The downs and ups are more frequent now, rather than just weeks of down and a few glimmers of sunshine. How do you know when you’re going to have a difficult day? What are the signs? Here are some of mine:
- I feel like a zombie.
- I don’t want to see or talk to other people.
- I don’t want to move.
- I don’t want to be in sunlight.
- I want to curl up into a ball and just make the world go away.
- I want to buy things to make me feel better. (they don’t, or at least not for very long)
- It seems like the world is moving in slow motion, or at least like I am in relation to the world.
- I find that I really don’t care about anyone or anything. It is very difficult for me even to be civil to my family, far less a loving husband and father (and pastor).
- I can’t see past the day. The future (which is always bright in Christ Jesus our Lord), fades away to nothing, so that all I can see is the darkness ahead.
It’s not a pretty picture, I know. I think most people suffering from depression and/or anxiety have these feelings and desires (or others) with them most of the time. They are, uh, manageable when it is one or two. But when it is most of them or all of them, that’s when it becomes very difficult, even painful.
What do you do? Here are a few tips, and it really depends on where you are in your medical journey, among other things:
- Wait it out. Even in the midst of the darkness now, because the light is more frequent, I can cling to that candle and hope and pray that tomorrow will be better. Maybe even this afternoon. If the episodes are hours at a time or a day or an evening, that is much more tolerable.
- Talk to you counselor. Email them. Whatever you do. (Have I mentioned getting a counselor is a very good idea? IT IS!) They want to help you. Let them.
- Call your pastor (or friend, or whomever) and ask him to pray for you, and may be ask him to suggest a few psalms or prayers that you may benefit from.
- If it lasts more than a day, if this is droning on and on and on, go to your doctor. Don’t wait. Don’t play around. Do it. It may be a question of medication, or the “cocktail” you’re taking. If it isn’t working, try something else.
- Embrace it in a way that isn’t self-destructive or will contribute to your further downfall. Watch movies. Go outside if you can. Indulge in some chocolate (but be easy on the caffeine). Give yourself permission to kick back and not beat yourself up. You can’t control the neurotransmitters in your brain.
Write down what the signs are and give them to others who need help.
Those are a few thoughts for the day. What have I missed?