Depressed

I’ve been battling my depression the last couple weeks. That sounds funny to me, “my depression.” Like I have any control over it or can say when it comes and goes. Do I own it? If I still have the receipt, can I return it? Can I trade it in for something more fun? When I say “my truck,” “my kids,” “my house,” “my recliner,” it sounds normal. Tangible things. Things I can recognize with my senses. I can’t see my depression with my eyes. Or taste it, smell it, hear it. I can feel it, but not in the traditional sense of feel. If I could feel it, I imagine it would feel something like a sticker burr in my foot or a splinter in my hand. Or it could possibly feel like a tank tied to my waist and tossed into the ocean. Lately, it’s felt much more like being tied to a tank.

I have no motivation. No energy. No desire to do anything. I recognize this and have been doing some self-reflection to see if I can figure out why the last few weeks have been seemingly hard for me. I know life is up and down. I just don’t know why this down time is longer and harder right now. I don’t like this. I don’t like how it feels.

But here’s what I know. In the last month or so, the kids have gotten out of school for the summer, the lot behind my house is being built on, there is construction on my street, and I got a dog. Getting a dog was a good thing. More on “Gumbo” later, but he is a perfect addition here and a great dog. But the other things I mentioned, and some things I haven’t, seem to be having a negative influence on me.

I had no idea the old house behind mine was even going to be demolished until one morning my house shook from the slamming of a backhoe into the old house. That was a rude awakening. It was two days of demolition and noise. And with that house gone, I felt exposed to the world. My area safe, confined area on the back porch now felt wide open. I could see down the street that runs behind my house. That means I could be seen from down the street. Eventually, a new foundation was poured and construction on the new house began. More noise, equipment, and strange people practically in my back yard for weeks now. I guess the upside is that my property value will go up with a brand new house right next to mine.

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The kids getting out of school for the summer is a good thing, but it changed the schedule I had been on, that I had become used to. I’m staying up later now and sleeping in longer. My sleep schedule is messed up and that’s causing me to not sleep as well at night, even when I take my medications. This might be why I lack energy, have become more irritable lately, and just don’t seem to want to do anything anymore except watch Netflix and play stupid games on Facebook. I’m in a rut. A deep and wide one.

The construction on my street, actually in the whole neighborhood, is annoying. It’s loud. They’ve closed the road a few times which bothers me. What if I need to escape? I know, that’s not likely, but it did cross my mind. It’s a local government doing the work so it’s taking longer than it should and half the workers stand around and do nothing. I’m sure it’s also costing twice as much as it should as well. I haven’t done yard work in three weeks since all the noise and commotion started.

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On a more positive note, I got a dog last month. A great dog, a Golden Doodle. His name is Gumbo and the kids love him. He gets so excited in the mornings when it’s time to wake up the kids. He loves playing fetch with the Frisbee and chasing squirrels. He doesn’t like the nail gun that’s being used to roof the house behind mine. He doesn’t like thunder. One night he jumped up in bed with one of my kids during an exceptionally rough storm. He hates fireworks and jets flying overhead. But he is so gentle and friendly and smart.

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Also, I’ve started working on my novel again. It has been a work in progress for few months now. I’m almost half way through writing it, over 40,000 words so far. I’m going for somewhere between ninety and a hundred thousand words. I might take an excerpt from it for next weekend’s blog to see what everyone thinks. Maybe it will never get published, but I’m going to keep writing it anyway. But who knows, maybe it will get picked up by a publisher. And become a best-seller. And turned into a motion picture. And, and, and. Not likely, but it is a fun thought. And I’m enjoying writing it.

So for now I’m depressed. I have anxiety. I’m not dealing with my PTSD triggers very well. The VA is annoying and slow. Physically I hurt. I’m running out of shows on Netflix that I find interesting. But I know it could always be worse. I know I have been worse before but I’m not there now. I’m still moving forward and getting better, this is just part of it. Sometimes things just suck, this is one of those times.

Thanks for reading this week. Good day, God bless.

Dave

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22 thoughts on “Depressed

  1. A few things struck me. One, all the noise, etc. has to push on your PTSD re weaponry going off, even in the distance? Loud noises are a bitch for us, me too, and I don’t have the combat background.

    You are more exposed, can you screen in your porch with shade screening? It would give you something to “hide behind.” Yes, I know it isn’t the same as real cover, but what I’ve found with PTSD is that a gesture which acknowledges my feelings is frequently enough by itself. We have a sunroom — all glass, french doors inside. I feel tremendously safer when the hook/eye on the french door is being used. Idiotic, I know. Anyone determined to get in could just kick the door open — but it doesn’t matter, i feel safer, sleep easier when it’s fastened — so I fasten it.

