Depression is probably the most evil thing to come with chronic pain, but for many of us depression is something we were fighting long before the chronic pain took hold. I had a few bouts with depression before the chronic pain began, but mostly it was anxiety that I had issues with. Depression showed up occasionally, but it wasn’t the type of thing that I couldn’t beat. Until chronic pain that is, then the truth of something I hear all to often became known. Chronic pain is depressing. It’s depressing to watch your life slip away, to be unable to enjoy all the things you used to do. You mourn the life you are losing, the life you lost, and it can be hard to climb out of that hole. I saw this fairly recent from post from Fibro Fortitude on the topic of depression and how it’s something we don’t talk about nearly enough…
“The real problems start when we stop talking. When we close up, and let that depression just fester inside of us, that is when things get dangerous.” – The Darkness
For some reason I often feel the cloud of depression descend upon me around this time of year. I don’t know if it’s just missing the kind of Christmas I remember as a kid, and the joy that went with it, my birthday (definitely part of it), or just some of the other junk memories that tend to come up this time of year. Whatever the cause, I felt it coming over the last couple of weeks. Initially, I allowed it, but I tried to be open about it. I didn’t want to close people off and just wallow in my mental pain. I tried to let people know, but people knowing isn’t the same as them understanding the pain you are in. Most of those who love me have not dealt with this type of mental pain, so they have no idea what to do, or where to begin understanding. Luckily, I do have one very good friend who totally understands. So, I started by sending him a message. Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with my friends when this was descending because of school taking over my week. The sad part is I have no idea why I let finals take over so much of my time, when a) the grade on my final had pretty much no impact on my overall grade, b) why was I even so hung up on getting an A in this class (I know why, because I was so close before I bombed those two tests). Anyway, I did my best to let my hubby know where I was at mentally, but it’s really hard for him to understand. I just needed some space initially, but mostly just needed someone to understand. So, I posted on Facebook. I try to do my best to stay positive publicly, but the reality is that we all face these things, we all fall in the hole from time to time. The key is to reach out when it happens, and help each other. That’s exactly what I found when I reached out on my Facebook page, help. I was overwhelmed with the support that I received, the comments , the private messages. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of them. Just knowing that someone else out there GOT it.
Wednesday afternoon I came home and jumped in the bathtub very early, then climbed in bed and watched about 3 hours worth of “Don’t Trust the B* in Apt 23″. It made me laugh as only something so totally twisted can do, and laughter really is the best medicine. I woke up the next morning feeling much better. I’m still not at my usual holiday happy place, and I won’t be this year. I’ve resigned to do my best to ignore Christmas this year. We have put up no decorations, even the hall chicken is still naked (and will stay that way). I’ve no interest in hearing Christmas music even (which is very strange for me).
But, I’m here and I’m not in as dark a place as I could be. So, if you are feeling it, too, I totally understand. Don’t let anyone tell you you are wrong to feel depression, you shouldn’t feel guilty for it, it’s normal given what you are going through. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight it, we can fight it together. I’m here for you, just as so many of you have been here for me. Let’s talk about it, and get the depression out of the dark, and into the light.