Climbing Out of That Hole

I hate to follow up on the lightheartedness of my previous post with this dark one, but even through the few moments of joy I experienced this week, something a little more sinister has been weighing on my mind.

I am going through a glorified “funk”. Or, am in the process of pulling myself out of said funk. I’d say it’s been more than a funk, because it definitely crossed that fine line into depression. All those things I enjoy doing? Those things that normally make me feel good, energized, like I’m making something of myself in this world? I haven’t done any of them. No writing. No exercising. No eating (and I love to eat). A piece of toast smothered in pumpkin spice cream cheese (my favorite) on Wednesday afternoon looked to me like a piece of toast smothered in feces. Sorry – you get the picture, right?

I haven’t gone out. I want nothing to do with anyone or anything except mindless television, and a bit of reading to escape my head. It’s scary, that paralyzing feeling of fear, of guilt. It’s like you’ve been completely submerged in water, you reach for a breath but can’t find one. You’re sinking slowly and there’s no hand or branch or anything to grab on to up above. You flail your arms like crazy but no one and nothing is strong enough to help you out of it.

Sheesh, just writing this is forming that lump in my throat.

For days I’ve been trying to find the source, but to no avail. No traumatizing experience, no loss of someone close to me, nothing. It hit me suddenly, right after Thanksgiving, like a ton of bricks, right upside the head.

My entire life I’ve dealt with small periods of depression, so when that familiar feeling started crawling its way into my mind and stomach, I was immediately frozen in fear. It’s like that dream. You know the one – where you are running and running, but you’re not getting anywhere? I tried as hard as I could to run away from the feeling, but it caught me anyway. It wrapped its cold, depressing hands around my entire body and squeezed.

It’s forced me to spin the reel of my past, my present, my future; it held my eyelids open, and forced me to watch. It’s tried to make me regret, doubt, question, be fearful of. Everything is exactly where I want it to be – I consider myself very blessed, very lucky – but everything came crashing down on my head at once, in this crazy overwhelming way that made me want my mommy. It made me want to curl up in a ball and be left alone and never face the possibilities of life.

I’ve gone through every possible scenario (against my own will!) of life; every possible path, every possible ending. And then the guilt sets in. But why? Then the anger, brought on by the feeling of guilt. Am I crazy?

One morning, as I opened my eyes expecting a day like any other, I was suddenly terrified of losing everything that is so important to me.

I apologize if I’m bringing you down! The point here is that I kept these ridiculous thoughts in my head, feeling guilty, feeling crazy, until I decided to talk to Joe, and to some girlfriends about it. The good thing out of all this?

I’m not crazy – or so I’ve been told. I talked with several people who could relate (including my own mother…the biggest help of all). Apparently I’m allowed to be afraid, and that doesn’t make me unworthy of the wonderful life I live.

I’m getting better (I ate dinner last night). And the lump in my throat is slowly melting away. While I’m still a bit shaken, a bit sad, a bit afraid…my mind is putting the pieces back together. I’m waking up early again. I’m actually hungry today. For now, I’m filled with the fear of being alone. I’m anxiously waiting for Joe’s car to pull into the driveway.

I can only be grateful that I pulled myself out of that dark place before I fell too far down; then things would have gotten serious.

I’m still struggling to write, and exercise…but I’m getting there. It started with this (and my previous) blog post. Forcing myself into something I enjoy is making all the difference.

I am so grateful for my understanding family, my amazing boyfriend, my gentle friends.

If you are depressed, or know someone who is, encourage them to talk about it. Talking does wonders.

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18 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

18 responses to “Climbing Out of That Hole

  1. James Claims

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that talking about it helps. Even just writing about depression helps. I hope your funk goes up and not down, but that’s almost always out of one’s control. And I wouldn’t worry about getting anyone down. Often, I feel like these types of posts lift me up since I’ve experienced so many depressions. It feels good to find someone who has felt the same way that I have.

    • Thank you so much, James. It does mean a lot to me – and aids in making me feel a little more sane – to hear someone feels the same way, or has gone through something similar. Writing this post was a high point for me (I did get emotional while writing it, but it felt sort of cleansing), but soon after I tumbled back into the hole. But I got right back up and tried to climb my way back out again. Right now, I’m feeling pretty good. And I’m trying extremely hard to keep my head in this happy place it’s currently in.

      Again, thank you for reading, and for your words of encouragement. I hope you have nothing but easy, happy days ahead of you as well. 🙂

  2. Having personally dealt with chronic depression in my own life, I can relate. The importance of reaching out to your close friends and family for support when you’re depressed really can’t be stressed enough. Otherwise, they may never realize that you need their help.

    • Thank you – again, it helps to hear someone can relate. And yes, it is very important to talk. As someone who wears her emotions on her sleeve, it’s pretty easy for me to open my mouth and talk about it. I can’t get too lost in my own head.

  3. Everyone struggles with different things in life, how they deal with it says a lot about the type of person they are. You fought instead of giving up. Your a great & funny writer so keep your head up!!