    Your PTSD is what it is, if you sleep badly, you’re more inclined to depression. If you’re around loud noises, you’re going to feel exposed, or just anxious, as how could you hear danger approaching? If you’re too easily seen, you’ll also feel exposed too. My notion about PTSD is that after you get it you have an excellerated and heightened flight/fight response. Stimulae you could ignore without it become major issues. And the only way I know to fight it is to acknowledge that reality. Many people won’t get it — too bad — do it anyway.

    My suggestions are to screen in the porch, so you can feel safer. Try to get more sleep (easier said than done, I know). Do one thing out of your normal routine you dont’ do when depressed. Make your daughter’s breakfast, work in the yard for 15 minutes — whatever it is. One of my “get myself the hell outta here” techniques is to act like i’m not there at all. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t, but usually I’ve managed to accomplish a chore along the way, and that helps too. (My default first step on this is usually to do the dishes or laundry, they always seem to need to be done!)

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  2. Hi Dave,

    I’ve battled depression off and on over the years and what helped me is getting in God’s word and asking him to show me what was required for salvation. I was taught a “just believe” gospel but found out through reading and prayer that God wanted me to love him and those created in his image.

    Rhonda

    Liked by 2 people

  3. All the changes you wrote about are so disorienting. Your depression makes sense. 2 weeks is a long time. Hope you feel better soon. Have you watched the Netflix series “life” with Damien Lewis. It’s suspenseful, funny and inspiring for me at the same time.

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  4. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with increased depression but from what you’ve described, events have come together like “perfect storm” which may be contributing to it. Sleep schedule disrupted, construction (including the loud noises), traffic delays. I also think your view from the back suddenly changing without your knowledge could affect you. I have a mountain on one side of me; it’s like a security blanket of sorts. If I was to wake and find it gone Im not sure how I’d react. Hopefully the racket will begin to slow or you will adapt. Hang in there!
    In the meantime I saw this article last night and immediately thought of you (and my PTSD as well). We need our estrogen checked.😜😝
    http://drplechner.com/really-cause-post-traumatic-stress-2/

    Actually he’s quite brilliant in many regards but not “feeling” his theory.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dave much of what you say here I certainly can relate to. Change whether good or bad can put me in a funk. Not sure if I can call it depression. Just a funk. I live 2 hours from my son and wife they just granted me the gift of being a grandmother. I am over the moon thrilled. I went down state to critter sit their dog while DIL was in the hospital. I spent 6 days there. Here is the catch, my son lives two blocks from where I lived with his dad. Who if you remember abused me etc. . What I did not expect is I felt comfortable for the first time in the old neighborhood. What I grieve is not living closer to my son so I can see my granddaughter as she grows up.A mixed bag of emotions there.
    You mentioned your dog. I rescued a dog 3 years ago. Trained her she is now a registered therapy dog. I have become familiar with how dogs are used to bless people. Your dog Gumbo could actually become registered as your companion dog. Which would mean you could take him anywhere including on a plane with you, out to dinner. It would require you and Gumbo to go through obedience training. But it is do-able. Once you are certified no business can turn you a way. Just a thought.

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  6. Dave – maybe you need to change your meds. They should really make you feel better, but it takes a couple of weeks before they kick in. Also, ever think about alternative healing? Reiki, acupuncture, specific healing foods, and outdoor exercise, for instance? Also, getting out with your kids or friends. I know you don’t feel like it, but forcing yourself to get out might help. Sounds like you are trying to see the bright side of things that annoy you, so a change in perspective can always help. The more you are positive in the world, the more it comes back to you. Baby steps – you will come out of it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Also, read “loving what is” by Byron Katie. She introduces something called “the work”. It’s helped victims of the holocaust, rape victims, etc. It changed the way I think. Worth it to check it out. I’ve read it for my energy healing certification.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hope blogging about this helps. I find it therapeutic.
    Depression is so random and hard.
    I also love netflix when I’m feeling down and antisocial. I’m working my way thru the show “parenthood” right now. I never watched when it was on TV, but loving it. Also, “alias” is a current show I’m binging on. Cuz, well, Jennifer garner makes me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dave, Leaning forward moving forward despite your depression is incredible. A perfect storm around you and yet through the grace of God you are writing, understanding what is happening and moving forward even if only in small increments. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for this writing. I am not a war vet, but I have pretty bad PTSD from childhood abuse. I read this and it hit home hard with me. I hate all those things too. I am happy about your getting a dog. They are wonderful companions. I hope your depression lifts soon. Netflix is good for losing yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Good! One of the things which I found really helps my depression is when others ask and keep asking. For me, with the brainwashing/abuse that I’m worthless etc. having others check in is a powerful antidote for my depression, as I’m usually feeling both overwhelmed and “less.” Caring is never wasted.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: 4 Months Since Therapy | Story of My Life

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