anxiety, emotions

Health

When I get news about my health, I keep it to myself. When I am having tests run, I keep it to myself. I have so many actual, definitive health issues that I don’t want to burden people with the idea of another health issue or the stress of waiting for a test.

I suffer from MDD. On my best days I can laugh while being out and social. I’m still sore and tired. I’m still frustrated and my brain is going haywire, but I’m social and visible.

When I get a cold, my brain tells me I’m dying of ebola or some crazy thing. I mostly keep those brain weasels in check, but I do that by not acknowledging what they say. That means I can’t discuss what tests we are running or what I may have developed. Until there is a confirmation, it stays locked up in my head or comes out disguised as something else.

For the record, my last two health scares have come back negative so I feel validated by this thought process.

anxiety, depression, emotions

Functional

I am functional in many ways. I have been most of my life. I’m a functional alcoholic. For most of my life I had functional depression. I was great in school and at the top of my class. I was going to be a nuclear engineer. When that didn’t work out, I went into retail. I worked my way up the ladder over the years and was very successful in my stores.

Nobody really knew what was happening in my head. I was moody or sad. I was emotional or distant. I was shy or unfriendly. But in reality, I was suffering from depression. People couldn’t tell because I was so good at masking it and I was successful.

That all changed a few years ago. My walls starting crumbling faster than I could rebuild them. My success was starting to falter. My skills were becoming dull. My bed and my bottle were becoming my sanctuaries. All of the tricks that I learned in my life to mask and deal with my depression were failing me. I was failing. My career was failing. This was a new dimension that I had never dealt with.

I now know that my depression worsened. I was no longer suffering from functional depression. I was becoming less functional in everything. I was suffering from MDD (major depressive disorder). I was trapped in the walls of my mind that my depression built. Instead of my containing it, it was now the key master. I was the one being contained. My cage was a fiery pit while my body continued on throughout the day. People noticed that something was different, but my depression was able to fool even the best ones.

I ended up in therapy because the idea of being on medication for my whole life was too much to fathom. I was young. I didn’t want to be involved with anything until death. Well, except my husband of course. So I did therapy. It helped. I became functioning again, but not for long. After a couple of years, my walls keeping me prisoner were thicker, taller, and stronger than ever. I needed help and I couldn’t talk my way out of it this time. I couldn’t snark or schmooze my way past this gatekeeper.

Drugs have helped, of course, but I don’t know if I will ever get back to being fully functional again. I think the MDD is here to stay this time. I think I have a new companion for life, but at least I have my husband as well. I guess you could say that we are in a thruple, for better or worse.

Hopefully for better.

depression

Belief

Belief is a big part of our lives. We can choose to believe or not believe, but does it actually change what is? If I don’t believe the sky is blue, does that make it not? Let’s be honest. You want to argue that point, but the reality is that the sky is not blue. It is perceived as blue because other wavelengths are stronger and pass through the atmosphere. So, is the sky blue?

When someone tells me they have cancer, I can’t imagine what that must be like. Does it hurt everywhere? All of the time? Can they sleep? Are they supposed to avoid certain foods or activities? I don’t know, so I ask questions so that I can know. The same is true for diabetes, broken bones, and many other ailments.

I have MDD (major depressive disorder). I often refer to it as depression. Just like people don’t list the medical name of their cancer, I don’t say I have MDD. For me, it’s easier and it sounds less scary to say depression. The down side, though, is that people think they know what it’s like. They know that eating better will help me. That smiling will make it better. Faking it until you make it. They don’t ask questions, but they think they know, so their belief in MDD is not there. Their sky really is blue.