What’s “normal” depression and anxiety?

Follow Barry @crimmins

Confession: This has kind of been a down couple of days for me, despite the good news yesterday about my weight loss. The nadir was probably Saturday when I let what might be one of the last good summer days slip by while I fell into an HBO-Go wormhole and watched the entire first season of “The Sopranos.” I wanted to go out on the boat. Didn’t. Thought about going fishing. Didn’t. I sat there and watched TV for hours and hours. I wasn’t productive, I wasn’t active and I’m not very proud of it.

In my therapy session this morning we talked about why I’ve been feeling down. Maybe coming off of the Alaska trip it’s been tough to settle back into a routine. Coming back from vacation can be a little rocky, I get that. Maybe it’s because we’re really down to the last few weeks of summer here in Upstate New York. There was something I saw on Twitter the other day from the great Barry Crimmins that summed it up perfectly, which you can see above. I think it’s normal for people to feel depressed, blue, melancholy, etc. this time of year. 

The changing of the seasons will also mark another big change in my situation since March- my parents will be leaving near the end of the month to go back to Savannah, and I’ll be living alone again for the first time since I attempted suicide and had my last drink. Granted, I’ve been on some trips since then, they’ve been out of town for a few days and nights here and there, but this is back to living on my own for an extended period. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more anxious than excited about it. Still, as my therapist pointed out to me, a change in a living situation is a normal time for someone to feel stress and anxiety and even to get a little depressed. Because I’m particularly susceptible to those feelings anyway, it’s not a surprise that I’m experiencing them (and in fact it’d be a little strange if I wasn’t). We’re going to give it another week, but if these feelings persist or get worse we’re going to take a look at adjusting my medication.

Dealing with mental illness means peaks and valleys, and right now I’m in a valley, but at least it’s a “normal” valley. I guess.

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