Thursday, May 28, 2009


I have used the phrase "I'm depressed" countless times over the years, but I don't think I've ever known what the word meant until now.

That sounds extreme, but it isn't.

In the past when I have used that phrase, it could actually have been any of the following:

  • I'm overwhelmed.
  • I'm sad.
  • I'm angry.
  • I'm stressed.
  • I'm at a crossroads in my life and am not sure which way to go.
  • I'm at a crossroads in my life and I KNOW which way to go, but it's a hell of a lot of trouble.
  • I'm regretting decisions that affected my life.
  • I'm regretting decisions that affected the lives of others.
  • I'm feeling helpless.
  • I'm feeling hopeless.
  • I'm feeling restless.
  • I'm bored.
  • I'm worried.
  • I'm in a rut.
None of those apply to my life right now. Except maybe the regrets part, but I don't dwell on them.

Yet I have this (almost) overwhelming sensation that I can only describe as depression. It's just a funk. It may be due to the fact that this school year has gone on for-freakin-ever, and we still have another week with the students. THEN post-planning. Egads.

I don't want to alarm anyone who knows me and has to work with me or live with me, because I'm not screaming out for help or even considering taking drugs, although those might just help me cope with the end of the school year. If it ever gets here. Never mind the two graduation ceremonies I'll have to endure.

I'm already doing most of the things they say one should do to combat depression. I have exercised EVERY STINKIN' DAY since December 30, with the exception of three. I actually enjoy exercise. Maybe that's the first sign of mental illness itself.

I get enough sleep, usually eight hours a night during the week, sometimes nine on the weekend.

I stay busy working on the computer, crocheting, reading for pleasure, improving upon the courses I teach.

Okay, so maybe I don't eat EXACTLY right, but surely three out of four is good enough? It would get me a multi-million dollar contract in baseball.

I feel like I have a purpose. Many purposes maybe.

I have hobbies and friends and a great marriage and wonderful relationships with my sisters and a self-supporting child and pets and little debt and a steady recession-proof job and good health and a whole whopping six weeks off for summer vacation this year.

I have heard people ask incredulously about someone, "What's she got to be depressed about?" (Actually, I think I've heard my mother say that about ME.)

That's like asking, "What's she got to have a cold about?"

It isn't an emotion; it's a condition. A situation. A thing.

I felt like this a couple of weeks ago, on a weekend, and I was a little frightened. Worried might be a better word for it.

Then on Monday morning, the fog had lifted, and I thought to myself, "Whew, I'm glad THAT'S over."

I'm not spiraling downward, and it's not like I want to curl up in a corner and go to sleep or anything like that.

It's just like I've got this knapsack full of hammers on my back and I can't put them down.

I am completely confident it will pass, probably very quickly. This weekend I'll be floating in the pool with a beverage nearby, and I'll wonder, "What was THAT all about?"

I have a new appreciation for people who are truly depressed. As long as they aren't just sad or something.

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