I feel I need to mention that my last OB dyed his hair black and on regular occasion missed enormous graying chunks. He sang a little song to the nurses in the delivery room as he was suiting up to get Addie out and he had a total Tom Selleck mustache.

I’m taller than my current OB, weighed more than him when I was 12 years old and he has crazy Willem Dafoe eyes. He also sports a curly gray mullet.

(I’m not going to mention the OB/GYN that thought it was an excellent idea to put me on Lupron. Besides, he was boring looking with a dead fish handshake and a striking resemblance to my sister’s ex-boyfriend. Well. Okay, so I just mentioned him, but parenthetically so it doesn’t count as much.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to be depressed. I mean, it’s inevitable and recurring for so many people so we may as well be good at it, right? Since there’s no snapping out of it and it will eventually end (seriously, it will end.) I may as well have a battle plan in place so I don’t try to do too much or maybe even worse, do too little.

Cody always tells me to “distract myself” so I’m not sitting around wallowing (sleeping) in my sorrows. Distracting yourself when you have very little interest in the world around you can prove to be difficult, but there are a few things that work for me. One of them being cleaning my laptop. It’s very cathartic to go through and delete duplicate files, format your hard drive and back up your entire computer to an external hard drive. I may not have control over my mental hard drive, but I can own my macbook’s. I also do my nails. Not anything fancy. Just trimming, filing and painting with clear polish. Doesn’t require much movement but leaves me with tangible evidence that not everything about me is ugly. (I normally involve my toes too but it’s getting really difficult to reach them.)

Now TV and the Internet can be detrimental to anyone struggling in their brain. I realized a long time ago that violent movies and television shows deeply affect me. As much as my crush on Christopher Meloni rings strong and true, I cannot watch Law & Order SVU. I also do not watch rated R movies, even when I feel okay. I truly believe that sheltering my brain from the sights and sounds of anger, profanity and violence benefits me immensely. However, there are plenty of good shows out there that don’t have a negative affect on me (The Ellen Show for example) and when things are really bad, there’s this entire subgenre of dance/music/talent fight movies that are horribly entertaining to me yet require no emotional involvement on my behalf. (See: Drum Line, Stomp the Yard, Bring it On, Stick It, Center Stage, Step Up, Step Up 2 and the latest cinematic achievement, Step Up 3D.)

Same rules above apply to books. (Which is why Stieg Larsson books are not on my “to read” list. I realize a lot of you will argue “BUT THEY’RE SO GOOD!” I believe you. But they’re not good for me.)

Many of you have to get up and go to work. Many of you miss work because of mental illness, which leaves you at home, horizontal. Sleeping the day away. I get it. Sleep is the single best escape when your brain is hurting and broken. I really have no advice here…because I love sleep. But at least try to distract yourself first, or between naps. And eat. And shower. (Crying in the shower is way better than a lot of other places you could be crying, doesn’t matter if your face gets all splotchy and snotty, it washes right off. And the temptation to use your pillowcase, sleeve or dirty laundry as a tissue is taken away. You’re also alone. Usually. I’m looking at you Addie.)

I am medicated. Unfortunately one of the major side effects is nausea so I’ve been thrown back into bucket hugging mode for the time being. I also feel it very important to say that I hate, H-A-T-E going to the doctor for help. Especially a new doctor. I’m grateful that they are there, but never once have I skipped into an office with joy thinking “OH GOODY! ANOTHER STRANGER I GET TO TELL MY DEEPEST DARKEST FEARS AND THOUGHTS TO!” And medication. I hate it. I hate taking that pill. I hate that I need it. I always have. It’s never gotten easier, even when I know that it is not my fault that I feel this way. So for those of you who hate getting help and taking that pill too? You’re not alone.

I am getting better. And I have every single one of you to thank for it.

So thank you.

Comments

  1. Sherry Lane says:

    I’m so glad to hear it Casey. That little pill gets me everyday too… And we (I) need you better! Cause on my hard days, your words are aka as a ‘distraction’ !!

  2. some days, getting up & showing up is half the battle.

  3. Thank you.

    I hate this feeing when I feel it coming & I fight with all of my might until I am just to tired to anymore.

    Today’s biggest accomplishment is probably getting a shower & getting the girls from school.

    Much love you girlie.

  4. We love you, Casey!

    It’s so amusing to me that you hate taking your pill, because I LOVE taking mine. After it started working, I would literally say a prayer for the people who created Paxil- and I’m an atheist. I just loved it so much and was so thankful that I had something! Now that it’s been a few years, I don’t get so mushy and excited about taking it daily, but I still think if I even met the person/people who came up with it, I’d give them a big hug and probably cry a little.

  5. Even though I don’t know you, I hate that you feel the way you do.

    As an aside, Stick It is one of my favorite movies of all time. “It’s not gym-nice-tics.” Ahhh, genius!!

