So here's a fun* game I've been playing recently: Am I doing this because that or because I'm depressed?
Am I sleeping for nine hours straight and waking up bone tired because my meds are off? Or am I depressed? Am I paralyzed at the thought of picking up the phone and calling the dentist to make appointments for the kids because I hate talking on the phone? Or am I depressed? Am I unsettled and frustrated at work because I have very little control over a situation that negatively affects my day-to-day work? Or am I depressed? Am I crying at anything and everything because the world is a terrifying place to raise children, am I overwhelmed by the fact that it's September because it signals the return of busy schedules and less downtime, am I short and irritable with my children because they're children and children are kind of the worst while you're teaching them to be good, kind citizens of the world, am I sad - a lot - because I miss important people who I wish could be a bigger part of my life, am I dwelling on words spoken about my children and my parenting style because my biggest fear is screwing up this parenting gig, am I not coping well because my therapist took the summer off, am I drowning in laundry / dishes / dust because I have young kids and that's just part of this season of life, or am I depressed?
I truly don't know.
Anxiety is my jam. I can describe the different ways I've experienced anxiety throughout my life. I can read lists, listen to spoken word, and acknowledge the experience of others, while identifying strongly. I recognize anxiety. Anxiety is a familiar beast.
Depression is more foreign to me. I've definitely experienced periods of being blue. I'm a feeler. I feel all the feels - the good, the bad, the ugly. But I've never felt like this. It's entirely possible that this is the end of summer funk. That the thought of rushed school mornings and packed lunches and the return of the rainy season has messed with my equilibrium. Maybe in a few weeks we'll be back in the swing of things and I won't feel so defeated. But right now, I am struggling. I am not coping well. I do not want to give up caffeine / sugar / alcohol or call my doctor or go to the gym to sweat it out. I want to send my words out into the universe and hear that I'm not the only one. And then I want to curl up in bed and sleep for nine hours because soon it will be morning and I'll be waking up tired.
*it's not fun at all. It's terrible.