On February 25, I opened the door to allow people to have a glimpse into our life as we deal with depression. If you'd like a refresher, you can CLICK HERE.
Of course with a Part 1, there should be a Part 2. So here I go.
I would have to say that over the last four months, I've noticed less extreme highs and lows than before. Sure Doug has his good days and his bad ones but they are fewer and far between that they were even six months ago. We also changed our diet. We eat way more chicken and fish, less red meat and almost no wheat and gluten. I serve lots of salads and oodles of veggies at every meal. I think the dietary switch has been a huge factor in his moods.
As his wife and life partner, I also ensure that we go out at least once a month. Just the two of us. We sit at our favorite place, Original Joe's and have a good ol' heart to heart. I am blessed that he is honest with me as well. He has always been a talker and I appreciate his willingness to be open with me.
I have also done a lot of talking with my girlfriends who are so incredibly encouraging and supportive. They listen to me cry and complain. They are also the ones who share my joys when there's a breakthrough, no matter how big or small.
Being aware of his moods (I can usually hear it in his voice on the phone) has been a challenge and yet has been a family saver. If he's not feeling on top of his game, I can prepare myself, give the kids a heads up and emotionally prepare myself.
What does depression feel like? Doug sent me a picture a while back and I don't know the original source but a few points stuck out for me.
- Depression is like a nightmare. I have no control of what's going on.
- I'm never good enough. I'll always be useless.
- It feels like an endless circle of guilt, pain, fear, weakness, failure.
- No one understands what you are feeling.
- Everything you do hurts and there's no getting away from it.
- Things that you used to enjoy, they don't bring any comfort to you.
- It's always feeling tired.
- It feels like it'll never end.
I don't know if Doug will ever be 'over it' but I do know that with medications, dietary change and a caring family, I'm pretty sure we'll continue to make it. It's been a long journey and although I don't think it's over, we've made some great progress.