    Casey Reply:

    @Denise, I wanted to put legendary quotes from each movie, but that would have exposed just how many times I’ve seen them.
    “BRING IT ON, OH. IT’S ALREADY BEEN BROUGHTEN!”

    Denise Reply:

    @Casey, I completely understand your hesitation with the quotes, but if it’s any consolation, I would have understood every single one from every single movie you mentioned. “dance/music/talent fight movies” hold a special place in my heart too. AND, perhaps it will make you feel better to know that I, at the age of 27, demanded that my friends accompany me for fajitas, margaritas, and a showing of Step Up 3D in the theater. It came out ON my birthday. It was the only option for a celebration, as far as I was concerned.

    Denise Reply:

    @Casey, So you know, just one more thing you’re not alone in ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Oh love. Canadian bear hugs to you.
    (Also, Easy A was really cute if you want another movie like that)

  7. I’ve been chronically depressed for the past decade, so I’m like, super good at it.

    Except when the pharmacist says my psychiatrist hasn’t called in my refill and I shout, “SERIOUSLY?! Seriously. IT’S KIND OF A BIG DEAL.” directly into the pharmacist’s face, like what happened at the CVS on Meridian yesterday.

    Okay, so maybe I’m not that good at it.

    Jenn Reply:

    PS, I LOVE CENTER STAGE TOO.

  8. I’m impressed that you do your nails when depressed. I can’t make myself do that at my very best. (Go ahead and judge.) I cut out most of the murderTV recently, and my brain feels so much better. That stuff plants too much nastiness in my already-paranoid brain. (Except “Castle.” I can’t quit “Castle.”)

    Oh, and also: I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  9. Ugh. You __SO__ get it. Crying in the shower is so underrated.

  10. mommabird2345 says:

    I’m so glad you are getting better.

    I wanted to Thank You actually. I finally got the courage to talk to my doctor about my depression. I figured if you are brave enough to share about yours on the internet, I can at least talk to my doctor. He gave me some suggestions which I am trying, and so far I am feeling better. Even my mom said I seem happier and I didn’t tell her what I was doing until she said that. So I guess if other people can tell a difference, and I feel a difference, something is working. Thank you again for putting yourself out there.

  11. YOU are inspiring and reassuring.

  12. I don’t think I even know what those movies are, so perhaps I need to remedy that.

    Hugs and prayers and happy thoughts being sent your way.

  13. As someone who has never suffered from depression, I’ve never understood why friends (and patients) hated taking a pill that helped them. I’ve had asthma all my life and I thank everything Holy for the ability to breathe when all my air is gone.
    Sometimes God can be in a little pill (or an inhaler).

    Hang tough, Casey: baby steps.

  14. oh, the crying in the shower. It is my FAVORITE place to promptly lose my stuff.

    I always found extreme comfort in really bad “treasure hunting” movies like the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, or the National Treasure stuff. Swashbuckling & Johnny Depp make me feel less weird.

  15. I love you lady.

  16. I had quite the time dealing with depression and anxiety throughout my life. Still medicated but not on the more sedation, crazy, now im a zombi kind (i got addicted and did a lot of stupid things)

    Honestly I wish I could throw the pills i do have to take in the toliet, but my doctor says im going to need them for a long time. I have tried to quit on my own but i end up feeling very very sick after a couple days.

    The way I overcame the stronger meds and the constant vomiting, panic attacks, and inability to get out of my bed was to become a workaholic.

    Staying busy and meeting new people as much as possible. It stinks though because if i have just one weekend alone to myself, I slide down into this pit of despair that I can only get out of when I arrive at work on Monday.

    I hope all is well and I hope you find a routine that works for you. Its a challenging battle but if you have the will and determination to overcome it, you will. That I am certain.

  17. While I come from a long line of depression plagues forefathers, I am blessed to only have experienced it in the wake of some emotional tragedy, usually directly connected some boy being an ass. However I TOTALLY get not watching those kinds of movies or shows. I saw an ad for some movie coming out, where an alien species is invading Earth, AGAIN, turning people into zombies and I said to my husband “I can’t let this stuff into my psyche. It makes me crazy to think about the future of the world with Cooper in it now no matter how far fetched it is.” He thinks I am whacked but there it is. I watched 4000 episodes of Charmed when I was coming off all the hormones after delivering him. It was mindless and required no effort on my part. My not so secret shame. Do what is good for you.

  18. I hope that you are hanging in there and that every day is better than the one before! Hugs to you! I would paint your toes for you for sure!!

  19. This is a GREAT idea for a post. I love the fact that you mentioned you shelter yourself from particular shows/movies. My husband just can’t understand why I won’t watch war movies, even after I tell him they make me want to shoot myself. I also do not read the news because it feeds into my paranoia about other people. The paranoia that comes with my depression is probably the most debilitating part.

