What’s been wrong lately? (This post also features kittens)

IMG_0143.JPGI’ve talked about the difficulties I’ve had with the ups and downs of depression. Some days I feel great, almost as if there were no problems. I’ll have a productive day at work, see some friends or maybe spend some time with family. I’ll take my antidepressant almost as an afterthought, just as much a part of the routine as brushing my teeth. It’s almost like there’s nothing wrong at all.

But it hasn’t been that easy the past few days.

The past few days have mostly been down with a few bright exceptions. Monday night I took my nephew watch shopping, following up on my birthday promise to him, and yesterday my brother Gus came back from Alaska. It’s been great spending time with him, but it seems like as soon as he was in the door we were talking about his plans to leave again. I really enjoy our time together, and I want to make the most of it while he’s here. He might be the funniest person I know and his “never had a bad day” attitude is something I both admire and aspire to. (Of course he’s had bad days, everyone does, but it seems like he’s able to approach and weather those days unlike anyone else I know).

Lately my depression has been making me tired and apathetic. I find it hard to care about even things I normally like and enjoy (you may have noticed I’ve had slightly fewer posts here). I’ve not been keeping up with walking as much as I should be. I’m becoming less careful about wearing my UP band and tracking steps and what I eat. I’m reading less and settling for re-watching stuff I’ve already seen on Netflix. I’m especially feeling a lack of motivation at work. I’m slogging through projects. It feels like I’m on the fifth or sixth “final” update on our website.

Last week in therapy I talked a little bit about this and whether or not this is a post vacation “hangover” or if maybe it’s time to look at my medication and make some adjustments. I was supposed to go in today, but this morning I found myself sick and I stayed home from both work and therapy (though I called and briefly spoke to my therapist and have an appointment for next week.) I wallowed all morning between my bed and a chair, feeling sad and worrying. I sometimes struggle to find what it is that’s bothering me, but to be honest, I’m just sad, and while I can come up with things that make me sad, it’s really nothing specific. I just feel bad.

What’s frustrating to me is that then I start feeling guilty about not having a reason to feel bad and then I feel worse, because I get anxious and that leads to more depression. I make judgements, call myself lazy and pathetic. Then I just sit there some more.

What snapped me out of it today was a stray cat that ran across the driveway this morning. It was a big white and black cat, bigger than Bogey, but kind of scruffy looking and missing half her tail. She got to a row of cedars along our driveway and that’s when I saw them- her two kittens. They’re really young and so small. One is black and white, like the mother, the other is all black, like Bogey. Bogey was outside somewhere, and given what he does to the mouse and chipmunk population around here I wanted to get him in the house and away from the kittens (who aren’t much bigger than chipmunks). The cat and kittens went around the garage and took shelter under a canoe we keep back there. Bogey is in the house now, and I haven’t seen the cat and kittens for a few hours.

If I see them I’m going to be very tempted to keep them (I’m already calling the little black one Bacall). But what I should probably do is take them to the vet and make sure they get their shots and then see if anyone wants to adopt them. I don’t need any more cats.

But they did get me out of the chair and moving around this morning and I think helping them however I can is the least I can do.

Meanwhile until my next appointment when I can talk some more about what’s wrong I’m going to make an effort to put in two productive office days to close the week and to spend time with Gus while he’s here.

(I couldn’t get a picture of the kittens, so here’s a picture of Bogey just being adorable.)

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Managing my #depression and #anxiety. Sober for one year and counting. #Mentalhealth advocate. Black cat wrangler. Son. Brother. Uncle. Mad man with a blog.

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