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.

17 comments on “A New Gauge for Depression

  1. Hang in there Deborah. The community here really is worth staying for. My only advice is to find a groove that you like and concentrate on it. Stay in the moment, especially when doing mundane tasks. It’s how I cope anyway.
    Cheers with that coffee when you get to it!

    • Thanks, Linda! I recognize the importance of the community which is why I will keep going even if I temporarily slip out of sight. As for the groove, I’m not sure that I’ve found that yet, but I’ll keep looking. But you are so right about staying in the moment–it really does help. Or to choose just one basic thing to do in a moment–one small step that moves things forward. Thanks for your support! I really appreciate it.

    • Hi Sue,
      If we’re speaking of walking distance, there’s one a mile from here. Unfortunately, it’s a chain. The baristas are pleasant enough, and when I need to walk, I go there. There are two others within a short drive from here. I did walk to the closest one after my last post. And I am finding a few places to stop amidst my new crazy schedule. More on that soon!

  2. You can lean on this community for help too. We can’t pour you a cup, but we listen and we talk back. I’ve seen people here help others through all kinds of tough times. Do what you need to do, but don’t worry about what you put here, we will stay with you. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. Dear Debbie, hang on in there so much has changed in your life of late and being at home with your parents how ever much you love them is a huge mental step… plus your husband is so far away and phone calls are no substitute don’t expect too much of yourself, we are here to listen and help!!

    • Thanks, Willow! You’re right, so much change, and the idea of having my husband away for several more months is difficult. The other hard thing is trying to find enough work to pay the bills. I have some flexibility being here with my parents, but I have to keep moving forward. I know it will work out, and it is great to have you and all the great people that are part of this community. Thanks! ❤

  4. It might help that you’re realising that it’s happening in the early stages so you can hopefully prevent it from getting worse? I really hope you’ll feel better soon. I don’t have any personal experiences with depression but I have seen what it does to other people and it’s not pretty.

    • Hi Emmely. I think there’s something to recognizing it early on. I also have to accept that there is a tremendous amount of change and stress. And even when a few things happen to make the job situation better, there’s still changes, and they still involve some stress. Things will get better, but I need to give it time. But I really appreciate your caring. 🙂

  5. I’m the child of a mother who has never done anything to deal with her depression. It makes me happy to know that you are being proactive about the beast.

    I can’t imagine it’s easy being so very far from your spouse, or living with your parents again, or readjusting to a whole new life…I’d say that’s a lot of stress factors, that, even if they’re positive (now or in the long run), could definitely pile up.

    As for the blogging – even a quick ‘please send me a message; I really need one today’ could give you an extra lifeline to the outside world. Taking a walk, going for coffee, and reliving past happy times seem like good approaches as well.

    I hope the work situation resolves soon. I don’t know if there’s a reunion with you husband in the near offing, but I hope you can find some ways to connect a bit more fully (maybe coffee together?).

    In the meantime, know that you have friends online, and, although we might never meet in person, we’ve met and connected in a very real way!

    • Hi Shan, thanks for all your ideas and your lovely thoughts. I have come to realize there is just a lot on my plate and I can’t expect to just coast as if my cage isn’t being rattled. The work situation is frustrating on a lot of levels, but more so because of the separation from my husband. We will get to spend three weeks together when I travel there in the middle of December, and then hopefully we’ll be back together by spring. In the meantime, the daily phone calls, and the weekend email exchanges have to keep me going. That and connecting here. Because you’re right. It’s just a matter or reaching out. People are good about responding when you let them know you’re needing a virtual hug. 🙂

    • Actually, Tina, I did get a latte, and it helped (all three times), but there’s just a lot going on. I’m thinking that I’m working on a bit of a breakthrough. There is lots to tell. Maybe a coffee share tomorrow will be the thing. 🙂

  6. Pingback: The Creative Pause Edition: Second Serving Sunday | shanjeniah's Lovely Chaos

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