It’s been a while since my last post…let’s just say that life got crazy.
No matter what change you agree to, or how happy you are about it; it can be difficult. For me, I believe that the anticipation and stress gets amplified because of the anxiety. Somehow I manage to “pick up my feet” and get it all done, but I’m not too sure that’s a good thing.
What change did I bring on myself? Well, I had my Essure tubal ligation, started a new job and had to switch to an Android phone (having had an iPhone for 5 years). When you list them out, they seem pretty simple. However, each of these changes had huge emotional and physical impact on me, which seemed to be amplified because they were all happening at one time.
I’m not sure that I can explain the reasons why, without them sounding like excuses to so many people, and maybe to some degree they are (the jury is still out on this). However, I have definitely noticed a trend with the highs and lows in my life.
A Personal Hypothesis – Stages of Depression
It almost seems like depression comes in waves or stages, similar to the stages of grief.
The Calm Before the Storm: I’ll have calm waters where I feel great, healthy and positive for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. I get a feeling of hope, like “maybe I’m on my way to getting rid of this disease”!
Survival (Fight or Flight): Suddenly, out of nowhere a hurricane hits and it takes everything in me to survive a day at at time. It feels like everything is coming at me 90 mph from every direction; I can’t make out a singular thought. I’m struggling to get my head above the water.
Anger: I get angry at myself or worse, those around me. Chronic pain spikes, making exercise unbearable. I can’t concentrate and I am unable to communicate complete sentences…often times, incapable of remembering basic words (or even the alphabet). I get extremely irritable and things that don’t normally bother me, become the bane of my existence!
Numbness/Hibernation: I start to shut-down, turning off emotions, saying “no” to outings, projects, chores. Everything in my day become a series of un-emotional task lists. “Took my daughter to school?…check”. “Eat something…check”. I become a robot and the thoughts that my life will always be like this, start to become acceptable.
A New Hope: This one seems to vary for me, in each cycle.
- Sometimes my daughter nudges me into this stage of healing. A certain smile, laugh, a question she has or even witnessing a moment where she has learned/experienced something new, will remind me of why I’m here.
- Sometimes my stubbornness will pull me out of my “funk”. As though I’m taking a stand against myself and refusing to go down without a fight. I finally regain my strength and move forward.
- Sometimes it will be a church service, reminding me that God has a plan…and even though I can’t see it or understand it, there is purpose and hope.
What Causes the Stages?
I know stress does.
I’m also starting to believe that the shear volume of stimulus that humans receive on a daily basis puts us into overload. I think we push ourselves too far with expectations of income, material items, self-image. We require instant information at the push of a Google search. We want instant gratification/results, with little to no effort required from us. I think we are are experiencing brain exhaustion…and I plan to dig into this topic more and share my findings!