Faces of Depression, Day 31 – Final Thoughts

What a month it’s been. When I started this online chronicle of my depression, my goal was to show people that depression can sometimes look very different than the sad-sack-on-the-couch-eating-junk-food stereotype. Sometimes depression wears heavy makeup and does its hair. Other times it puts on a little lip gloss and calls it a day.

I didn’t realize just how closely connected my anxiety is to my depression. As a result this ended up being a chronicle of both anxiety and depression. For me, my anxiety builds up, then leads to depression because I am so anxious I don’t want to deal with anything, which makes me depressed. It is a vicious, horrible cycle that can be challenging to break.

I used a very arbitrary system to rank my depressive feelings, and if I were to do this online chronicle again, I would work out a different scaling system that looks at anxiety as well.

On this final day of the month, I am doing okay – some anxiety over money, per the usual, but in a relatively good mood. I voted early, thanks to the DMV getting my new license to me so promptly, and I’m glad to have that done. Now to spend a relaxing night with the cats, watching Hulu or Netflix.

Thanks to all who commented, here or on social media, and shared their support and encouragement.

Final selfie for the month. Today was a 7 out of 10.

Final selfie for the month. Today was a 7 out of 10.

Faces of Depression, Day 30

A decent day with some irritability over trivial matters. Finished a sewing project I’d been putting off for a couple months, which was a good feeling. That said, there are some errors in the finished product that annoy me, but I’m not sure that I can fix them without getting more annoyed. One of those matters that need to be slept on in order to make a decision.

I also felt overexposed to political news today and that definitely lended to my irritability. I was at Pops’ for a couple hours this evening and he kept putting on news stations which are 24-7 presidential election nonsense. I’m oversaturated at this point and it’s stressing me out. Fortunately he changed the channel to Gran Torino, the movie featuring a grumpy Clint Eastwood dealing with his irritability and racism. It comes full circle.

I have a touch of the Sunday night blues but a glass of Zin is quickly mellowing me out. Today was a 8 out of 10, with a couple 7 moments.

Tired and slightly grumpy, but in a relatively good mood. Today was a 8 out of 10.

Tired and slightly grumpy, but in a relatively good mood. Today was a 8 out of 10.

Faces of Depression, Day 29

Was so busy enjoying my day, I nearly forgot to post. Leisurely morning and early afternoon, then I decided I needed to get out into nature while the weather was nice and it was still light out. I went to a park I loved as a kid, which isn’t far from where I live, and visited the nature center – which hasn’t changed much in 30+ years – then walked along one of the trails for a while. No one else was out there, and it was incredibly peaceful and rejuvenating. I startled a few white tailed deer in the woods, walked into my quota of spiderwebs for the year, and avoided anything that looked remotely like poison ivy.

On the way back to the house I stopped at Jerry’s Subs, another beloved local institution for me, and got one of my favorite meals from them: a veggie melt sub, fries, and birch beer. Just as delicious as I remember.

Depression and anxiety were far from my mind most of the day, and the little things that came up floated away because I didn’t hold on to them. I’m going to say today was a 10.

It's me, in the woods, wearing a cap and the mildly creepy eye  necklace I break out every year at Halloween.

It’s me, in the woods, wearing a cap and the mildly creepy eye necklace I break out every year at Halloween.

Faces of Depression, Day 28

After several high stress days in a row, I decided to take it easy today, which made for a good day. Went to Pops’ house and had a nice lunch and long visit with him and his girlfriend, then came back and did my nails. I also felt extra cute in my pink beanie that cousin Sasha knitted for me. Today was a 8 out of 10.

My head is warm AND I look cute? Oh yeah.

Faces of Depression, Day 27

Another long, busy day. Some moments of anxiety and the corresponding moments of depression, but the busyness of the day meant I didn’t dwell on those moments for too long. Made some chili in the Crock Pot that turned out great – a good home-cooked meal, along with some nice wine, always soothes my soul. Last night an old friend invited me to Thanksgiving at her house, too, and the good vibes from that conversation also resonate today. I didn’t feel super fantastic, but I also felt better than a 5, so I’d say today was a 7 out of 10.

Car selfie time (the vehicle was stationary). Wearing the beanie my cousin knitted for me - I love the color. Today was a 6 out of 10.

Car selfie time (the vehicle was stationary). Wearing the beanie my cousin knitted for me – I love the color. Today was a 7 out of 10.

