For those of us who have dealt with depression for a few years, it sometimes comes as a shock when a particularly rough cause of it reappears after a long absence. You get used to a routine, and the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, doubt, lethargy, and more seem like a distant memory–maybe a characteristic of your past self.
But then, all of a sudden, it’s back, and it won’t go away. You have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. And once you are out of bed, you spend all day dreaming about getting back into it. The thought of talking to someone or doing work or even just feeding yourself seems daunting. Even in those rare moments when you can focus on something, your motivation disappears the second you’re interrupted.
Because I understand my illness, I know what is happening to me. I don’t worry when I no longer want to eat, when I can’t sleep, when I find no joy in being around the people I love. I just know that it’s my depression rearing its ugly head. So I force myself to eat healthy foods every few hours, I force myself to get the recommended eight hours, I force myself to spend time with friends.
But just knowing what is causing the pain doesn’t lessen it. It doesn’t make it easier to go about your daily life or put a smile on for the outside world. It doesn’t exactly inspire you to plan your next big adventure or reminisce about past ones.
Even doing what you’re supposed to do by going to the doctor doesn’t always make you feel better. She may tell you that you’re doing everything right, that “we’ll monitor it” together, that there are other drug options if needed, that you can shift your mindset slightly to help with outside circumstances. It’s not exactly the quick fix you were hoping for.
So the real question is, now what? What do you do when the things you know should work just aren’t? When you’re stuck in an overwhelming fog that just won’t seem to clear, what is the answer?
Honestly, I don’t really know.
My guess? I think you treat the fog as you would any other fog you come across. You take care as you navigate your way through it. You don’t take any drastic risks while the fog surrounds you. And you keep searching for help as you wait for it to lift.
This post may not be the most helpful or uplifting thoughts on depression you’ve read, but it’s real and comes from a place others may relate to. Comment below with what you do when the fog just won’t seem to clear. I would love some advice!