A New Gauge for Depression

I’ve been back in the US for over a month now, and while the job situation is only partially resolved, things are going fairly well overall. OK, there is always that missing husband thing, but we at least talk on the phone every night.

monsterSo imagine my surprised when I realized that after about three months of really good functioning (resulting from a medication adjustment at that time), I find myself feeling depressed again. Or, as I’ve often said, the beast is back for a visit. Now, I know that everyone has bad days, and that a bad day or three doesn’t mean depression, but the signs are there. Loss of interest, periods of intense sadness (in spite of wonderful things that I am happy about–like my new grandson, Jack), and a lethargy that gets a little more persistent each day. I am taking steps to pull myself through it and get past it. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it), I have a big work deadline at the moment, so it does force me to keep going even when I’d like to retreat to a vegetative state.

Halloween_unhappy_pumpkin_decorationSince I’ve made absolutely major shifts and adjustments, this dip in mood is not really that surprising. In fact, I would have chalked it up to a move halfway across the world and all that entails, except for the loss of two very significant interests. First, the only time I ever think about totally giving up this blog is when the beast is visiting. I start wondering what’s the point. I tell myself I have lots to do, and I don’t need to keep up with the blogging, which — according to the beast — isn’t serving any of my larger goals at the moment. Giving up the blog and all the blogging community is the last thing I need to do at this time. I know that, and so instead of giving it up, I’m writing this post — a testament to not giving it up.

But the other interest currently missing from my life is coffee. Coffee has been a big part of my life longer than the blog. And when I realized today that I was having a headache (I rarely get headaches), I also realized that I hadn’t bothered to finish my first cup of coffee, let alone consider a second cup.

I need a latte. Or I at least need a coffee shop fix. While I don’t need to be at a coffee shop every day, my last several months in Taiwan did include my coffee shop visits five or more times a week. I loved the atmosphere and how productive I was there. Sure there were a few visits when the beast joined me for a cup of java, but in general, it was a good experience. And while I can often be very productive in my office downstairs, I need to make sure I’m getting out more.

In my last few weeks in Taiwan, I visited several new places as I met with friends before leaving for home. And after posting a picture of a beast and a sad pumpkin, I thought I should close this post with a photo from one of my good-bye coffee visits. I found this picture while I was looking through, and at first I couldn’t remember being there. But I really liked the picture, so I uploaded it. Just looking at the picture made me smile, and then I remembered. I had gone there with my friend, Joe. I’ll have to hit him up for the pictures from his camera that day. He got some of the two of us together. Friends and coffee. A great combination. And while I will never meet most of my blogging friends in person, it’s nice to know that you’re there, and that we are all connected by the words we post.

IMG_0128You know what? I’ll go have an early supper and head out for a walk and a latte. I’ll have to wait for the quaint coffee shop experience, but I’ll make sure I do that before the weekend is out.