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About juno_writes

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    writing, reading, photography, being outside

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  1. I used to drink way too much soda and got off it by drinking more unflavored seltzer water. Wouldn't have thought it would be satisfying, but it was. (I still drink too much coffee, though.) If you carbonate the water yourself, you can control how fizzy to make it. Lots of carbonation may still not be very healthy, but at least you have more control. Maybe you can even buy flavorings that are light in sugar or caffeine? As for me... I am going over the edge with the doomscrolling this week. Also, my Dad has his first cancer treatment tomorrow. I've never had a big problem with anxiety, but am feeling like it's hard to breathe.
  2. Welcome, Gage! There's a common assumption, with those who haven't experienced depression, that it's mainly an issue of sadness. For me, the real day-to-day issues are low energy and brain fog (trouble with executive functioning). It's always a good idea to get a medical workup checking for things like thyroid disorders and nutritional deficiencies, which can cause depression symptoms. In my case there's no obvious cause, either. The fact that you mentioned lack of enjoyment (anhedonia) as well as low energy does make it sound more like depression. It can feel VERY physical. I think of it as similar to nausea in some ways: a full-body experience that rolls over me in waves. It's always there, at least in the background. As with nausea, I can push myself to be productive despite it up to a point... then just hit a wall where the symptoms are more acute or energy is used up. The reserve is much smaller and gets drained much faster than when I've felt well. There is sadness in the mix, too -- grief over the losses that kicked off this episode, regret over the opportunities it's made me miss, despair about the future. Without the fatigue, though, I could cope with these things by taking better advantage of the opportunities that still exist. You're taking action early, and that's great. I hope that the counselor and meds bring you relief. In the meantime, as for fighting through the low energy... I sure wish that there were one or two good tips. Instead, I have a hundred mediocre ones. There are a lot of things that can help a little. Whatever helps you, one key is to accept that you'll need to keep doing it regularly. Routines are important, especially routines for healthy sleep and eating. Exercise and social connections are well-known "treatments" but can feel pretty impossible sometimes. Instead of declaring goals that I can't consistently keep, I find it more helpful to ask questions: Is this (whatever I'm doing in the moment) a good use of limited energy? What CAN I control? How simple can I make this? If it's hard to keep on track, it's fine to make lists or even talk yourself through each step. Little steps add up.
  3. This description also feels familiar. Dr. Edith Eger, whose memoir blew me away: "It's as though all the tears I can't allow myself to shed on the outside are draining into a pool inside. I can't ignore the grief, but I can't seem to expel it either... I don't have the vocabulary to explain the flooded feeling in my chest, the dark throb in my forehead. It's like grit smeared across my vision. Later, this feeling will have a name. Later, I will know to call it depression."
  4. Interesting -- I relate to much of this, especially the feeling of running in jello, with lots of effort and almost no movement. Even my dreams feel that way.
  5. We've all seen the symptom checklists that focus on thoughts, emotions, and behavior, but I'm trying to pay attention lately to how depression feels physically. Maybe that can give me some little bit of distance from it. (If I break an ankle, it's possible to feel that pain without my sense of self getting wrapped up with it.) But depression is so diffuse. It's everywhere -- hard to pin down and see clearly. Last time I had a stomach bug, I thought: depression is like nausea. It's a full-body experience, which sometimes has the same sensation of rolling over me in a wave when I move just a little. I can push myself to walk around and get some things done with nausea -- it's not acute like a broken ankle -- but there are no splints or crutches that reliably treat it, and it's so physically and mentally draining that only the most urgent things get done. But maybe it's different for you?
  6. Is it weird to say that that sounds like a good time? It is good to have a real conversation about things that matter, even if they're dark. If I can start out on that basis with someone, the small talk flows much more easily. Sounds like he appreciated it as well.
  7. The bad: My house has no AC, which (when it's 99 degrees) means sharing 200 sq ft of living space in the basement with my partner, who has explosive anger issues. The good: I can escape for a few days to my parents' old house, which I'm helping prep for sale. It's lovely and cool. The bad: Marinating in old memories alone, and thinking about how I left here at 17 with grand plans for the future... lol.
  8. Sounds interesting, especially since he's lived with depression himself. I'll check it out, thanks.
  9. It has been hard watching others' lives improve simply by removing the alcohol/drugs, while for me the depression is still there. I went through a period of thinking, 'If I'm still unhappy, I must be doing sobriety wrong, or maybe alcohol wasn't the problem.' Well, it wasn't THE problem, but it was an unhealthy way to cope. (It's a DEPRESSANT, after all.) What turned around my thinking was the idea that there's nothing so wrong in my life that taking a drink couldn't make it worse. Not the world's most inspiring quote... but it's true. Whatever else is going on, drinking is just like scratching an itch -- that kind of escape makes things feel better for a few hours but ultimately just makes the itch worse, repeat, repeat, repeat. Life is simpler if I don't go there. Thanks for the welcome, and congrats on your 2 years! It does (with ups and downs) tend to get easier over time. Juno
  10. Hello! I discovered this forum last night, read posts til 2 AM, and said “Yes!” so many times I had to join. It will be 10 years this month since my depression started with a traumatic event. It’s getting worse, despite MANY medical and holistic treatments. Medication and therapy were the least helpful. There’s a lot more I could say… but don’t want to discourage anyone else from trying these things, because I’ve seen them work for others. What’s helped me most is peer support, through addiction recovery groups (sober 9 years), blogging about a medical issue that’s fed into the depression, and having a small but consistent mindfulness group with a few friends. Still, the effects are snowballing to an appalling degree. (You can imagine.) I’m tired and disillusioned, but see depression eating through the years and WANT to live, to salvage all I can. So, on this anniversary of the &$%# that started it all, I’m here to look for new tools, remember to practice what’s helped in the past, and just generally recommit to caring. Thank you for having me.
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