What happens to a hypochondriac, introvert during a pandemic with a history of depression? Well you get me struggling with the dark comfort that depression sometimes offers. Today was a perfect sunny 88 degrees and I had to force myself to take a shower, put on semi clean clothing to pick up a Walmart curbside order pickup. That series of task took so much effort.
I have a masters degree in professional counseling and have been a field social worker who has assessed parents, seniors and caretakers for depression for the past six years, so I am uniquely qualified to self-analyze. The first month of the stay order I loved not having a routine. Having an excuse to do absolutely nothing, was an introvert’s dream. I could sleep in, work from bed, take a shower every other day, and complete tasks on my timeline. Then in May my weeklong Foster Care Training that changed to an online course that required me to be camera ready every day for five days. It also required a schedule. I had to be up every morning and be in front the camera. It also forced me to face the reality of my work environment and had to get an actual desk and chair.
With my new need to be productive and get into a routine, I became ambitious wanting to created new goals. I wanted to utilize this time and do something productive and create a list of things I wanted to accomplish since I knew I had at least another month before my state would go into the second phase reopening and possibly return to the office. Just sorting through my options started picking away at my insecurities.
Option 1: Get back to writing and consistently post to Deliberately Dope and even add a new section to track my weight loss routine. That brings me to option 2 – get back to working out.
Option 2: Working out. Ever since we relocated, I have not worked out consistently. Working out provided more then toning my body it was boosted my endorphins the kept my depression at bay for the last couple of years.
Option 3: Discover a second steam of revenue. With the move took a big hit to our household economy. We are still living in an apartment that is minimally furnished and two thriving teenagers who now want more then they wanted two years ago when their needs were more manageable. But now I have a son who wants to build his gaming computer and a daughter now cares about what type of sneakers she is wearing.
I chose option four… Do nothing. I sat back and didn’t do anything. I spoke with my sister and best friend every day who were thriving during this pandemic. I am not saying this lightly, not out of jealously but pure observation and their actions amplified my inactions. Of course, I knocked out a couple of projects and got completely caught up on my cases, but that was it. I am not leaving this pandemic with finishing all my books on my reading list, starting a great workout routine, or even writing. What I managed to do is recognize that I am depressed. I haven’t been lazy these last three months, I have been working through a depression that has been festuring for the past 10 months. Writing this I hope I can take a grip on my reality and find my way through it, and maybe help someone else who couldn’t check things off their list. I can’t be the only one.
Here are some warning signs to look out for:
- Hopeless outlook
- Lost of interest
- Increased fatigue and sleep problems
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Uncontrollable emotions
- Looking at death
While not all depressive episodes lead to suicidal ideations, please reach out for help, because such feelings can fester and get out of control. If talking to a friend or family member is too daunting, try a crisis hotline or text line.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Text START to 678-678
Text Home to 741-741