  4. Nicole Marie, when i was 30 i spent quite a while with that same lump – the very same lump you now have – it goes around you know. every worthwhile person receives it once in their life…but only worthwhile people get it. it is a mark of intelligence, conscience, self doubt (which only intelligent people have in huge quantity because they know just how much they don’t know)…it signifies someone who questions, who knows they do not possess the answers but will forever question. be proud and glad you have that lump. it is the mark of the seeker. it also reveals to it’s possessor that they are measuring their “self” against the wrong thing…against some one or some thing external. it will soon leave you and move on to another as intelligent and questioning and evolved as you…and if they ever ask you why this has occurred – as you have now – you can now tell them.

    • Wow, Tony. I read this to Joe and we both agreed that YOU are an extremely intelligent and insightful human being. This is an extraordinary take on the situation, and it really made me look at things in a different, more uplifting, light. Thank you so, so much for this. Truly. It has really helped.

  5. Write what you feel, no matter how painful or (in my case) ridiculous. That’s my motto, or something. You’re normal! If you need help, your blog followers are here for you.

    • Edward, you are so very right! Thank you. “You’re normal” is seriously what I need to hear. This is the first time I’m voicing my depressive tendencies so publicly, and I never realized how many people feel the same way. But I guess we all feel alone in that feeling at some point, don’t we?

      Thank you so much for the virtual support. It means a lot to me.

  6. I was depressed, twice. Once I medicated, once I didn’t. They say that if it happens once, that it’s likely to reoccur. Writing really helps, and exercise. Remembering that it’s a cycle that will end also helps. I’m glad you’re climbing out of it! Hurrah!

    • Thank you!! I’m trying, very hard. I’m stumbling a bit, but always trying. Writing and exercise are two of my very favorite things, but I allowed myself to become so depressed that I haven’t done either in a week. Tomorrow I’m going to drag my butt to the gym and sweat it out. It might be exactly what I need to overcome this altogether. Thanks again. 🙂

  7. I understand what you’re saying here because I’m still climbing out of the deeper hole I plunged into after Thanksgiving. I’m trying to talk about it, but I’ve been told that my ‘voice’ is too low. I’ll keep trying. You keep trying, too. Thank you, thank you for writing this and talking about it here. I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say there are lots of us here who care.

    • Thank you for your words, Re. And you are very welcome. It’s nice to have a support group, isn’t it? It’s amazing to me that so many individuals I’ve never met can be so supportive. It really touches my heart, and I appreciate it more than words can say.

      What’s with this post-Thanksgiving depression?? Isn’t the belly full of turkey and wine supposed to make us HAPPY?

      Let’s snap out of it soon, and get back to enjoying life. You keep on climbin’, too. ❤

  8. wordsfallfrommyeyes

    Hey I’ve dropped by because you’re a link on Edward Hotspur’s current post. Oh, I totally know what you mean depression. Yes, it IS EXACTLY THAT: all that normally gives you joy, it no longer does. HOW does it happen, WHY? I get this too. It JUST HAPPENS. Never heard it called funk though. I don’t know if you’d be inclined but if you searched the word ‘depression’ on my blog, you’d see a few posts (I’m writing a book chapter by chapter but each post still is in itself a post).

    I think it’s absolutely terrific you’ve written this post & said it out there. It’s NOT just a sad mood, it is SOMETHING THAT TAKES ON YOU, IT DOES LOSE YOUR APPETITE, IT DOES HAVE YOU LIE INSIDE ON A SUNNY DAY. I do know what you mean. Hope you rise up again soon. You KNOW that you will. Just good on you for the post, take care. N’n.

    • Thank you very much for reading. I’ve been following your blog, and have seen a few posts about depression there as well. It’s such a paralyzing feeling, and a feeling of anger even sets in because you don’t know where it comes from. I’m struggling through and hoping it will all go away soon.

      Thank you for your kind words – I wish happiness to you, as well. 🙂

  9. I read this post on my iPhone when I was out of wifi range for 4 days, and did not reply because I don’t do my best thinking by hunt-and-peck on tiny keys.

    I’ve seen the effects of depression in myself, in a family member, and as someone who trained as a therapist and put in about 1000 internship hours before going in another direction. From the therapeutic point of view, it’s very complex, not the same for any two people. The first question any decent therapist would ask is when is the last time you had a checkup, had routine blood work done, etc. The next question I would ask would concern drugs or alcohol – all of that just to rule out obvious things.

    The very good news is that you’re *functional* – i.e., sometimes people literally can’t get out of bed (not wanting to is something else) and that can require clinical intervention.

    None of that seems to apply, and that is when support, friends, and family become very very important. And baring this part of your soul on a blog as well – “normalizing” what you feel – look how many people know what you’re talking about. Such honesty is an inspiration to everyone. Thanks.

    • Thank you so much for your words. I really hope I can help others by being so honest here, as well as help myself (which I’d say I am, with all this amazing support I am receiving).

      I’ve been in “family mode” for the past week or so – clinging to my parents, my boyfriend, all of those closest to me. I feel it’s what I need right now.

      Again, than you for reading, and I appreciate your feedback. 🙂

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