There are times when I become a little absent. I’m sure it’s not blaringly obvious, but it’s true. I’m not on Twitter all that much. I become very lax at commenting on blogs. I put off emails for another day. My Facebook page begins to grow cobwebs. And maybe, I blow NaBloPoMo as early as Day 8. In a nutshell, I’m scarce.
Sometimes this happens because I’m busy with off-line things. Sometimes I simply need a little computer break. But more often than not, the reason is The Other Big D. I’m feeling Depressed.
I’ve never been officially diagnosed with depression, but the signs are all there. It comes intermittently, but it always hits in the fall when the days begin to get shorter. I lose my focus and my energy. I can’t seem to get myself dressed and functioning until late afternoon. I spend hours on the computer, wasting time on silly games. I feel very unhappy with my life, and I’m sure nothing can be done to fix it. I feel fortunate that it’s never gotten so bad that I’ve contemplated hurting myself - but I have entertained fantasies of just *poof* disappearing. And in those moments, I’m sure I wouldn’t be missed.
And then, I start to feel guilty. I know I have a good life. No, not a perfect life, but nobody has a perfect life. But I have a very good life. I have a husband who loves me - and I see the pain in his eyes when he asks “What can we do to help you?” and I say “Nothing.”. I’ve got a nice home and a family who loves me. I have friends - even when I feel like nobody would miss me, I know I have friends who would. I have a lot going for me. So I shouldn’t feel depressed, right? I’ve got a lot of nerve to be moping around. And being depressed becomes just one more way I have failed, which then makes me feel even more depressed.
Mixing depression with diabetes makes things harder too. How do you work up the energy to cook healthy meals, count your carbs, exercise and check your blood sugar a dozen times a day when you can’t even work up the energy to brush your teeth? Yesterday afternoon when Pete asked how my blood sugar has been, I simply replied “I don’t know”, because I hadn’t tested since 6 a.m. And my sensor ran out but I didn’t bother to restart it. And I had been randomly bolusing and grabbing junk food all afternoon. That’s no way to take care of yourself. It’s no way for a Health Advocate and Diabetes Blogger to set an example. It’s another way to fail, which is again depressing.
Depression. It’s a hard thing to write about. It’s a hard thing to talk about. It’s a hard thing to admit to. At least, for me it is. Often I try very hard to participate just enough in the D-OC so no one would ever guess how I'm really feeling. Why is that? Being depressed is nothing to feel ashamed of, and yet, I do. But recent posts by Elizabeth and Rachel gave me the courage to write this. Because I have a suspicion depression runs deeper in our community than we really know. And I think it’s okay, and even good, to talk about it more. Writing this post was scarier than I can ever convey. But in a weird way, it also makes me feel like I may have turned the corner with this particular bout of depression.