. The more I panic, the more I try. Vicious cycle yo’. My biggest fear is suffocation… and here I am with a disease that causes me to feel like I can’t breathe. Irony is thick with this. I believe it’s cellular memory from being choked in childhood. I believe it’s a lingering, evil, manifestation that developed into a legitimate disease. So the inability to breathe like a normal person is causing even more exhaustion. It’s like a work out to breathe right now.
Finally, I feel on edge with panic that everything good in my life is going to crash… again. That’s just how it’s always been. I have a review coming up, so, immediately I think I suck and I will be let go. I have no control over it, but I fret and fester until the actual day of review. So healthy, right? I’ve been debating back and forth on reinstating my therapy. I just do not want to go through the whole reintroduction with a new therapist. The one who helped me SO much, who walked with me through every tribulation with ease and guidance, is no longer providing care. She had a lot of her own life struggles rise and had to remove herself from it. It takes a lot for me to connect and trust a therapist, she’s the only one I have ever been able to. She didn’t spit typical psych 101 crap. She seen a hole tear in my psyche, and to pushed through it and made me focus on it. Fuck I loved her. But, here I am again afraid that I may be going down that path I’m oh so familiar with. I just don’t know if I have the strength or patience at 42 to start that process over again. And yes, I am on anti-depressants. I’m worried they may not be effective anymore.
So, there you have it. Depression is like a bacterium that has learned evolution; a bacteria that can adapt to ever changing environments (like antibiotic resistant strains). It has found weakened aspects of my psyche, taken hold, and morphed into a new ugly demon to fight. My fight right now is exhaustion. The weapons of choice are not working, at all. I don’t know how to battle this new being. That alone is causing greater depressive angst.