Author: Luisa Perkins
•2:02 PM
I struggled with depression for many, many years, but about year ago, I kicked it in the teeth and banished it from my presence for a good long time (I hoped forever).

Oh, I've had sad or frustrating days since, days in which things have gone wrong, or in which I think I'm a bad writer or mother or laundress (or all of the above), but those have been just normal dips in the ride we call life.

Depression is palpably different. Today when I wasn't looking, it came back and snuck in the back door like a mangy dog, laughing, drooling, and reminding me what a black plague it is. And I hate it, because even a whiff of it reminds me of what a constant, unwelcome companion it once was. I don't want it back in my life again.

I'm hoping it's just a hormonal thing. I hear pregnancy plays havoc with hormones (yes, my somewhat atrophied sarcasm muscles get a bit of exercise when I'm depressed).

Here's how I know it's depression, and not just temporary doldrums:

The house is full of terrific books, but I don't want to escape into a single one of them.
The house is stocked with a variety of good food, and I'm hungry, but nothing looks appealing enough to eat.
Rowing to the song stylings of the Black-Eyed Peas and Lenny Kravitz doesn't cheer me up.
A long bubble bath doesn't cheer me up.
A long snuggle with Daniel doesn't cheer me up.
A long nap doesn't cheer me up.
The idea of popping in Persuasion, Fanny & Alexander, The Magic Flute, or A Room with a View and knitting for a couple of hours doesn't cheer me up.
The prospect of dinner with my hot husband at a great restaurant for Date Night tonight doesn't cheer me up.

This is not good. Not good at all.
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On 17/1/08 , Kate said...

I'm so sorry sweetie! *HUGS* Know I'm praying for you.

On 17/1/08 , Lilacspecs said...

I understand where you're coming from, and I mean that very sincerely. It's a GOOD thing that you can recognize it so quickly. Just don't avoid taking some actions to head it off at the pass. It can be tempting to just let it all wash over you and suck you dry, but keep fighting the good fight.

Hugs and take care of yourself.

On 17/1/08 , Anonymous said...

That's rough. Sorry it's sneaking up on you like that. *hugs* Hope the mangy dog backs off and leaves you be.

On 17/1/08 , Kimberly said...

Love you so much. I know that doesn't fix anything, but it can make the grey a bit lighter of a shade I've found...knowing how much you're loved. ~hugs~

On 17/1/08 , Anne Bradshaw said...

Aw, Luisa, that is the pits. So sorry. There's nothing worse than being way down, because even the very thought of climbing up is . . . well . . . depressing!

The only teeny thing that might help (if it's not too hormonal) is to repeat the words "I'm beating this," in your head, really loud, until the swampy feeling backs off.

Prayers winging your way.

On 17/1/08 , Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oh, Luisa, I'm so sorry. Huge hugs to you and I'll keep you in my prayers, too.

On 17/1/08 , Annette Lyon said...

Oh, honey. Hang in there. You know what to do. In the meantime, you'll be in my prayers.

On 17/1/08 , Anonymous said...

I hope you feel better soon. It is great you recognize it and hopefully it is just hormonal, that can happen. You are in my prayers. Take some extra B vitamins.

On 17/1/08 , NH Knitting Mama said...

Oh, I'm sorry that you're down right now. I have depression, too. There isn't really anything anyone can say to help, but know you're not alone.

On 17/1/08 , Adriana Velez said...

Bleh, how terrible. I hope it is just hormones and that it goes away quickly. Winter doesn't help, either. But wow, what a great image you found. Wishing you a spot of gold to banish the gaping maw.

On 17/1/08 , Syar said...

Oh, I'm so sorry Luisa. I can't even begin to imagine what that's like. I hope if it is the black mangy dog of depression (bad writer? Hardly!) you beat it just like you did some years ago. And your list reminds me how good you've got it, and how all that wonderful stuff and wonderful people will be waiting for you with open arms.

Also, I hope it's just hormones. Here's good Syar vibes for you. And a virtual hug.

On 18/1/08 , Jenna said...

You know what? I love the fact that you are being so honest about it, and in such a public forum. That is different from your depressions of the past, don't you think? I know exactly what you mean, as I struggle too. I think you have the tools to chisel it out, and it won't stay around too long. I love you!

On 18/1/08 , siggy f. said...

U G H.

Listen up. Your phone's gonna ring in about 30 seconds.

On 18/1/08 , anjmae said...

Welp, here's to honesty and a good long snuggle. I would offer you a view from my deck as well if you were well as the balmy temperatures. And a cup of tea.
love you

On 18/1/08 , newnorth said...

I'm sorry. I hope you figure out a way to get rid of it again quickly.

On 19/1/08 , Anonymous said...

Being one who has had mild depression, I can relate somewhat. I still get down sometimes but things have been better for me for the last couple of years.

Someone I know used to always say that only "you" can pick how you feel about yourself and your mood. He is my mentor at work and didn't know that I was suffering with depression, or maybe he did? He used to encourage me to always be positive. So I tried it. You know actually helped me. I have him to thank for helping me change the way I think about things. I still sometimes go back to the dark side but I can recognize it and bring myself back to the light side.

I hope you get through it soon. Take care!!

On 21/1/08 , Julie Wright said...

Oh hon . . . I am so sorry. I think it's the lot of writers to have such intense mood swings. We walk a fine line of ego-mania and manic depression. The fact that you understand where you are is a great thing. It means you know you can't stay there. I have no great advice since when I am there . . . I don't know how to get out. I used to go running, but my aging-out-of-shape body doesn't allow that anymore. Take care of yourself. Be careful with yourself. And you're in my prayers.

On 22/1/08 , Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. So sorry that it hurts. I understand where you have been and where you have come. But my understanding or empathy can't really mean anything but I will pray for you because it seems to be the best rememdy. Prayers, hugs and what ever else you need. You are an inspriation thanks.