Depression on Hold

If you don’t follow my other blog, you may not have read about the recent loss of my best friend, Chester.

Chester

That’s my boy. And I miss him so much.

Two days after his passing, I went on Automattic’s annual Grand Meetup – this year it was in Park City, Utah. And I nearly didn’t attend due to my crushing depression. My husband had to really convince me to go.

It took me nearly an entire day to pack for the week long trip which would normally take me less than an hour. I also packed a checked bag instead of my normal carry-on because I didn’t want to think about what I would need that week and just threw things into the bag. I didn’t want to go, so packing wasn’t important.

Then I had to put my emotions and feelings on hold for a week while I was at the meetup.

Brave face.

Everything’s ok.

Except everything wasn’t ok. I felt hollow and dead inside. I didn’t actively think about my grief while I was there, but I definitely felt affected by it. I didn’t find as much joy as I normally would when being around my awesome coworkers. I found myself being a bit more cynical and snarky than usual. I wanted to dive into projects and seminars about leadership and how to make awesome products and self-improvement and fun activities, but it was all tinged with a dark cloud of sadness sitting on the edges of my consciousness.

I felt the need to be alone more often. While I enjoy having my own room/space at these meetups (mainly because I don’t have to worry about stray clothing or shutting the bathroom door when I use it), I typically don’t need to hide from the social activity. However, I found myself needing to so I could let my guard down for a while. I had one moment in my group learnup where I was asked if I had kids, and I said “nope, I have three kitties….er…I mean two…” then got too choked up to continue.

sadDr

I feel bad putting on a mask of “everything’s ok” to my coworkers, because had they known how sad and broken I felt on the inside, I would have gotten nothing but support. I also would have cried most of the week, so I’m pretty sure bringing everyone down would not have been the best thing nor fair to everyone who had looked forward to our week together.

The last day and a half of the meetup, I got the cold/flu that had been making the rounds. Typically it’s due to overindulgence/not getting enough sleep that gets you sick at a meetup – but I know it was from my depressed state that left me open to the bug. I missed the grand ending party of the meetup – which was a blessing in disguise, I suppose. I didn’t feel like celebrating.

Once I got home, the little ghosts of Chester’s memory around the apartment started my grief afresh – like it was only less than three days after I lost him rather than 10 days later. I had put my grief and feelings on hold and now I was back to being anguished over the loss. I slept nearly all day the past three days getting over the illness – but it was a depression-fueled sleep. Without the depression, it probably would have only taken a day of rest/fluids to get over it.

Then yesterday, we went to pick up his ashes from the vet which cued up another evening of crying for me.

I’m also eating terribly (thanks Moose) and not exercising. Today, however, I’m going to make myself go out for a run (or a run/walk since I’m so out of shape), rain or no rain. Hell, the rain may make me feel better, somehow.

Tonight, we’re picking up a good friend from Minneapolis at the airport and he’ll be here all weekend – looking forward to that, actually. A bright spot in my week. Lawd knows I need one of those.

I’m writing this down to get it out of my head…to share with the three people that read this blog how I’m feeling. Why I don’t seem myself lately. Why it seems like I just don’t care about anything. Because right now, it’s hard to think of anything else.

I know the pain will subside over time. It just seems so far away right now.

The Best Laid Plans.

Well, that whole “not drinking until my birthday?” goal…that made it a whole 4 days. Thanks Moose.

You know how some people are stress eaters? I’m a stress wine drinker!

courtneywine

There were a few stressful days in my personal life, attending the funeral of a dear friend’s mother, and the insane cold weather all culminated in me being a bit depressed1 and weak to the pull of “let’s go out to dinner and have some wine.” Which turns into another glass of wine…

My go-to stress reliever of going for a long run is more complicated in the winter2. Instead of just being able to throw on my shoes and go out the door, I have to dress to go out in the sub-zero temperatures, drive the 10 minutes to my gym, get redressed to exercise, then meander my way to where the treadmills are in my warehouse-sized gym. Add the reverse procedure to that and my 40 minute run turns into a nearly 1.5 hours of nonsense.

If only I could buy a plane ticket to somewhere where I don’t have to bundle up in wool socks and 3 layers of clothing to feel warm. But, that’s not happening anytime soon.

My normal tendency is to really beat myself up over the slip in my goals. Like serious “you’re such a huge fucking fat failure” and “you’re worthless” kind of flogging. I think that mindset of self-loathing has fueled my struggles with my own weight my entire life and it’s a hard one to shake.

However, I have some amazing friends who tell me I’m awesome and I keep telling myself that I am not a failure and am beautiful. Even if I don’t necessarily believe it 100% yet.

Thanks, Senator Franken!

Thanks, Senator Franken!

I’m using this blog to be honest and open about things and I don’t want this to turn into a pity party where you all cheer “you’re awesome, Carolyn!” so I feel better. That’s not it at all.

I’m just writing this in the hopes that it helps someone else not hate themselves because they ate those donuts or drank those beers when they swore they wouldn’t. It’s about embracing yourself as a person – one who isn’t perfect and one who is going to fall flat on their face every once in a while. I just want to get to the point where I can just dust myself off and keep moving towards my goals without having to berate myself for falling down in the first place.

Well that got deep. Sorry about that.

I’ll be back with more fart jokes and nonsense soon. 🙂

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1 – I really, really don’t like winter. I don’t know if I’m at seasonal affective disorder levels of depression about it – but man I’m sick of being cold by this time of the winter season.

2 – Despite successfully running the Polar Dash, I do not run outside unless it’s above 40F.