Blog #98 Dem Blues Ain’t Gonna Take Me Down

Posted on : 27-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Man oh Man, there is nothing quite like going into that slump of the slumpiness called da blues or as clinicians would diagnose it: depression. Let’s just go ahead and get that big ole wrinkly grey elephant right into the middle of the room and talk about him, shall we?

I definitely know that I am a an uber sensitive soul. I think we all may be but some of us have more of the kind of natural chemicals coursing through our systems that helps keep the wild beasties in our head at bay. You know when you do if you wouldn’t think twice about jumping off of a tall bridge with a bungee chord. I don’t know if there have been any correlating studies done on that, but suffice it to say my hands sweat at just the thought of it. I’m pretty sure that when I came into the world my genetic make-up did not have the extra cylinder of said chemical. Then to top it off I mucked up the chemicals that I already had with man-made and nature-made concoctions plus have weathered losing all of one organ and partials of two others. Given all of that, the way I am naturally made, my environment and missing pieces and I think I have a recipe coursing through my brain for depression.

This latest bout took me by surprise. It always does. I always forget how bad it feels to slip into a depression and then it’s real convincing that I’ve always felt this way and I’m always going to feel this way. Mind you, I’m someone that has done all kinds of bellybutton spelunking, haven’t had a drink in almost 20 years, don’t smoke, don’t even have caffeine. I meditate at least 30 minutes a day and have a really strong support system of people I can reach out to when I get this way. I’m grateful for all of that.

It’s still hard, though, to admit when I need to take the medication that helps me not sink to the depths that I know my depression can take me. There’s still a lot of judgment and ignorance out there about mental illness period, much less about depression. There’s also the issue of medication. Heck, I’m someone who believes that we should do all we can FIRST before we take medicine and only take medicine in conjunction with a doctor/therapist’s supervision. The reason I take medication for depression is to get me up to normal NOT because it puts pep into my step or pop into my thought. There is just nothing glossy or sexy about the kind of medication I take. I might as well be taking a salt pill to hydrate my body better.

The reason I feel called to write about this is that if you, or someone you love, suffers from depression I want you to know that you are not alone. There is so much help out there today that it is amazing when you start looking into therapists and options for help. There is hope. There is help. I started my quest a long time ago so my route was a lot more traditional beginning with one on one therapy (did that for several years…loved it!) then joining various 12-step programs, then learning how to eat better and get the right nutrition and supplements and exercise. My spiritual life has been very important to me as well. Meditation really is quite a nice remedy for the monkey mind! And in spite of all of these very good tools that have helped me out immensely, I still need help medicinally. If you do as well, I hope that you will be gentler with yourself about finding help than I have with myself!

What’s the difference for you between just having the blues and being depressed? You can google for some top ten lists I’m sure. For me, depression usually eases in very slowly. It may start out with more negative thoughts that I really have to work at counter balancing with positive ones. I may get really agitated more often. I may start feeling very sad about everything and not have a whole lot of energy nor the desire to stick with projects. I think for each of us, we have our own Hallmark signs that let us know when we need to get help. Seek out a professional that works with these issues. And it is really a good idea to interview a few therapists before settling down with one. Remember, although it is nice if they have a lot of certifications and plaques on the wall…it don’t mean a thing if they ain’t got that swing with you. There’s got to be a good synergy between you for therapy to work for you.

Where is your norm for the day? How do you take care of yourself? When do you know that you need to reach out for some extra help?

I’m sending our elephant back to her nice grassy spot under the trees for now. She really is a good elephant, just wants to be heard is all. Hopefully, we’ve helped her to feel heard today.

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