Saturday, May 14, 2011
Drowning in your own thoughts
May is mental health awareness month. I find it ironic that I asked my doctor to up my anti depressant dosage during this month. Things have been in a downward spiral for about a month. I can't put my finger on what the trigger was for it. Just stress I guess.
I should be happy! I survived cancer.
Kicked its ass actually, and continue to kick it with my advocacy.
Then why am I so damned depressed?
Freedictionary defines depression as: Psychology A psychiatric disorder characterized by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, loss of appetite, anhedonia, feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, and thoughts of death. Also called clinical depression
Great. I survived cancer now I have a psychiatric disorder.
It's not really that uncommon for cancer survivors to be depressed. I don't have exact numbers or graphs or charts but I know I am not the only one.
Although sometimes it feels that way.
I know I have been avoiding dealing with this for some time. I'm supposed to be strong right? I'm the one people lean on. A friend of mine told me that he doesn't know how I can deal with everything I deal with, that I must have armadillo skin.
The signs were all there. Avoidance, sadness, loss of interest etc. I chose to ignore them, or maybe I thought it was different this time.
I was wrong.
Its hard to explain to someone who doesn't deal with this what its like. It sucks because its not something you can control.
I tried to explain to a friend of mine about this. I said I was dealing with this depression, and that it wasn't going to be easy dealing with me, that I may get upset or angry for no reason. She said she understood.
But I could tell she really didn't.
Trying to explain to someone what this feels like is like shooting rubberbands at the stars. You can try but it wont reach. Unless you have know what this feels like its hard to explain.
Your head tells you one thing that your heart knows isn't true:
No one else feels like this, no one can help me, I feel lost.
Obviously none of those are true, but when you are within that moment, drowning in a sea of your own thoughts that is what it feels like.
Depression can handcuff you too. Makes it hard to do your job and live your life. Sometimes its a struggle just to make it through the day without wanting to just curl up in a ball and go to sleep, or feel like you are on pins and needles the whole day.
The passing of The Carcinista was a definitely a huge blow. I am not even sure how I got through that week at work.
So if you saw me the first week of May I wasn't myself.
Realizing that was hard.
Asking for help was harder.
I know I am taking steps in the right direction to get back on track, back to myself.
It could be a slow process, or a quick one.
Either way I am glad I know I am getting better.
Mel is the producer/co~host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen Live Monday~Friday 10am-noon eastern time on wmktthetalkstation.com
Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on Empoweradio.com Available on demand and also available on Itunes.