Coping

by Decemberbaby

I’m typing this outdoors on a beautiful, warm, sunny day. The sky is perfectly blue. There’s a breeze. My children are affectionate and adorable. And I’m numb to it all.

Oh, sure, I appreciate it intellectually. I’m impressed that spring is here. But all I can summon in response to anything right now is “meh.” And isn’t that just the best description of depression? Everything is just “meh.”

I don’t know what exactly has exacerbated my depression, but something has, and it’s cast a vague dullness over everything. At the same time, the smallest annoyances overwhelm me. I’m fully aware of my symptoms, and equally aware of how out of proportion my responses are, but trying to stop it is rather like trying to plug a leaking dike with your finger.

And so here I am, engaging all of my coping mechanisms. I forced myself to bike the children to school this morning because I know that the fresh air and exercise does me good. I didn’t feel up to being alone with R (I’m not sure what I feared more – that I might fall asleep, or that I might stare off into space and hurt her feelings with my indifference,) so we went for some visits: first with my Mum, and then with my elderly great-aunt and great-uncle. It wasn’t the magic cure that people seem to think; visiting and helping someone who is in worse shape than you doesn’t necessarily make depression go away. But it used up some time, and it forced me to interact with people, and R had some interaction with someone other than me, so I suppose it was a good thing.

Back at home, I decided to do a project that seemed simple enough – laminate some pictures onto hardboard using some Mod Podge. For whatever reason it didn’t work as expected, and I just gave up and… wandered away, really. It’s a common problem when my depression is bad. How common, you ask? Well, I washed my paintbrush, left the hardboard and pictures where they were, and went to the bathroom… where the floor was littered with the remnants of yesterday’s decluttering project. At times like this I’m tempted to call myself names and decry my lack of focus and productivity. Happily, I’m self-aware enough now to remind myself that it’s a symptom of a disease, not evidence that I’m a worthless layabout.

And so entered the next coping mechanism. I sat down, determined to write out a plan for a simple DIY project and email it to Mr. December. The whole thing should have taken me 20 minutes. An hour later, I finally finished and sent it off. At least I accomplished something today.

What else have I done to cope? Hmm. I overcompensated for today’s indifferent parenting by pulling over behind an ice cream truck and treating K to an ice cream. I’m not sure if that’s a healthy coping mechanism or not, but at least now she’ll remember today as “the day mummy bought me ice cream from the ice cream truck” instead of “the day mummy yelled at me to get myself dressed because she couldn’t cope with my shenanigans.”

And I’ve forced myself to sit down and write this blog post even though I’d rather just not. At least I can get to the end of the day and list a couple of things that I’ve done from beginning to end.

I’ll wrap up the night (after the kids’ bedtime, which is truly painful when I’m like this) with a cup of decaf tea and a crossword, take an ativan and hope that a long night’s sleep will lead to a better day tomorrow. In the meantime, meh.

2 Comments to “Coping”

  1. Oy! Feel good – big hugs are medicinal; wish I gave good ones.
    I’ve never pulled up behind an ice-cream truck, but did have plenty of mornings and evenings when I just didn’t speak to the kids. I would do everything normally: loving, caring, hugging, kissing, washing, brushing and taking care of them… but I knew if I opened my mouth, something I regretted would come out, so I just shut myself the heck up. They must have thought it was weird, but ditto – never remembered it as, “that day Mommy screamed and pushed me down the stairs.” (that was another day, and it was mostly an accident, but yes, she will remember it forever)

  2. Hey there,
    I have those days sometimes too. They really don’t feel good. I hibernate till they are over. I hear you about forcing self to just keep going. I also am really impressed that you have a mantra that it is not you it is the disease, that takes some of the guilt, self doubt and beating self up out of the picture.

    You mentioned you are on anti depressants and you are not sure even with the spring weather what triggered it, it could mean that it is time for a different one. That is the way they work, they work for a time and then the body gets used to it and you need to up your therapeutic dose or change. I also know some people who go off them for summer.

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