    After being in meds for over 15 years, I’m FINALLY not resentful about it. I take it right before bed so that I sleep through the affects (this one makes me tired anyway). Having my son has helped me – I take that pill for him.

    My basic rule for my depressions is to not give in to it. I do the opposite of what I am inclined to do while depressed. If I feel like burrowing and hiding? I go out. It doesn’t matter if I enjoy myself or not – it’s about keeping my life going and yeah, to distract myself. Sometimes I have to eat with people so that I don’t pay attention to the fact that I have no desire to nourish myself. I make a to do list of things I need to get done – the desire to check things off the list is strong even when I’m depressed, so if I have “take a shower” on there, I’ll do it regardless of how I feel about it.

    Last but not least, I let people know I’m depressed. I let them know that I am not myself and may not be super fun to be around but that I could use the company at the moment. I hate telling people this but it works. It works every time.

  20. Does it eventually go away on its own? This is my first dance with depression and my doctor said the same thing, but considering it took 12 weeks for the anti-depressants to make a difference, I keep wondering if it really WOULD have gone away on its own. (Or if the anti-depressants aren’t working at all and this is actually a result of the depression going away on its own – yes, this is how jacked-up my thinking is at times.)

    My first check-in visit after a month on the anti-depressants, my doctor was sick. No one told me I’d be seeing a stranger. I was FROZEN. And stuttered through it all again. And then very, very (irrationally, likely) angry that I had to hash it all out again to someone who didn’t seem to *get* it.

    Love you, lady. <3

  21. Keep plugging, Casey. You can do it! May I suggest my current favorite distractions?

    1) Angry Birds
    2) Angry Birds Seasons

    They’re fun, funny and good distractions.

  22. Love to you. xo

  23. Casey, I cannot tell you how much it is helping me to read these words from you. I have never, not ever, found anyone who was willing to share, explain, put it into words that made sense or even came close to expressing how much it hurts. And when you talk about this I don’t feel like such a freak show.

    I am embarrassed to tell you that my 12 year old recently told me I need to stop watching Criminal Minds. And SVU. and the like. Because when I do, I can vividly picture any and all of those horrible things happening to my kids. And then I get all smother mothery on her and it freaks her out.

    I hate that she will grow up and remember me like I am when I get like that. And I love that I don’t have to explain the preceeding sentence, because for once, someone gets it.

    I, too, try to be a “good depressed person” when it hits. I have been able to control things for now with rest and B Vits and sunshine. But I know when I can’t, it is off to the doctor again. And I am down with that. Because it will happen and when it does, it will be ok.

    You really make a difference, Casey. Thank you for being honest and real.

  24. Sending lots of hugs your way, and if i could, i’d send you a boat load of poutine! I hate taking a stupid pill everyday….but i hate who i am when i don’t take it even more. Loves to you!

  25. Long time no comment on my part. Sorry for that. Still reading every word, as usual, though.

    I am about to start weaning off all my bipolar meds so that I can try for my last baby. I am terrified. I want to be pregnant again so badly, but there is such fear that I will relapse and become a depressed zombie again. I hate when my kids have to see me like that and bear the brunt of my crazed emotions. In order to try to make sure I keep doing the healthy things that work for me (namely, exercise and sunshine), I’ve signed up for a half marathon. How desperate is that?

    Still, knowing how to be “good at” being depressed is important. The shower is definitely my favorite place to go when I need a good ugly cry. I know to avoid Fox News (DH’s fave) because it makes me paranoid. I know to at least get out of the house long enough to go to the grocery store, and that if I make it that far, I’ll probably take myself to lunch. I know to stay away from Target, because I will probably stumble through there, picking up stuff I don’t need in an attempt to buy my way out of the dumps.

    Yes, being good at being depressed is important when you know you’ll be dealing with it again at some point, no matter how religiously you take your meds. I just hadn’t ever thought of it that way. Thanks for that.

    So glad you’re on the upswing. Sorry about the puking, though. Can’t wait for Mozzi to make her appearance!

  26. Amy in StL says:

    You’re welcome and once again; thank you. Yay, meds!

  27. I love, love, love your blog. I love your photography. I love your writing style. I love your honesty about how much things suck during an episode of depression, even when logically it seems like everything should be wonderful. So thank you for reminding us that even in our darkest places that our mind takes us, we are not alone.

  28. I was sooooo low when pregnant with my son so I was up for trying ANY medicine that made me better. I found one that works well for me and I’m sooooo thankful that something makes me feel better. It terrifies me to be the way I was during my pregnancy…I don’t want to be like that again…ever. So, I take my pill.

