I always thought that having a depression essentially means that most of the time you'd feel ... well, depressed, gloomy, pessimistic. I know I have those moods too and I thought a depression would be like that but worse. But actually, the biggest thing that changed is that I'm just really, really tired. All the time. It's an intriguing and annoying state of being and one worth talking about I though. Let's see if I can put my mind into words.
The feelings inside
The tiredness is dictating all of my day at the moment. I love the spell slot theory, as an expansion to the spoon analogy. They say you have less spell slots than normal people and it basically takes longer to recharge. Read all about spoons and slots better than I can explain.
On a bad day, I'm so tired I basically can only sit on the couch watching stupid entertainment or refreshing Facebook until the day is over. Reading, watching something interesting or heavens forbid, getting off the couch is really hard on those days; I don't have the spell slots. Actually getting up from the couch is often a very big thing, I feel that that has become a higher level spell than normal too. Starting on something is much harder than doing the thing and this is probably the most frustrating. Putting on my shoes is harder than the whole trip to the shop... But I'm learning to manipulate myself. Last week I just didn't manage to start this sewing project. So I thought, I'll just read the pattern description today and I can start later when I do feel like it. An hour later I was happily cutting fabric. I'd tricked myself into doing the big thing, by only needing to start a little thing. This is also why I love cooking so much now. It's a useful thing that provides something fun, aka food, and it's super easy to start, just one onion at a time.
If I take care of myself and don't push me, I regain a few slots/spoons and the next day I can do more. If I do push myself too far for whatever reason, I end up in a crying ball of pain. Also, it slows my regeneration, so I have to take it even more easy the next days. It feels a bit like using my own life energy for magic instead of my mana.
The more tired I get, the more grumpy, the harder disappointments and choices are to deal with, the harder and more frustrating starting things get, etc. Basically just an extreme version of my normal tired. The feeling down/depressed really feels more like an effect than a cause.
On a good day, I hardly feel something's up. I'm happy and active and the first few times I happily went out as normal, falling flat on my face halfway through the day, because that's not how it works. I regained enough energy to feel normal, but not yet to act normal. So no matter what, I need to take it easy. Even though I have a lot of spell slots that day, I shouldn't use them all in one go. On the other hand, having a good day does make me regenerate faster if I don't overdo it, so they often are the start of a good period.
People are confusing and hard at the moment, both physical and digital interaction always cost energy. If they're good friends, it might gain me more than it costs; if they're strangers, I don't even want to interact, it's that hard. If there is a social construct, it's easier than just a chat. But these rules are not set in stone and don't all vary the same. So some days lunch with a good friend might cost more energy than dance class with semi-strangers, but other days it's the other way around. The thing I'm trying to learn at the moment is getting a feeling for when I need what and what is too much. It's not easy but very needed in the long run; it's really scary to drain yourself and I don't want to end up with a social anxiety on top of this. I can totally feel that coming if I misjudge myself a little too often and I don't want to go there. Also because people are the easiest source of energy and being alone is more draining in the long run. Basically not seeing people makes me listless, seeing too many people too much makes me exhausted. There might be a magic middle ground somewhere. Go figure.
On the bright side
As I said, even though it's called depressed, I mostly don't feel depressed. I don't blame myself for my current state and I have the time to get back on my feet. I don't really see it as a fight or something, just as a hurdle this new life and all the changes is putting me through. Maybe this is what's keeping me sane these days and I often wonder if this is the 'normal' way to be depressed. When I get frustrated about all of it, it really sucks, and I really hope that's not the 'normal'. But after a deep breath and closing my eyes for a second, I mostly can forgive myself for simply being the way I am. And life really is pretty good on the good days. I go skiing, I have beautiful friends that support me (even the new ones from last year and they've mostly seen this part of me, which makes me ever more grateful), I've made a ton of cool new crafty things that give me a lot of energy (including finally a pair of trousers that fits, I can't buy ANY here!). It's pretty sweet. At times it sucks, like today (got up way too early to bring Tim to the airport and then just crashed in my loneliness, matching the snowstorm outside). Most of the time it's pretty doable though and I keep seeing a upwards line, even though it might not be there, I'm just going to pretend it is.
I'm leaving south next week for two weeks packed with people and pretty intense partying. I hope it gives more than it takes, although it scares me too. In the least it'll distract me a bit. I'm counting on it.
I know I have a lot of friends (a whole lot that have gone through the same kind of shit) so I know I'm not alone. I might not always reply fast or long, because I can't get my brain to work, but I love you nonetheless. Keep being amazing, I promise I will be again shortly and I'll have a lot of catching up to do. Thanks for sticking with me!