There are times that I am pretty sure that my depression and anxiety are afflictions I made up in some sort of bid to get attention. After all, what do I have to be depressed about? I have a great career, and I just bought a new home. My parents are healthy, my pets are happy, and my sister is married to an amazing man. I have friends. Why, then, am I depressed sometimes?
Now, we should all know the answer to this question. The reason I am depressed sometimes is because I have an illness called major depressive disorder that sometimes causes the chemicals in my brain to get jacked up and messes with my neurotransmitters. But one thing that depression likes to do is depression likes to lie. So while depression is up there messing around with my brain and screwing with my amygdala and making my corpus callosum a bit less effective than I need it to be, it is also up there telling me that I am an attention-seeker, that other people have real problems, and that I should just grow up and get over it.
And anxiety is like depression’s sidekick. When my depression is lying to me and telling me I am making up my symptoms, anxiety is kicking it up a notch and leading me into racing thoughts and inability to sleep and some ineffective coping mechanisms (Carbs. Online shopping. Candy Crush Saga.). They both help feed my eating disorder and my, um, spending “issue.”
And now it is January. It gets light out later in the morning and dark out earlier in the evening. The high times of the holiday season are over, and discarded Christmas trees sit at the curb, waiting to be picked up by the borough. Gifts have been put away. The promises of the New Year’s Resolutions that were made so earnestly just ten days ago have given way to that specific sort of shame that you feel when you “fail” at your new diet.
January and I are not friends.
I had to do a LOT of adulting in a very short period when I was getting ready to move. I had to go to my leasing office and break my lease. I had to pack up my apartment and call a moving company and get the utilities at the new house put in my name and accept delivery of new furniture and new appliances. I had to deal with my first plumbing emergency (and had to learn how to turn all the water off to my new house).
I had to make a LOT of phone calls…and I hate making phone calls. I would rather order pizza online and text my friends and email my therapist than talk on the phone. I have such phone anxiety outside of work, which is interesting because, just as in so many other areas, the things that I can’t handle doing outside of work are no problem when I am in the NICU. Make a phone call? Split-second decision? React to an emergency? Not a problem at work. At home, however, I have to talk myself into a lot of things.
I am down to a just a few leftover things that have to be done. I managed to make an appointment to get my car serviced and inspected (it’s a little overdue), thanks to an online scheduling system, an email, and a call the service center made to me. I paid my tuition (had to call my financial advisor to free up the money to make that possible) and learned about the trash pick-up in my new neighborhood (had to call the borough hall and then go there to handle that). My final frontier is my cable service. I have to call the cable company and get my account transferred from my old apartment to my new house. It seems like an easy thing to do. But on top of all the other phone calls and arrangements I have had to make lately, it just seems like a little too much.
Luckily, I have a pretty large data plan and can use my phone as a mobile hotspot. And that is why I can write this blog post about how January is hard. I know I am not the only one who has a tough time at this point in the year. If you need support, please reach out. I moderate my comments and would be happy to converse with you!
As Glennon Doyle Melton says, we belong to each other.
I promise to be here if you need me.