Whenever I’ve written about my depression in the past two years, it’s usually been from a place that’s separate from it. It’s been a variation of “I’ve been depressed and this is what I did.”
This post will be different. This one is coming from inside the depression.
I had a minor car accident two weeks ago. While stopped at a red light, my car was rear ended. I’d never been in an accident that involved another vehicle so I wasn’t sure of the proper protocol. In the end, I did everything I think I was supposed to, including going to Urgent Care due to some neck and shoulder pain.
At Urgent Care I was prescribed Flexeril, a potent muscle relaxer. I did not take it that initial night because I had a play to perform in. I did take it the following night (Sunday evening). It knocked me out quickly. I’d been excused from work the following day and didn’t wake up Monday morning until almost 11am. From there, I stayed in bed for almost the entirety of the day. I briefly left the house to pick up food, and then came back ate, and watched TV and napped in my bed. All throughout the day I felt that familiar heaviness and disconnection coming on.
That night I had an Improv class (as a student, not a teacher). At class, I immediately felt very disconnected. My head was not in the exercises or scenes. I couldn’t engage in conversation. I could barely even fake a smile. At the break, I told Darren (my instructor) that I was going to go home because I wasn’t feeling well.
I went home devastated that this thing that usually brings me such joy, Improv, had failed to get me out of my funk. I told myself that the next day would be better, because I’d be at work and engaged and not just in bed all day. And that did help a bit. Over the course of the week, things got incrementally better. Getting to perform in the play I’ve been working on for months definitely helped pull me out.
But then just as it had a week earlier, on Sunday it started creeping back in. The feeling of not wanting to leave the house and not wanting to engage in conversation and not wanting to do anything but nap was in full force. I did get out of the house for a couple hours to have dinner, but even that didn’t make me feel connected.
Things at work have not been well, and I have been told that I will no longer be teaching in the classroom that I’ve taught in for six years. I’ll move from teaching the 4-5 years old down to the 2-3 year old class. I have not taken this well. I will obviously do my best job in that classroom, but I feel undervalued and demoted.
Today I had a therapy session. This was one of the first sessions I’ve had where I was noticeably “in” the depression. My therapist and I talked about my history of depression. We talked about how I experience or life, or more accurately, how I don’t experience life and how I filter my experiences through a lens that keeps from feeling things firsthand. We talked about how much trouble I have feeling like I fit in because I’m too busy filtering my experiences to actually fit into them.
And we talked about my history with anti-depressants, and my fears of going back to them. He recommended a colleague of his who specializes in wellness psychiatry, where instead of just writing my a prescription after two minutes of talking to me like my last psychiatrist, this one (a female) would listen and have a conversation with me and we could discuss my fears and my options.
This gave me some comfort. I do not want to go back on anti-depressants, based off of my experiences with them before. However, I also don’t want to walk through life disconnected and not experiencing everything I could be.
So I took the business card of the colleague he suggested, and I’ll have a consultation, and see what that feels like.
As far as how I’m feeling right now?
Heavy. Separate. Tired.
Tomorrow I will go to a job that is underutilizing me. But Friday, I get to close out The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret, and I will feel more connected and more inspired. Theatre has a funny way of doing that.
So in summation, right now sucks, but I do know that there are better moments coming soon.
In the meantime, I’m going to lay down and finish watching Deadpool 2.