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Spring Renewal

I’m going through a phase of renewed interests.  I’m getting excited about sewing, gardening, reading, writing, volunteering, cycling, and generally “doing”.  This often happens to me this time of year – the weather is finally becoming hospitable, and I get to see sunlight more than just on my way to the water cooler at work.  Most years I can keep it going for a few weeks, and then collapse into bad habits and apathy when I cycle back to a depressive state or hit a bad sleep phase, or some combination of the two.

Depression sucks.  I am fortunate that mine is mild – I tend to run towards extreme apathy, moderate irritability, and antisociability.  It’s tolerable, but not fun – for me or for those I live with.  A year or so ago I got tired of tolerating it.  I was tired of being tired and grumpy, and I missed caring about things.  For years I’d fantasized late in bed at night on how to start the conversation with my spouse, but never pulled together the strength to say anything when he was awake.  What finally made me say something was, of all things, a comic strip (linked below).  It explained things in a way that I couldn’t, so I send C the link and had him read it.  That led to a really good conversation about the cyclic nature of it, and how the irrational fear of judgment against depression had been an influence in my suppressing the need to get help.  A few weeks later I made it to the doctor to discuss it.  I started medication fairly quickly after that, and it had a big effect.  I suddenly felt things other than irritation.  I wouldn’t say I became “happy” necessarily, but I was feeling something, which was a big improvement.

The major drawback to the medication I take is that it has really screwed with my sleep cycle.  That’s not new – I’ve struggled with insomnia since at least primary school – but I find it painfully amusing that the best sleep of my life has also been during my worst depression.

So what’s different about this year’s spark of interest?  Noting as far as I can tell.  My kids are a little older and my job is a little closer to home, but I remain on someone else’s clock 15 hours a day.  I’m hoping to do better, of course, but I’m trying to stay realistic this time.  And I’m going to try to keep things up here as well, but make no promises.  It’ll probably be the first thing to go.


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