Depression Update

What if I don’t want to pretend to be happy today?

That thought ran through my head as I hung up the phone at work after helping another user with our applications.

It’s been just over four months since I started taking Zoloft for depression, and about two and a half months since I began seeing a counselor. Overall, I think my life has gotten better … but it’s certainly not perfect, nor is it ever going to be.

Release week for Libriomancer was amazing and wonderful and a lot of fun. It was also exhausting and at times incredibly stressful. I can’t wait for Worldcon, but I know it’s also adding stress and anxiety to my life.

A lot of what I’ve been working on during therapy deals with stuff at home, which I’m not going to get into here. Suffice it to say, some things have improved, while others are more of a work-in-progress.

I think that’s what I’m running into now: the “in-progress” part of it all. This isn’t an instant fix. And the early energy of “Yay, I’m Doing Something About My Depression!” has worn off.

And sometimes things slip. I woke up with low blood sugar at 2 a.m. the other night, which meant I was exhausted the next day at work, and the whole day just kind of steamrollered me from there. I give myself permission to have fun and spend an hour playing the Star Wars game we borrowed from a friend, and then feel guilty and more overwhelmed by the stuff I didn’t get done.

On a personal level, this week has pretty much sucked. And that’s going to happen. Nobody gets all good days. But it’s hard. In the back of my mind, I start thinking that maybe the meds aren’t helping as much, or maybe the therapy hasn’t done enough–

No, that’s not true. What I really start thinking is that I’ve failed. That if I were doing a better job of listening and understanding and working in therapy, the conversation that spiraled so out of control last night never would have happened. That all of the relationships and issues I’m struggling with would be better. But things that made sense in the doctor’s office get all murky and messed up when I try to apply them to real life.

Maybe it is my failure. Or maybe that’s just life. (And these are not mutually exclusive possibilities.)

What I think I need to do is remind myself that this is a long-term process. To recognize that things have improved, overall. To give myself permission to have bad days, and to cut myself some slack when things fall apart.

All of which is easier said than done.

Dear Depression,

You win this round of lightsaber duel. But next time I talk to the therapist, I’m asking her for the cheat codes, and when I come back I’m going to slice your giblets off.