This morning I went to the grocery store with the Fetching Mrs. Evans to pick up a few things. If you know me you know I’m a big guy, so walking around a grocery store is not one of my favorite things to do. It hurts my knees and my back after a while, so I get a little cranky.
Anyways my wife and I were discussing a purchase to make and she mentioned getting something and walked away from.
This pissed me off – BIG TIME. So I confronted her about it. But, I need to explain something else before I continue.
I have had a couple of conversations with two friends over the last six months. They have tried to tell me I suffer from depression. I disagree. I tell them the world sucks that my attitude is merely a reflection of that. This has gone on for a while.
One day I was goofing off online when I noticed a writer’s blog about writing characters with depression. Fictional characters twenty years ago with depression acted like they were really sad, or were melancholy. Today, we have clinical research readily available and a whole list of symptoms for writers to use on their characters to make their depression more realistic. The blog went on to list a couple of symptoms. One of them was irritability. Another was hopelessness. A third was excessive eating/no eating, and a forth was fatigue.
Back to the grocery story.
That’s when it hit me. When my wife had walked away, trying to be courteous to a complete stranger, talking with her back turned to me, I realized I am probably depressed. This depression isn’t new, either. I’ve probably had for about 20+ years.
I claimed up – which is a defensive strategy I learned from childhood. We bought our stuff, then bought breakfast at Taco Bell. We got home, my wife put the groceries up, we ate breakfast. She told me I looked tired and should go back to bed. She left, I goofed around for a couple of hours, than took a nap.
I got nothing done today, except ruminate on whether I have depression. I looked at the symptoms, according to the WebMD site:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Let me see, Difficulty concentrating. I have always been a little bit of a scatter brain.
Fatigue? Decreased energy? I always blamed that on my weight. Nothing I love to do more than sit in my chair and watch TV.
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness? I thought that was part of being Catholic?
Hopelessness? Pessimism? Hey, ALL of US are going to DIE. That’s not pessimism, that’s reality!
Insomnia? Early-Morning Wakefulness, excessive sleeping? No insomnia, but I do like to get up early – even as a kid. Excessive sleeping? Will leave that one open.
Irritabillity? Restlessness? Yes. Definitely yes.
Loss of interests in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex? Does completing graduate school count?
Overeating/appetite loss? Cheeseburger has always been my friend. Never judges, never leaves me for that guy Eric . . .
Persistent aches of pains? I used to get frightful migraines, does that count?
Persistent sad, anxious, or “Empty” Feelings? As large as I am, there are times I feel as hollow as a cavern. Just empty.
Thoughts of suicide? Yeah, pretty much. Nothing I would ever commit too, but yeah.
I guess I wrote this for two reasons. 1.) Publicly admitting it brings the pain out in the open. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
2.) To help other people. If any of you reading this is suffering from depression, please know you are not alone. There are others fighting this, too.
So, what do I do next? I don’t have the foggiest idea. I just know that I am sick and tired of feeling this way. I do know I will fight this. I will try to be positive, I will try not to self- medicate with food, or alcohol, or pornography. I will carry on.