Don't Feed the Monster

How to Overcome DepressionImage by kevindooley via Flickr
If I turn green and line-y, someone get me some better drugs, stat.
Late last night we got back from visiting my family in Nevada for about 10 days.  More about that in other posts.
Part of the trip was just to visit family I haven't seen in years.  Another part of it was to see my Nana, who has esophageal cancer.  She has chosen, with the approval of her doctors, to forgo treatment and so it is just a matter of time before she'll leave us.  It was wonderful to see her.  Her hearing and eyesight are not so wonderful and she tires more easily, but otherwise I think she's doing fairly well, all things considered.
Unfortunately, we didn't take the opportunity for a side trip to visit one of my uncles.  He was admitted to the hospital the day after we went back to Las Vegas from Reno.  He's in his 80s, his heart is apparently working at only 30% capacity.  I haven't seen him or my aunt since I was married 7 years ago.  My aunt has lost her hearing in the past few years, so communication is a bit challenging.
I had to watch my dad try to make the agonizing decision of whether to try to drive up there (and dad is disabled from arthritis in knees, hip, and back) to see his only remaining brother and possibly only contribute to the fuss and stress or wait and possibly not have a chance to say goodbye.  Fortunately, my uncle seems to be doing a bit better and dad managed to talk to him briefly on the phone - he's mostly just tired and wants to rest.
Last night, from the time we got off the plane in Chicago and all the way home I was fighting back tears.    I'm not entirely sure why - there are the obvious reasons, of course, but I don't usually do that sort of thing.  I sobbed for quite a while when we finally got home.  I've been doing the same thing on and off all day today.
I hate it.
I'm terrified it's the depression monster making a return.  I've had only a few brief episodes of non-situational depression in the past 2 years - they were fairly minor and passed quickly.
This is awful.  I can't point to a reason why I'm crying, I can't really point to a cluster of reasons.  It was hard to come back to Chicago and the rigamarole of PT and therapy and doctors and work and bad weather and being shut in.
But mostly I'm just unspeakably, inexplicably sad and fragile and convinced everyone is upset or angry at me or about me and flitting about the edges, taunting me is that faint thread of "it would be easier if I were gone."  It's not constant, it's not a plan, it is not yet to the emergency stage (and I give you all my word that we can judge when it does become an emergency and what to do and steps will be taken), but it is awful.  It's not *me,* dammit.
I sway back and forth between wanting to talk and be with people and wanting the world to go away.  I don't want for people to see me like this.  And it's nearly impossible for me to really communicate sometimes when the monster is here.  And I get so over-sensitive that it sometimes feels like everything anyone says is hurtful or angry or exasperated.
And then I have a few minutes of normal.
And then I'm overwhelmed again and even deciding to get up and have water is an agonizing decision.
And what else to do is a difficult or impossible to decide - what do I do to starve the monster instead of feeding it?
If I go and rest and try to sleep and cancel PT tomorrow to give myself another day to simply *be* at home is that good or is it chunking a juicy steak right at that bastard?
Should I keep aimlessly surfing the web or pick up a book or watch TV?  And if I can't keep focused on any of those will it feed the monster more?
Should I force myself to do things or take a bit of rest?  Is resting feeding the damn thing?  Can I trust my natural inclinations or fight against them?
Am I just overwhelmed from travel and grief and pushing harder than usual and trying to hide symptoms and residual thyroid ick?  Or is the monster coming to stay for a while?
Depression 1Image via Wikipedia
Wut?  Does that mean that anxiety makes me sneeze?
I'm hoping I'll feel better soon.  I'd rather not make this blog into Emo Central.
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historicstitcher said...

I don't have nearly as much on my plate as you do, but it's pretty full. And I'm feeling a lot of similar feelings lately - I've had to explain at work (too many times!) that my physiological response to stress is that I leak. I cry. I'm mentally fine (I think), but my body is crying and I can't make it stop.

I truly believe that a huge contributor to these feelings this time of year are the shortening of the days in the upper Midwest and the gloom and storms we've had recently. Make sure you're using your lamp!

And if you figure out a better way to deal with it, let me know. I have two kids at home who are getting pretty tired of Cranky Momma ruling the roost.

(p.s. my validation word is "fornal"...is that some sort of formal fornication???

Shoveling Ferret said...

I do believe I shall now refer to prom as "fornal"