I forgot to grab some coffee when I was at the store last night, so yes, I had no coffee for this morning. But you know what I did?
Someone had given me some Starbuck Keurig pods, and I don’t have a Keurig machine. I think the pods are the devil anyway, filling up our landfills.
I took the top off the pods and loaded the coffee that was inside into my Ninja coffee machine. It was pretty delicious! Desperate times call for desperate measure people!
Speaking of desperate…
I am in the midst of another round of what is named walking or smiling depression.
What is walking depression?
Walking depression is a nickname for the experience of those who are able to go on walking, talking, and even smiling while feeling depressed and profoundly unhappy.
Walking depression symptoms can be hard to recognize because they don’t fit the more common picture of severe depression, such as someone frequently bursting into tears, gloominess, and lethargy. But it can be just as dangerous to our well-being when left unacknowledged.
People who suffer from this type of depression manage to carry out daily tasks and responsibilities all while suffering from low moods and anxiety. You still get up in the morning, go to work, put on a happy face and act like everything is ok. And you do so with a general sense of unhappiness.
Symptoms, such as low energy, hopelessness and difficulty concentrating, which are associated with major depression are also experienced with walking depression.
The main difference between these types of depression is the outward effects of the experience. Major depression impacts one’s ability to carry out daily tasks and responsibilities, while with walking depression, which is also a very serious condition, you’re still able to function in daily life while quietly suffering. (From https://projecthelping.org/symptoms-major-depression-vs-walking-depression/)
I can go a long time feeling great and then this depression happens. It’s like I am walking down the street and a brick wall just magically appears. No warning and bam, I hit it. I am sure there is a trigger, but I have yet to figure that out.
I try to continue my extracurricular activities, such as exercise, reading, writing, social stuff, and I succeed sometimes, but it’s a struggle. My smiling power has been used up for work, and other really important activities. Maintain an appearance that I am functioning properly.
(I remember a conversation with a co-worker, back in 2011, before I ran off to Colorado. In her office, she told me she wished she could be more like me, confident, happy, and seemingly having a great life. I almost fell out of my chair. If only she knew just how shitty my life really was! Yet I didn’t tell her what a big poser I was. I just smiled)
Thing is, right now, my life is great, seriously! I have a fantastic job, in an organization with a life changing mission for our clients, I have a great boyfriend, a wonderful place to live, my kiddos are all doing great. Life is good!
Consider supporting my habit of coffee and writing. Buy me a cup of coffee!
So why do I have these bouts of walking depression?
I can only take a guess and say it’s my past experiences with childhood trauma, living with a violent abusive drunk, and not having the skills to cope with life in general. I’ve carried this into my adult life.
In fact, recent studies on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) indicate that childhood abuse and neglect and childhood trauma can lead to a whole host of mental and physical health issues into adulthood. I score very high on the ACE outcome quiz. You can find out more about ACE here: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/about_ace.html
Luckily, I have been around the block a gazillion times and understand my patterns, and how I react. In the past I would have tried to remedy what I’m feeling with a quick and hasty change. Quit my job, leave my partner, move, but I have learned those are just temporary and are not the source of my issues.
I told my partner Steve what was happening. Very rarely do I let others know what is going on with me. Too much shit in the past from others when I try to be real.
The first time I did something about my depression was in my early 30’s. It wasn’t long after my mother had died. I went on Prozac, which helped a bit, but left me with such horrible nightmares, I had to get off. My then mother-in-law thought it was pretty silly, me being depressed and getting on anti-depressants until…
She watched a show where Marie Osmond talked about her depression and how she had to go on anti-depressants. All of a sudden my depression was acceptable, because, well, Marie. So, behalf of all women who suffer in silence or through unsympathetic family and friends, thank you Marie.
Steve is very understanding and says I need to do what I need to do. First thing I am going to do is go back to therapy.
I am tired of burying my issues under a smile, or wine, or food.
Not that I am going to walk around all grumpy. I tend to smile, a lot. Smiling seems to be my natural state of being. However, I am going to feel what I am feeling and not dismiss it or think less of me because it’s happening.
What I want to say to you now is don’t suffer in silence. Find someone who is trust worthy and who can safeguard your emotional state, and talk to them. Keeping it inside and pretending all is well could have devastating consequences for you.
Would love to hear your thoughts.