Posted by: Kate | April 21, 2009

Shiny, Happy

I really feel like I’m finally coming out of that very long, very deep, very dark depression.  I knew it was bad when I was in it, but even with just a little space between then and now, I’m realizing it was a lot worse than I’d thought.  It’s been three weeks since I first noticed any change at all, and it has continued to improve since then.  Right now, I think I’m overcorrecting, but I do feel a little giddy at just how different the now is from the then.

I have been screaming the praises of Zoloft lately, because it has made such a difference. Nothing else has changed, work- or family- or healthwise, so I’m fairly confident in attributing the difference to the drug.

But another thing that really helped both to sustain me when I couldn’t feel better (and at the same time, couldn’t feel any worse) is the genuine support of friends and family. Including y’all.  Knowing that people were visiting, no matter how Eeyoreish I became, kept me posting even when I was so tired of myself that I was considering just deleting the whole blog.  And those of you who commented?  You get gold stars, because those comments were always the first thing I checked every time I opened my computer, and even just one comment to a post made me feel OK about having written it in the first place.

So, thank you. Thank you for hanging in there with me, for tolerating me when I got especially crabby or miserable. Thank you for the gifts, every one was so personal and special, and I think they were necessary because they provided bright spots in such a big, dark picture. Thank you for sticking around even when I dwelt too long, or shared too much, about unpleasant topics. Thank you for cheering me on when things started to perk up. Thank you for sharing pieces of yourselves.  Thank you for still being there now. And a special thank you to those who saw me in person. Every visit helped, even as it made me resent the geography which keeps most of you beyond reach. I can’t fully express how helpful your presence has been, in whatever form it took.

An even specialer thank you goes to Gretchen, who has gotten together with me at least weekly, and never once acted like she was tired of me or impatient for me to suck up and deal or any of that. She just brought over simple sweetness and good cheer, and it was (and is) so very important. I love you, hon.

Never fear, I’m sure that there will still be hard days and whining from me… I’ve never been an all-sunshine-and-rainbows kind of girl and would be alarmed if I started that now. But it’s with a different quality now, and I so hope it sticks around. I feel like it will.

And now I get to deal with the guilt I’m carrying about dragging so many people down with me. I know it’s not technically my fault, but I still know of several people whose moods plummeted specifically because my mood was so low. Willem suffered the most, of course, and he’s still not all the way out of it (nor am I). I don’t think my kids got depressed – Emily’s grades and behavior in school have actually improved since January, and Jacob is just his sweet, Zenlike little self. But I know for a fact that I was too abrupt with them, too impatient, too quick to anger, too quick to yell. I tried to explain, later, what was going on with me and that it was never their fault, but I never felt like they really got it (and why should they? I fervently hope they never have to deal with that kind of depression.).

I also brought down other friends and loved ones. Even when I knew I was doing it, I just couldn’t find a way to paste a smile in place for their sake. I knew that they would see through it but would politely refrain from mentioning that, and it could have just slightly eased the tension and misery a little. And that’s just the times I knew about – I didn’t engage much with my surroundings, didn’t notice much, so I’m certain I missed lots more things than I caught.

So, I’m sorry about that, and am working both on moving away from it and on letting go of the guilt. Guilt is such a useless emotion anyway.

And, again, thank you. So much. Really.

Tomorrow’s Madhouse topic is “Teacher’s Pet.” It’s been a small party the past few weeks – won’t you please join in? I do love the different perspectives on the same little title words, and it creates at least one topical blog entry for the week! Let me know if you do; WordPress shows certain pingbacks every time those people publish a post, and so I lose track of the real ones.



  1. …holding hands?

    I’m glad it’s lifting. It’s amazing how brain chemistry can influence moods. And I’m glad you’ve shared it all- you have a record of just how bad it was and just how far away from it you’re moving. I think that’s important, even if it’s painful or makes you wince later. It’s good to know where we’ve been.

    I’ll be posted and ready for tomorrow either this evening or tomorrow morning. And I’ll see you Thursday- hooray!!!

  2. I’m really happy that you are feeling better!! It’s so nice after the pit, isn’t it?

  3. Kate, I’m so very shiny, happy for you. I understand depression. All along you’ve been in my prayers. I deeply admire your honesty throughout. Real, raw, brutal and yet beautiful because of your gift with words. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  4. I know exactly what you mean about not realizing how bad it was until now. I look bad to the dark days and it scares me how bad it was. When it was happening, I wasn’t even fully aware I was depressed.

    In any case, I’m glad things are better and that you believe they will continue.

    I’ll be playing along in the madhouse tomorrow. 🙂 The last few weeks have been busy, or I haven’t had anything much to write. I’ve got something in mind for this week.

  5. I’m so delighted. You know, the whole time, that I believed you’d find some ladder to climb up. You may have been pretty far down in the hole, but you seemed ready to take any help offered. And that, in sum, is why you aren’t guilty. You did what you could, you do what you can, and you’re so self-aware. Really. All will be well, and I can’t thank SSRI meds enough in my life, either.

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