Is My Pilot Depressed But Not Sad?

    I joined up for the NaBloPoMo 30 days of blogging challenge.  I have no idea if I’ll be able to do it but I’m giving it a shot. I guess there’s prompts but I’m not sure I’m going to follow them.  Maybe.  I need to blog more, that’s why I’ve signed up for random daily prompts.  I’ve been lacking in the motivational area.  This is not abnormal for me.  I shy away from progress like a vampire does UV.

eric-lake-burning  I signed up a couple of days or weeks ago (omg I can’t even remember how long it’s been).  I haven’t felt the excitement this challenge was meant to give me.  This brought me to wonder: Can one be depressed and not know it?

    Usually when I’m depressed I can find a way to push out of it.  It’s a sadness that creeps under my skin but if I keep going regardless of the sting in my nose and the numb feeling in my mind, I eventually forget it exists.  Maybe that’s a form of burying my problems?

   Sometimes I forget that depression is more than being sad and I think that’s what I’m going through right now.  I don’t feel very sad– not more than usual anyway. I was in a good mood once the stress of last week passed and then suddenly…nothing.  It’s like I don’t want to function.  I’m not used to this.  I’m used to depression of the dark and gloomy variety.  I’m used to feeling like there’s no purpose to functioning so why bother? I’m used to feeling like getting up and showering is pointless so I’ll just fake a migraine as an excuse to dump the responsibility that is parenthood on Kasper and continue to sleep; because that’s the depression I’m used to, the kind that wakes up and goes to sleep with you.  I’m used to crying for no reason, or feeling the need to cry and fighting it because the timing is inconvenient and location double inappropriate.

    I’m used to forcing a laugh because everyone else is laughing and people will notice that I’m not even trying.  I’m used to napping because it’s better than thinking the thoughts biting at my mind.  I’m used to corralling my anger and grinding out commands to my kids instead of yelling at them to leave me alone.  I’m used to putting on loud music while I cook to keep my focus directed on my hand and task and not my thoughts.  I’m used to diverting, avoiding and pretending.

    What I’m not used to is feeling perfectly fine as I communicate, converse and function with my family and finding my eager smile gone the second I turn away from them.  I’m used to laying down because I’m overwhelmed and can’t deal, not lying with my eyes open without a thought to occupy my time, wasting what should be my nap time (a perk of brain injury if you want to view things that way).  There’s just nothing.  I’m usually depressed because I seem to feel everything.  Kasper says my problem is that I feel too much, too deeply; I always blamed this view on his lack of feeling but knew there was truth to it.  Now I see he was more right than I previously thought.

   I’m not tired but I feel lethargic.  I’m not sad but I don’t feel happy.  I’m not angry but I don’t feel content or even satisfied.  I’m not satisfied but I don’t feel miserable.  I understand my situation to the extent that I know when I’m going through a phase of self-pity and Kasper knows me enough to be the support I need during these times but this is totally different. I get up with the drive to do what I’m supposed to do every day so it’s not a matter of  being “stuck” or despondent.  I’m not feeling down about my situation, my thoughts are empty and it’s bothering me more than when my head is filled with swirling shades of red and gray.  When I do have a thought, it’s only a half thought.  I can’t finish anything lately.

   My eyes feel heavy no matter what I do.  I’m not interested in anything and when I try to take interest in something I just stare at whatever it is.  I have a stress relieving coloring book for grown ups.  I can only get enough energy to bring out the book and pencils; I can’t even stay on a solitary thread of thought long enough to pick a damn color to use.

   I don’t understand why the way I interact with my family isn’t forced (the smiles, laughter and even the playing around and joking) but, like I said, once I turn away that smile is gone.  This is okay when I have to manually build a smile and place it on my face purposely (I don’t expect that smile to stay, obviously) but when it’s automatic what does it mean? When my kids or Kasper or even a movie makes me smile and the second the moment has passed that brief feeling of lightheartedness has left with it, what does that mean?  What does it mean when I try to rest my healing brain and can only find myself staring blankly at nothing ahead of me with not a thought keeping me awake?

   It’s like I’m moving on autopilot but someone changed my settings when I wasn’t looking and now I don’t know how to act even on autopilot.  I’d rather be sad; I can understand that a lot more than this.  All I can hope for the moment is that this 30 day blogging challenge will help me find a new groove for this pilot; maybe give me some motivation to do something other than be so hollow.

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