Not giving in!

My new tattoo

I mentioned a few posts ago that I’m fighting depression. And that’s exactly what I’m doing – fighting!

My mood continues to want to pull down, but it hasn’t stayed there. I’m not walking in the deep dark yet. I’m still standing upright, and while I’d like to stay in bed each morning, I’m not. I’m getting up, getting dressed, and doing the tasks at hand.

This is good news! This is me fighting for mental health, not the mental illness of depression. This is me trying to live a rich and hope-filled life.

When my depression was at its worst, I would wake up under the dark cloud of depression. It was hard and heavy and lonely. I would struggle to find joy in anything, even my morning cup of coffee.

But this time around, it’s not as bad in the mornings. My mood deteriorates as the day progresses, but it doesn’t start down.

I’m not sure why it gets worse as the day wears on. I always notice it in the car, when I’m driving for any longer than 10 minutes. I think it may have to do with being alone. Don’t get me wrong; my satellite radio is tuned almost exclusively to the contemporary Christian music station. My playlists are full of wonderful worship songs by Dove Music Award winners. I know lyrics to hundreds of songs by favorite worship artists. But it almost makes it worse, as I find some of the songs reminding me of darker times.

Per my friend’s suggestion, I’m trying to figure out how to listen to one of my Kindle books as I drive, instead of music. Maybe the distraction of a story will keep me from ruminating.

It could be that I’m just getting tired as the hours stretch toward evening. Perhaps that lowers my resistance, and it’s easier to succumb to the pull of depression, the spiraling thoughts, the loneliness.

Each day at 5:45pm, I get a text message to check in on my mood. It’s too bad that it’s in the afternoon when I’m feeling my worst, but maybe that’s the most accurate time to evaluate. Usually, my mood runs at 7-8-9. Lately, it’s been 5, dipping to 4. I’ll be concerned if it goes down to 3.

I haven’t been to see the psych doc yet – I feel like I’m battling successfully without a med adjustment. But should I have several days in a row of a real low mood-score, I promise to call his office.

In the meantime, I’m still looking for a new therapist. I hope that talking to someone will help me manage the depressive symptoms, and I won’t need more meds.