Finding Hope: Bad Days

Back when I was struggling with severe depression, it seemed like I spent most of my days feeling hopeless.  Then each month, I had a few days where I could see clearly and I felt in control.  Those were the best.  But then I also had the horrible days where the hopelessness manifested into something much worse.  Those were the days where I just wanted to give up completely.  I spent hours bawling and screaming at J because he couldn’t fix me.  Those were the ones where I felt like I couldn’t crawl out of my hole.  It was bad.

When I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with Austin (and dealing with those conflicting emotions on top of the depression), I finally reached out for help.  I was put on Wellbutrin to help with my mood swings. After initially feeling like a zombie, and experimenting with my dosage, it did help.  Sort of.  I still felt hopeless most of the time, and I still had the good periods.  But the horrific days weren’t as bad.  They happened more sporadically, and while going through them, I could usually understand that they were temporary.  And that was hugely important.  Knowing that tomorrow might not be as bad can save a person’s life.

I remember saying back then that the meds didn’t help lift me from depression.  They just seemed to help me logically see that I was depressed.  But the truth is that it’s still not a way to live.  Not really.  Certainly not forever.

Unfortunately for many, that’s the best it gets.  I feel so incredibly fortunate that I was able to get from there to where I am now.  I found real hope.  And while I certainly don’t have the magic solution, I can tell you the path I followed.  So that’s the point of this series.  But for this post, it’s not really about that.

This post is to tell you this: I don’t think those who suffer from severe depression ever totally overcome it.  My months look much different now, but I absolutely have bad days.  But now it goes like this: most of the month, I’m full of hope.  I am excited about my now, and I am able to dream about our future.  And then, I have a few days where I feel like the most amazing woman on the planet.  Nothing can knock me down.  I’m sexy, I’m full of life, I’m inspiring, and dammit I’m just all-around awesome.  But still, I have those days where everything seems pointless.

But the difference is that on the whole, I’m always in a higher octave.  My lows are higher than my old highs.  But when I’m in a funk, sometimes I do forget that it’s temporary.  Even now.  And like a dumbass, I always feel the need to write a blog post when I’m down.  So if you read my blog religiously, you might think I’m a nutcase.  That’s totally okay.

And like always, I’m not posting this to be a Debbie Downer.  I’m posting this because I suspect many of us will always struggle with this.  And finding happiness means accepting that every day won’t be fantastic.  And when you know this, you can find peace and acceptance.  I’m still learning to be okay with my funk streaks.  I don’t love them.  In fact, I kind of hate them.  But if they are the price I have to pay for the rest of my month, then it’s going to have to be okay.  And I need to work on remembering during those days that it’s not going to last forever.

Sometimes, like recently, my funks last longer than a few days.  And that’s a real problem for me.  Now that I know what true happiness feels like, I will always fight for it.  It may not always sound like I’m doing that on the outside.  I tend to overanalyze, and it drives the people I love crazy.  But I can’t help it – if I see a problem, I want to fix it.  And I can’t do that without talking it out.  So I do.  To everyone.  And I love each one of you for listening.

Maybe I’m wrong – maybe my hormones are out of whack, and having a string of bad days every month isn’t normal.  Who knows.  I’m certainly not an expert.  But having come in contact with many people who struggle with depression, and also just having an account on Facebook, I think I’m right.  I think it’s normal.  The idea is to make the down days as short and easy to get through as possible.  And I’m always up for ideas on how to make that happen!