Maintaining Balance

Lady in the sea

The thing about living with depression, or having had depression, is that it’s always in the back of your mind that it will get worse or that it will return.

I’ve had a rough few weeks. I’m tired and I’m run down. I feel low. At the moment it’s not a relapse, as I know exactly what’s getting me down, I don’t want to sleep all of the time, I can eat, I haven’t pushed every man and his dog away, and I can still genuinely laugh (and I’m not a total bitch to live with). But the thought is there. The what if…what if this is the beginning, again. What if something else happens and I lose control. I know – I’ve been there a few times. I remember what it was like. It scares me.

It IS different this time, as I do now know and recognise the signs. I have an awareness of my triggers, and I know what coping mechanisms help for me. I am also already on anti-depressants – so my blessed brain already has some added assistance to help keep balanced. It’s like my security blanket. The thought of staying on these bloody pills forever is a daunting thought, but it’s one I can live with. It’s like people with diabetes – in order to maintain their blood sugar levels they need insulin. For those with high blood pressure, they need tablets (and a healthy diet). For people with depression, some of us need a daily pill – accompanied by exercise, fresh air, relaxation, good food, and a whole lot of laughter.

The other notable difference is that I’m still writing. During all of the other times, I couldn’t. For years I had lost the ability to create, to string words together, to do what I love…and there is no way in hell that I’m letting it go now that I’ve found it again!

23 thoughts on “Maintaining Balance

  1. If Blogger ever gets back on line, the post I prepared for today at least touches on this issue – especially in its final few paragraphs.

    Maintain your proactive approach. It will serve you well.

  2. Janine, I am so glad you are still writing and that you know yourself well to know the difference in your mood.

    I could identify so much with what you are sharing. This week too I have been like you. I think too, oh oh is this a slip back? Once we have been there its certainly a place we dont want to revisit too often. Its almost as if we get ‘super vigilant’ when really everyone has mood fluctuations.

    For me, its all about life balance and quality of life. For some reason I have more problems accepting taking an antidepressant than I do taking a pill for arthritis…the stigma persists in my mind!

    Enjoy your wonderful weekend. I am giving myself a gift this weekend, a whole day away from the computer!!!

    • It is nice to know that someone else knows how I feel Maureen.

      You are correct that the stigma does persist – deep down it is there in myself as well. The daily pill thing is something even more prevalent in my mind now that I’m thinking about the whole child thing – to have or not to have, and then the thought of coming off the meds and having to live with my hormones, mind, etc plus the possible depression after child birth. And then subjecting a child to my genes. Sigh.

      One day at a time.

  3. I am going through a terrible time myself, though I haven’t thought about how to better the whole situation right now I still have so much belief in the power of family and friends. I am still so in love with the amount of courage and strength your writing reflects. The thought that you have so much power to overcome those feelings is such an achievement in itself.

  4. Janine, Keep writing. It’s the best anti-depressant in the world. But I know where you’re at having been there myself, and it’s a bitch to get out of, even with anti-depressants. (My great day came when I went away and forgot my pills. I realized I didn’t need them and since then, I’ve been down, on the verge of depression several times, but have never need pills again – and that was 35 years ago.) So things do get better. But a bad job can take it out of you, and from the sounds of your blog posts, this one has been doing that.

    Just when does a job stop being a challenge and start being a downer?

  5. Good for you. Sometimes we just need an outlet and you have people here that want to encourage you. You are so incredibly brave to put it all out on front street. I commend you and I know that this will all work its way out in time. Hang in there and keep writing.

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