Every year I get pretty depressed once the holidays are over, especially when Christmas is over. I look forward to Christmas every year like a little kid, and every year I am thrilled beyond measure at the fun of spending it with family and enjoying the fun of giving and receiving. And I'm not going to lie, I like both rather equally.
So I feel the Depression Monster coming on today. It's a new year, and tomorrow I'm back to the grind of waiting for the phone to ring for substitute teaching (my profession until I can find a full-time teaching position) and living day by day in a whirlwind of what seem like obligations: students who are determined to test every limit I have, keeping a house clean and orderly, dogs, husband, groceries, and the usual pile of psychological therapy. While this is a small pile compared to most people, and while I get amazing help from the husband in most of these, I still feel as though the tasks are insurmountable and completely insane. When the DM comes back, nothing brings me any enjoyment, not even cooking or music. All I want to do is go to bed and pull the covers over my head for an indeterminate amount of time. I don't want to see anyone, I don't want to take my stupid meds, and I certainly don't want to go sit on the couch in my therapist's office and talk about the new journey I'm supposed to be embarking upon as an empowered, healthy individual. I just want to sleep.
Right now, at this precise moment, I don't really want to go into complete sensory-deprivation mode yet. I'm simply irritable and filled with dread. Everything is annoying or inconvenient or insurmountable. Little quirks about people that I interact with are suddenly impossible to tolerate, even though they never bothered me before. My poor husband can't do anything right - it seems as if he's either trying to push me through this and keep me cheerful when I don't want to be (dammit) or he's withholding affection and treating me as a pariah. (Note: this is coming from depressed-mind. My husband is wonderful, caring, and deserves a medal for putting up with this.)
I am trying to figure out how to fight this. I don't want it to develop into a full-fledged depressive episode where I do take to the bed and get disgusting and don't do anything except the bare minimum. Instead I'd rather just have an irritable day or two and come out of this funk. I should probably look over my DBT skills handouts from the last round I attended. (DBT = Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.) I should probably go through some self-soothing routines. I should probably journal. No matter what I do, I will be forcing it. But that's a DBT skill: Opposite Action. You act opposite of what you're feeling and try to force yourself into it.
Anyway - that's how it feels and what I should do and what's going through my mind at the moment. In writing this, I have a secret hope that someday someone might stumble upon this who is suffering from something similar and know this: if you are that someone, you are not alone.