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Waking Up is the Hardest Part. But All of It Pretty Much Sucks.

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Despite my best efforts not to get depressed during this time of the year, I woke up with a full-fledged depressed mood. Not like, oh no! I think I might be getting depressed! Maybe I can sleep it off. More like, I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t even think I want to go to our cookie exchange party.

If you knew me well, then you’d know that this is a clear sign that something is wrong. Not to want to go eat a bunch of cookies. That’s up there with not wanting to play tennis.

You never think that you have a good enough reason to be depressed. Yes, I am seeing a bazillion clients, but so are my colleagues. And yes, I spent 5 days entertaining my parents, which was about 4 days more than I usually spend. But normal people entertain their families all the time. And yes, I was sick last week, but so what? Lots of people get sick without getting depressed.

Plus, there was nothing I could do to prevent these things from happening. The client overload. The extended time with family. The sickness. These things happen every year during this time. Which makes it all seem so pointless, this trying not to get depressed stuff.

I tried really, really hard to control the things that are in my control. I have not reversed my sleep cycle. I religiously take my drugs. Get sunlight or sit in front of my light box. Meditate. Journal. Pray. Practice mindfulness. Spend time with friends. Knit. Read. Play tennis in moderation. I say no more often. Practice self-compassion. I am practically the poster child of good mental health. And yet, here I am, feeling depressed like I always do at this time of year.

Waking up feeling depressed is a lot like having a flashback of some traumatic experience. Oh no! Not this again! I am filled with terror. Because when you’re sick, you know it will suck but you have a pretty good sense of when it will end, and there are drugs that can alleviate some of your suffering. But with depression, you never know. It could be a few hours. It could be a few days. Or weeks. Or months. And I’m already taking the drugs that are supposed to help. But sometimes the depression slips through the cracks of my mood disordered brain, anyway.

I am trying my best to practice self-care. To alleviate whatever suffering is in my control. Trying to find some balance between being kind and gentle with myself but still making myself go to the doctor, get some work done, go to the party. Because I know it will help.

I feel better at the moment, but I’m still feeling a little panicked. Because tomorrow I don’t know how I will feel when I wake up. Maybe I’ll be fine. Or maybe it will be a Herculean effort to get out of bed and go to work.

I guess I’ll tell myself what I tell my clients. That it feels bad now, but at some point, I will feel differently. I might even feel better when I wake up tomorrow.

We’ll see what happens.

About Christy Barongan

I didn't know it at the time, but I wanted to be a psychologist so that I could figure out how to be normal. I think many people come to counseling for the same reason. What I've come to learn is that feeling good about myself is not about trying to be normal. It's about trying to be me. But it's a constant struggle for me, just like it is for everyone else. So I thought I would approach this task with openness and honesty and use myself as an example for how to practice self-acceptance.

13 responses »

  1. I hope it is a good morning for you. So glad you came and hope you had fun! It is always good to see you be spend time with you…and your cookies were amazing!

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  2. Sometimes I have to do some kind of change up. Shake things up. Break my routine. Discontinue an activity and start up a new one. New hobby. New craft. Run in a field…like really haul ass. Wear myself out. Anything. Throw myself curve balls so I don’t have time to think about my troubles.

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  3. Hope you are feeling better, Christy.

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  4. Hi Christy,

    I’m sorry to hear you woke up feeling depressed. This time of the year is always difficult. For me too. Hope it didn’t last. I can deal with a day or two, but when it lasts longer it’s really bad.

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  5. “Herculean effort to get out of bed and go to work.” 😀 I’m sorry but I laughed out loud at this. So true! Well, keep up with the self-care. Try to enjoy the holiday season. ❤ Be well.

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  6. Pingback: I Must Be Feeling Better | Normal in Training

  7. Pingback: This is My Life | Normal in Training

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