Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Without excuses

The worst part about depression is the retreating...from things I would like to do, from people I would like to see, from tasks that I'd like to accomplish. Over the past several months, I have stopped going to my book group. I have missed my writing group twice. I have been sporadic in my attendance at Tuesday night sangha. I have cancelled my piano lessons. I have been unable to keep my commitment with my writing partner. And I have repeatedly set up dates with friends, only to change plans at the last minute.

Just doing the things I must do has become a chore. Showing up for work takes everything I have each week. And even there, I have had sick days, and days when I arrived late or left early.

On top of the mood issue, I have been feeling physically unwell, dealing with nausea and night sweats. I have been sleeping poorly, waking up numerous times, often from vivid, terrifying nightmares.

Add to all of this new medications with their side effects, and the uncertainty that changes bring, and I have been rendered nearly dysfunctional.

Much of the time, when I sit down at this blog, trying to keep that commitment, it is a huge task to write about anything unrelated to all this chaos. And yet, writing about it makes me feel vulnerable and whiny and self-conscious. Sometimes, like tonight, after a day that was particularly bad, I end up writing about it anyway, because there is just no getting around the elephant in the middle of the living room.

I think I stress most about the fact that I have to repeatedly say, "I'm not going to be able to make it." Or "Sorry, not this week." It seems okay to make an excuse once, maybe even twice. But when the excuses continue, week after week, I can't help but feel that I am getting on everyone's nerves, wearing them out with my own weariness.

I wish I knew the date that this would end. If I could just say, "Everything's off until March 15 - then I'll be back on board," it would feel manageable. But instead, I wake up every morning not knowing how much longer this will last, this time.

So - forgive me for not showing up. Please pardon my absences. I'll try not to make any more excuses. It just is what it is, apparently, and no amount of determination seems able to change the state I am in - I can only trust that eventually, it will change.


  1. Sorry to hear that your depression has worsened lately. I am grateful for your share and to receive who you are.

  2. Thanks, Jennifer. It's good to be heard...

  3. Michelle,

    We miss you at book group. The discussions aren't the same without you. So, when you are ready, we look forward to having you back.

    Depression is something we have all experienced in one way or another, but seldom talk about. So, in my opinion, your writing about it is a gift.

    BTW, there is an interesting article about the positive things that come from depression. It's by Jonah Lehrer. (He wrote Proust was a Neuroscientist) I can't remember where I saw it, but I think he has a website.