Woe Is Me

Having recently emerged from a bout of post-surgery depression, I thought I would try to explain what it feels like.  It’s important to remember that not everyone has the same symptoms, so with that said, here’s my experience:

First of all, when I am depressed, I don’t appreciate HATE to be told what the cause is and what I need to do to alleviate the problem.  In all honesty, in the midst of my dispondency, I completely believe I have every right to not only own my bleak, despairing, and pessimistic feelings, but I am justified in having them in the first place.

The world is in chaos, morals are disintegrating, people are unemployed and hungry, common sense seems to be a thing of the past, the foods we eat are killing us, and it just gets harder and harder to see the good in all the bad.  The weight of this is excruciatingly difficult to bear and, worse yet,  I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s  a lonely, miserable place to be and yet, I don’t appreciate being “saved.”

“You just need to get up.  Get outside.  Make an effort. Appreciate what you have.”  Though well-intentional, these comments are all so very poorly received.  Most often they just make me irritable and angry. Truth is, I don’t see the value in “covering” up the reality of the situation.  It is what it is, and it’s depressing!

Girl sitting on floor with knees pulled to chest, arms wrapped around me and head down and hidden.

Having been there, I can attest to the way depression completely and utterly takes over your mind.  Small things can bring you to tears and you can literally wallow in your sadness.  If you express it aloud, it can often times seem trivial and silly even to you, and yet at the same time, overpowering and unbearable.  Having someone who listens without judgement, I find is helpful.  In doing so, they are validating my feelings as real and it allows me to move ahead.

The good news is that once I rise out of this dark funk, though I still am painfully aware of the state of our world and the sorrows that surrounds me,  I can also see acts of kindness, the beauty of nature, the love of family and friends, and the humor in everyday situations.  The difference in clarity of thought is so dramatic.  I am once again in the “land of the living.”

Despite what some may think, depression isn’t a weakness.  It isn’t resolved by “getting up and out there,” or just by “snapping out of it.”  It’s a medical condition.  An estimated 19 million Americans are living with major depression.  Twenty to twenty-five percent of the population will experience at least one major period of depression in their lifetime.  Suffice to say, awareness is important.  Google it, learn the signs.  We all get depressed or sad at times but if it lasts longer than 2 weeks or keeps you from enjoying what you used to do, good chance you may be suffering from depression.  There are natural and herbal remedies, as well as medications available to help in the treatment.  Don’t always count on “luck,” for left untreated depression can lead to suicide.

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About dbdaze

Currently spending much of my time contemplating the remainder of my life ... realizing the importance of dreams that are fulfilled, support of those closest to you, and the value in downsizing and living with less.
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11 Responses to Woe Is Me

  1. Judith says:

    Hi Debbie. When I was going through my ‘slough of despair’ after my husband died, the friends who just sat with me were the most helpful. I didn’t need anybody to tell me ‘he was in a better place’ or you’ll get over it’. So I can empathize with how you feel when somebody suggests you snap out of it. Just having your supportive family and special friends around you will help you get through the depression.
    Yes there is a lot of chaos and trouble all over the world and we worry that there is nothing we can do about that. But small break throughs do happen (and even large ones if we consider the situation in Ireland).
    That’s if for now wearing my Life Coach hat – and wearing my friendship hat I am sending you kind wishes from the other side of the world.

    • dbdaze says:

      I always enjoy your take on my writings — whether you agree or disagree! It takes a certain risk in sharing those deep dark places that exist inside us and I always just take a deep breath and wonder, before pushing that “publish” button.
      You have been able to go through some rough times and come out with a very positive attitude. I admire you. I’m not quite there yet but perhaps in time. My writings tend to come out of a need to share the good, bad, and ugly parts — for way too long, I was one of the masses who pretended that EVERYTHING in my life was GOOD, EVERY DAY, ALL DAY. I no longer think that is healthy. I think we help each other a whole lot more by being honest and sharing the difficult, challenging and even ugly parts. As much as I dream of becoming another Mother Teresa, I think I may run out of time. 🙂

  2. sandy Austin says:

    Thank for your thoughts Debbie. It is an important reminder about what those around you can think about and do to support those who are suffering from depression, regardless if it is a bout, situational, or chronic. No more words from me like, “get up and get going” Your writing, thinking is making an impact.

    • dbdaze says:

      Sandy, the first experience I had with depression was when Mariah returned home after spending 6 weeks in Kenya. I remember saying to her, “What do you mean, you can’t get out of bed? Of course, you can get out of bed!” I had no idea!!! Sorry, Mariah. 😦

  3. Hi Debbie
    I’ve been following your progress and think of you often.
    Hugs and prayers.
    Maggie

  4. Bruce says:

    Depression, like so many illness’s, is highly infectious. When the ones who care for you are encouraging you to “get up and get out there”…or just “snap out of it”, they are saying that not only for your benefit but for those who are around you. A normally lively, pleasant family can be caught up and consumed in the pallor that surrounds depression. But, just as one person can drag an entire family unit down, it only takes one with an ever-present, upbeat, optimistic outlook to turn it all around. I guess, in this case, that would have been the dogs and cat. They definitely create a “healing environment”…and for that, I am truly grateful.

    • dbdaze says:

      I agree with you — animals can have a profound effect on a person’s physical and mental state. Animals are just present, they neither judge nor force a person to move beyond their present state. They are truly faithful companions, through thick and thin.

      • angelatucker says:

        Animals really are amazing. I have an Autistic client who interacts with animals in an incredible way. Every time I watch them interact I am dumbfounded by the way that they both seem to completely understand each other! They really communicate. It’s refreshing in a world where no one seems to really get each other, and no one really knows who they are themselves.

      • dbdaze says:

        It’s weird isn’t it, Angela! I’ve seen it with Larry too. I just stand it awe.

  5. Barbara Snow says:

    Thanks for sharing Debbie…..depression comes in many ways and not everyone realizes it as such……..and for the folks that are out there trying to help……it is sometimes a natural reaction when they see someone that they care about down and out…….and often their “wisdom” comes out of fear because they really don’t know how to help. It is certainly a catch 22 issue, but one that needs to be out in the forefront these days as as the world becomes more bleak……. more people can not see that bright light at the end of the tunnel. I am glad that you shared this with everyone as it might make it easier for them to understand the situation if they have never experienced it themselves. Have a good day…….and I see one small patch of blue in the sky this morning…….I hope it lasts for awhile!

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