Winter’s End

Hold on...
You know how you get used to not talking about something and then it becomes really hard to start? That’s how I’m feeling right now. I’m just going to jump in: I’ve been struggling.
The last year has been a difficult one for me. Sometimes I have felt just so sad.
When I was young, I remember my mom going through bouts of depression. She’d spend days in bed, unable to function at more than a basic level, crying at the drop of a hat.
I haven’t behaved that way. I have kept it all together by playing a frantic sort of Whack-a-Mole with my life. Up pops a need and I whack it back down.
Boom. Done. Who’s next?
Still, I felt overwhelmed, stressed, anxious. I’d find myself doing normal things like walking to the garage to do laundry or driving to the store, but needing to take deep breaths to calm my racing heart. I’d stay up late so I could be alone, just so I didn’t have to keep up the facade of “being ok” all the time, even with my own family.
My experience looked so different than my mom’s, I didn’t think of it as in the same way. I called it stress, but I can see now that I have been depressed. It has mainly been situational, but it’s possible that it is chemical as well. Based on my family history, I certainly have a genetic predisposition to it.
The last few weeks, I’ve begun to feel the darkness begin to lift. I have more hope, more energy. I have also received a greater awareness of just how terrible I had been feeling. I’ve been able to see that I feel worse when I haven’t slept enough or eaten well. I feel better when I give myself time to nurture my faith and when I exercise. I have determined that I need to do some things just for me. I joined a book club, not for self improvement or education, just for fun. I have tentatively resumed a writing project that has languished for a very long time. It feels good.
I’m giving myself permission to stop playing Wack-a-Mole. For this space, that may mean that I miss a day of posting here or there, if I feel the need.
This is a hard thing to talk about, which is exactly why I am doing it.
Outside my window I can see the first snow of the season, but inside it feels like spring is finally on the way.
I’m going to be okay.
winter's end

12 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing about such a difficult topic. Whack-a-Mole is a familiar feeling as is the darkness that depression can bring. I’m so glad to hear you are feeling better and that spring is on its way.

    Reply
  2. Heidi, you are about the 5th person in a week who has talked about various depression symptoms. I think those who are prone to it are facing it quite a bit at this time of year. Even here in CA, where the sun shines and it’s warm, I have heard people talking about spring coming, looking forward to when it is warm-ER, sunni-ER. I am not sure that I have been depressed but I am stressed, overwhelmed and SO living via Whack-a-Mole!! I want to let it all go and let the chips fall as they may but I just can’t, I have too many commitments to others.
    Spring will arrive. For everyone :)

    Reply
  3. *HUGS* I think you’re awesome. Can’t wait to see some more of that writing project. :)

    Reply
  4. Let me just say…..I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. We should talk. Like for reals.

    Reply
  5. Thank you for having the courage to talk about this. I know I find myself struggling with depression and I keep telling myself to just “Cowboy Up.” It’s usually not that easy though. I’m glad you are feeling better!

    Reply
  6. Your friend Annie sent me over here. She says we’d get along, and let me tell you, after reading this post, I’m pretty sure we would. I suffer from depression. I’ve suffered from it my entire life, and I take medication for it. Nothing strong, but it helps. I’ve been off and on it enough to know it helps. I feel your pain and know the darkness you’re going through. I pray you find what works for you to keep lifting what gets you down. I look forward to your future posts. :)

    Reply
  7. Heidi, know that there are those of us here who are always ready to listen. (Hugs)

    Reply
  8. I am glad that you are starting to feel better. I’m sorry that you too have been blessed with the family curse. I love you so much. Hang in there, you have always been so strong. just remember above the dark clouds there is sunshine. Love Mom

    Reply
  9. thank you for sharing this. i really relate to what you shared.

    Reply
  10. As everyone else said, thanks for sharing. As women (especially those of us who are mothers) I think most of us feel guilty for feeling this way and try to keep it a secret. I have suffered from the same feeling as long as I can remember- probably since puberty. It’s worst in winter. But since having kids I have worked harder to correct it not mentally but phisiologically, but trying to discover the reason it happens and circumventing it. I think there are a lot of reasons women feel this way, which makes it harder to treat, but here are the things that I have done that have made a difference for me. 1) More vitamin D. D3, specifically. I’ve been taking 6000 IU a day… but don’t take that high of a dose without getting your levels tested first. 2) Limiting (and at times eliminating) sugar and grain. 3) More fat (but you know that…). 3.5) (I’m still trying this one out…) I’ve cut out coffee during the week. Other things I’ve heard of women doing that have helped- iodine supplementation (this one is pretty complex- read up on it), amino acids, and various treatments for adrenal fatigue (I read a lot of online health info and forums…). Plus the things you mention… exercise, personal and spiritual time, etc. You are not alone, though! I feel like I’ve made progress, but I still swing pretty heavily between high energy and depressed/don’t want to do anything but lay on the couch.

    Reply
  11. As everyone else said, thanks for sharing. As women (especially those of us who are mothers) I think most of us feel guilty for feeling this way and try to keep it a secret. I have suffered from the same feeling as long as I can remember- probably since puberty. It’s worst in winter. But since having kids I have worked harder to correct it not mentally but phisiologically, but trying to discover the reason it happens and circumventing it. I think there are a lot of reasons women feel this way, which makes it harder to treat, but here are the things that I have done that have made a difference for me. 1) More vitamin D. D3, specifically. I’ve been taking 6000 IU a day… but don’t take that high of a dose without getting your levels tested first. 2) Limiting (and at times eliminating) sugar and grain. 3) More fat (but you know that…). 3.5) (I’m still trying this one out…) I’ve cut out coffee during the week. Other things I’ve heard of women doing that have helped- iodine supplementation (this one is pretty complex- read up on it), amino acids, and various treatments for adrenal fatigue (I read a lot of online health info and forums…). Plus the things you mention… exercise, personal and spiritual time, etc. You are not alone, though! I feel like I’ve made progress, but I still swing pretty heavily between high energy and depressed/don’t want to do anything but lay on the couch.

    Reply
  12. Hey I have anxiety/depression too. You literally feel like a different person when it hits. Just remember you will get through it, and you can rely on your family because they are the ones that matter. I love your blog!!

    Reply

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