Living with Depression and Episodes of It How My Depression Started and What I Did to Control It

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I had my second miscarriage five years ago. It was devastating, heart-breaking. The pain is so extreme I felt it physically. I had trouble breathing, and I experienced dizzy spells. I thought it was just a temporary phase you get after losing something precious in your body. I was wrong. Little did I know that the next two years would be a darker hell for me. It started with my work. My project has just finished, and following my miscarriage, I decided to stay at home. I took online writing jobs just to make ends meet. My partner was working away in the city. It was difficult for me to focus. One of the things about me that I’m extremely proud of is my professionalism. I get things done, and I’m best with whatever I concentrate on. I was confused about my dwindling focus and discipline. I procrastinated. I failed to meet deadlines. I sat on my working space for several hours a day and still failed to get things done. I get little pay for the effort I give. I felt sorry for myself. I became insecure and envious. I know I’m supposed to be more than this, but I can’t even finish a 500-word article in five hours.

I lost my ability to take pleasures on the things I used to enjoy. One time while we were watching television, everyone in the room was laughing about a very funny scene, but I felt numb, empty, and confused. I couldn’t seem to find any reason to smile or laugh about. Sex became a burden. I couldn’t enjoy it as I used to. It was difficult for me to climax, and my partner asked me about it. I didn’t have an answer. I turned to food, and gained weight as a result. I developed polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and hadn’t had my period for more than 6 months. I was overweight, irritable, and hopeless. I have never felt uglier in my whole life.

We left my partner’s family home and rented a house in a far city. He had just started in his new job, and our new place was near his office. I loved it there. We had a small patch of lot at the back where we planted tomatoes, peppers, and mustard. The weather was cool even in the summers, and I liked the peace and quiet. I still had that hole in my heart, and my melancholic attitude annoyed my partner. I tried to explain to him what I was experiencing, and my loss of control over it. He couldn’t understand. He said that it was all in my mind. I felt so alone. I didn’t know what’s going on with me. While I was researching for a writing task about depression, I was shocked. All those tell-tale signs I read in books and articles were happening to me. I was scared because I felt that every day I was getting worse. I had to do something about it.

Following a heated argument and a tearful discussion, my partner sat down with me and talked to me. I told him of what I discovered, and how I was scared that I won’t be able to get back on my feet. I didn’t know how to restart my life. He told me to change into my running clothes, because he’s bringing me somewhere. We went to a jogging/biking path that surrounds a small lake. It was a short path, just mere 3 kilometers. It was a popular place for locals. We walked that path without speaking, just holding hands and enjoying the view. When we finished the path, he told me this, “I will always have your back. If you need me, I’m always here. You’re strong. Between the two of us, you’re the stronger, smarter person. You hated losing. I know you can win this.”

The next day, I went back to the lake. I started brisk-walking. My partner went with me when he could. In the following days, I started jogging. It was a simple exercise, but it was cathartic. It gave me something to look forward to, a purpose of sort in my daily meaningless existence. My partner started preparing healthy food for me. He talked to me for long hours every day, before we sleep at night. I began to lose weight. I finally decided to visit a doctor and do something about my PCOS. I started to enjoy writing as I used to. It’s funny how a thing as mundane as jogging in a park can give you focus, and how this purpose expands to the other, more complex parts of your life. That lake was my refuge. It was purpose and clarity. It was hope. It was a chance. My daily dose of meaning.

I did therapy as well, and was prescribed with antidepressants. Nowadays, I still experience short episodes of depression, but I believe I have gained some sense of control over it. My partner, now husband, is as supportive as ever. When I feel the claws of depression starting again, I hold on to the little things that give me focus, like simple chores, or hobby, or a book I want to read. Medical help is essential, but doing the little things that let you escape from depression, even for a little time, is just as crucial. 

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