Depression sucks. There is no way around that. There are days that it saps you of energy, preventing you from even getting out of bed. Yet I am learning to manage my symptoms, and maybe even learning to get ahead of the depression. Which is why today I am choosing to stay in bed.
A while back I posted about mood tracking. I have been doing that for about two months now. Thanks to the mood tracking, I’ve been able to identify certain mood patterns that typically precede a depression. And I have been seeing those same mood patterns at the end of last week and the beginning of this week.
I can’t change the fact that I have depression, and I may not understand why these mood patterns correspond with severe depressive episodes. For now though, it is enough that I was able to identify my emotional state and preemptively take a self care day in the hopes of short circuiting the depression before it gets the chance to fully take hold. And I can already tell it was the right decision.
I can tell by the lack of energy I feel. I can tell by the fact that my writing has been much more of a struggle than normal. Yet I can also tell that it isn’t a full blown depressive episode. Perhaps those happen when I can’t ignore my depression anymore and it overwhelms me. I know that my depression is always with me, it is just that normally I can manage to function despite it being present. Perhaps my severe depressive episodes happen when I miss the warning signs that I am learning to see thanks to my mood tracking. So today I am letting depression have its day. I am allowing myself to focus on me and my depression instead of ignoring it until it drags me down into the darkness.
And it may seem lazy to those who don’t have mental illness. It may seem like I am being irresponsible, not going to work on a day I am otherwise physically able. But depression, like any mental illness, and like any physical illness, needs to be managed to prevent it from getting worse. Which is what I am doing.
So if anyone needs me, I will be in bed. I will be letting depression have its day so that it doesn’t drag me further into the darkness.