Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reaching out

This is a difficult post for me to write, because I know so many people have worse problems going on than I do. But I'm writing it because I don't know what else to do.

I'm depressed, no matter what I do. I've been hospitalized twice and spent three months in a therapeutic day program. I go to weekly therapy, read good self-help books and take my medication faithfully. I won't hurt myself - I can't do that to the people I love - but I don't wake up with any sense that there's anything good to get out of bed for. I'm fine at work but I come home and I want to cry. I can see that people don't like or respect me and I know that it's because I don't like or respect myself. But I have no idea how to do that. I've been trying so hard.

I'm not writing this just to whine, but I'm a little bit desperate for some kind of help. Maybe someone out there will have the right words or know the right book or the right resource to help me. Maybe nothing can help me, I don't know. But I can't give up until I've tried everything and this is the last thing I know to try. Someone help me if you can. Please.


Heart Rockin Mama said...


I so wish I knew the words to say to let you know how much I am glad you are here. If I could take your depression away, I would. I am so sorry, Elisha, that things are so hard.


Flo said...

I may not have good books or resources and I may not help with this comment. I want you to know that without ever having met you, I like and respect you. I bet if I met you, I'd love you. You have courage I don't. You've made decisions I know nothing about making and can't imagine committing to. You're stronger than you feel and I know you can find a way to like yourself and build the life you want. One day at a time, no matter how long it may take. I believe in you. Feel free to message me anytime, Elisha.

On another note, I don't know what meds you are on but I know the herbal Sam-E is really great for depression. Maybe that's a lead in another direction?

Annette said...

Your pain is real. Whether other people have worse problems or not, it doesn't matter -- your pain is real. And you deserve to be happy! Even though you're already doing meds and therapy, I would say speak to your doctor and insist on exploring some new strategies. In addition, maybe you could see a naturopath and/or acupuncturist? I wish I had easy answers, dear, I really do. I've battled depression, too. I'm here if you need to vent, okay?

Elizabeth said...

I've never commented before, but I've read your blog for a while and I also have depression. It sounds like you're doing so much right, and I'm sorry that things aren't better for you right now.

I'm not sure how long it's been since your last hospitalization or medication change, but if it's been, say, a few months and you are still feeling so very down on a daily basis, I think you should have a serious talk with your therapist. Is he or she a helpful therapist for you? Should you see him or her more often? Are there other people who could provide support in a way that's not happening right now (support groups, friends, etc.)? Should you adjust your medication? Are there other things in your life that are complicating your recovery and that you could deal with in another way than you are doing right now (for instance, I don't know if you're still feeling a lot of grief about your mother's death)? (Those would be things to discuss with your therapist or someone else you trust, not to think about on your own. Trying to make decisions alone when depressed can be even more depressing.)

In my experience, depression is something that always comes back, but it is also something that always goes away (for a while). If you have ANY non-depressed days (or even non-depressed hours), remember that feeling and try to remind yourself that it will come back eventually.

I tend to be pretty functional (i.e., able to get out of bed and do my "normal" activities, even if I feel like hell), but on "bad" days I try to think as little as possible and focus on action. I have a card I carry in my wallet with a list of questions like, "have you showered? Have you eaten enough? Can you spend time with a friend?" Even if doing the things on that list doesn't make me feel better (and sometimes it doesn't), at least I can be proud of taking care of myself today.

When I feel a lack of purpose because of depression (feeling like there's nothing to get up for), I focus on just doing things, usually from my to do list. On days like that, I try not to think about the purpose of doing those things, I just do them. I do the easy things first. I clean out my email as much as I can handle. I clean my house as much as I can handle. I do tasks for my job even if I don't see the point in them. Often I get some sense of accomplishment or satisfaction from accomplishing things from my list, but even if I don't it passes the time, gives me something to do besides just feeling depressed, and I have less on my mind for tomorrow.

Exercise really is good for depression, too. Whatever you can handle--short walks, whatever.

I read this book recently and liked it. It has a bit of a tone of "just try harder" but I found some of the suggestions really useful:

Good luck! I don't know you at all but I'm rooting for you.

Nikki said...

Hello there. I don't think I have any useful advice, but I wanted you to know that you're not alone. I'm in the same boat right now. Which might not help, because you don't even know me. I found your blog through the ZTC website. I admire you a lot for doing the ZTC thing, especially struggling with depression which can make internal motivation extremely difficult. I've been interested in unschooling for awhile but have so much trouble with unstructured time, as do a lot of people. Without knowing you, I know you have a lot of strength for living this lifestyle and also for being so honest and articulate here. I wish you the best.