    I too can’t seem to watch SVU, although I do love me some Elliott Stabler ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for your post.

  29. I am going through a similar thing (minus the pregnant part) and feel like I’m slowly coming up (but i have felt that a few times over the past year and fall back down) Here’s to hopeful. Thank you for sharing your struggle. I’m glad there are people who are out there who understand what it feels like.

  30. Casey, I’ve been away and just now read your last few posts.

    I don’t have any advice to offer. I just want to tell you that you are a beautiful, talented and amazing person. People are drawn to your energy. I saw it when I first met you at BlogHer. I felt it myself.

    You are courageous for taking the pill despite hating it. You are wise to know that you needed help. Your willingness to share inspires others in ways you cannot imagine.

    Hang in there. Brighter skies are ahead for you. I’m sure of this.

    ((hugs))

  31. And somehow you manage to have a sense of humor still. Prayers for you, and sunny days too.

  32. We could so be friends, we have the same taste in movies! I hope sunny days are not too far away for you. Hugs!

  33. Under no circumstances should you read the Steig Larrson books or watch the movies. DO NOT.

  34. My last OB wore hearing aids and was a recent vietnamese transplant. So not only did he not hear me often, he misunderstood what he did hear. That was fun.

    I get it. Mine will ebb and flow. I know when it starts coming, and I brace myself for it. And it sucks. I have to ride it out, waiting for the dark to lift a little, so I can know I’m on my way out of it.

    Even though I know it always leaves, I always wonder if this is it. If this will be the One Time that changes into All the Time, and then I’m that person you see with a shopping cart and seven coats, shuffling around in bedroom slippers.

    I hate my pills too. But I can’t be a mom, a wife, a person, without them. They make me less awful.

  35. You are so brave. I suffer from mental illness also. I am not brave enough to “come out” on my blog. I have been thinking of a post that i have wanted to write but then i can picture my few readers clicking on the little x on the top of the screen and never coming back. I admire your courage. I hate taking pills too i currently take 5 for my mental illness and one for my heart problem. anyway i do hope you feel better soon. and now i have outed myself and delurked all in one comment. They probably make a pill for that don’t ya think..

  36. xoxo.Love you, Casey.

  37. I don’t hate taking my pill, for the very fact it allows me to feel.

  38. Sorry, as opposed to being sunk in abject despair, unable to feel even a glimmer of hope.

  39. Shower crying didn’t start for me until after I had Eddie.

    But I sleep. oh do i sleep. I can sleep for DAYS at a time.

    and I watch 80’s teen movies. John Hughes didn’t realize that he was making escapist movies for me.

    oh, i also read books like are you there god, it’s me, margaret. they bring me back to childhood–a simpler time.

    but mostly? i sleep.

  40. I never thought about trying to rock at depression. I like the idea of a battle plan. Maybe I’ll do my own post and list my own battle plan… battle-y… things.

    I’m so glad to hear that you are getting better. I hate seeing new doctors, too. I really liked the last psychiatrist I saw, but really didn’t feel like having to spill my guts (and at a rate of $40 a week, to boot). I don’t know why, but blogging and vlogging about how I feel is a lot easier than sitting in someone’s office and trying to explain it to them.

    Anyway. Hugs and love to you.

  41. Thinking of you, beautiful lady, and sending lots of love and healing thoughts and prayers your way.

  42. See, and here I think that if you’d go ahead and desensitize yourself by watching a ton of R-rated movies, I couldn’t shock you anymore when we talk, so it might be a winning situation for you.

  43. I’ve never thought about how the TV shows I watch effect my depression. Thank you for that correlation. I’ve often found that after watching SVU I feel differently, and as much as I love that show, I think I should stop watching it. I’ll stick to the not so horribly uncomfortable episodes of The Office.

  44. Since I’ve always expressed my affection for you, I’ll share with you some things that only a hand full of people know about this past year…I am on Adderall even though I don’t have ADD. I am on an anti-depressant and a drug generally for bipolar even though I have atypical symptoms. Here’s the thing: I am a fit female. You cannot blame my lifestyle on my low blood pressure, and the numbing fatigue that goes along with it. I took a three hour nap today. It cuts severely into my life’s agenda. You know, casual things like, oh, hangin with the hubs & kids. The babysitter for tonight has already been canceled (BOO).

    Taking three pills a day? No thanks. But having a fulfilling, live-in-the-moment life? Yes, please. So I take the pills and hope that the bouts of fatigue lessen. Some days are better. Some days not. Here’s hoping you have a bout of better days. Perhaps some day we’ll celebrate together.

  45. So glad to read that you are feeling a wee bit better. I am curious as to why you have not been medicated this whole time (perhaps you have, but the gist of this post seems to indicate you were not), considering your past experience with depression during pregnancy.

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