Faces of Depression, Day 26

Since the last 2 days were spent at the DMV, today was a catch-up day: client work, grocery shopping, laundry. In the morning, I had some nasty anxiety pop up related to finances (yet again), so I meditated using Wayne Dyer’s Meditations for Manifestation, which usually helps me shift my focus. Combined with my litany of affirmations, I feel I have some decent tools to combat the anxiety and depression that crops up. Today was a 5 out of 10.

Took this photo at 8:45 pm. I'm tired but not too overwhelmed with depression or anxiety. That said, I'm looking forward to bedtime. Today is a 5 out of 10.

Took this photo at 8:45 pm. I’m tired but not too overwhelmed with depression or anxiety. That said, I’m looking forward to bedtime. Today was a 5 out of 10.

Faces of Depression, Day 24

Today was a long day of dealing with lines and forms and paperwork. Spent over an hour at the DMV getting my driver’s license, then spent another 30 minutes or so getting auto insurance. It wasn’t horrendous – the woman at the DMV gave me some unexpected good news, but I won’t find out until tomorrow if the information she gave me was correct. Oh yes, I have to go back tomorrow. I know how to party.

While the day was long and involved way more driving than I anticipated, I didn’t experience too much stress, anxiety or depression. Still having some financial anxiety and doing my best to keep it at bay. I’m using several new affirmations I picked up from the Louise Hay documentary, and they are helping bolster the ones on my regular rotation. Today was a 7 out of 10.

Took this at the DMV a little after 10 am, when I first arrived and the lines were blessedly short. Didn't get out of there until after noon, though. Today was a 7 out of 10.

Took this at the DMV a little after 10 am, when I first arrived and the lines were blessedly short. Didn’t get out of there until after noon, though. Today was a 7 out of 10.

Faces of Depression, Day 23

Lazy day. Stayed up late watching a fantastic, inspiring documentary about Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life, and got up early because the cats were out of dry food and acting like they were starving to death. After breakfast at Starbucks and a pet store run, I stopped by the farmers market to check it out. I found some good local produce and chatted with a local coffee roaster, which made me very happy as now I can get beans for my French press. Does that make me a coffee snob? Long surprise nap this afternoon with the cats meant I didn’t get to some of the tasks I’d hoped to today, but it wasn’t anything incredibly pressing. All in all, a relaxed, lazy Sunday that left me feeling good. A few moments of anxiety but I combatted them with affirmations and breathing. Today was an 8 out of 10.

Tired, no makeup, but feeling good overall. Today was a 8 out of 10.

Tired, no makeup, but feeling good overall. Today was a 8 out of 10.

Faces of Depression, Day 22

The word for today was serendipity. Much needed funds arrived, I got a letter from a pen pal I hadn’t heard from in a while, and on the way into DC I met a young woman visiting from Paris, which meant I could try out my French skills a little (I understand much better than I speak). She was heading to the Air & Space Museum and I offered her my extra ticket for the new African American History Museum, which she happily accepted. We had a nice time chatting and checking out the museum, but we got separated in the crowds before we exchanged contact information, and I looked for her and waited a little while, but didn’t see her again. I’m still bummed about that, but it’s possible we could reconnect – I did get her full name and I’ve tried googling her, without much luck, and she got my full name. It sounds a lot like the heterosexual version of Serendipity, the movie with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.

What’s funny is that if we hadn’t gotten separated, I would have never wound up in a hotel off Pennsylvania Avenue, where an event I’d wanted to check out was happening. This was unplanned, as I didn’t originally look to see where the event was held – I managed to be in the right place getting a decaf Americano at the right time, when I saw people wearing badges for the event. I arrived right when their social hour was taking place, so I stopped in – okay, okay, I crashed it – and looked for someone I know who was attending. I couldn’t find her, but instead I found two potential clients and a very interesting array of attendees in Regency costume.

All these things combined made for an amusing day, and I keep laughing when I think about the chain of events. The universe has a great sense of humor. Today is a 9 out of 10.

Taking a coffee break in DC around 4 pm. Feeling amused by life. Today is a 9 out of 10.

Taking a coffee break in DC around 4 pm. Feeling amused by life. Today is a 9 out of 10.

Faces of Depression, Day 21

Today was a little better. Even though I’m still stressed about money matters, I know they will turn around soon, and my depression doesn’t overwhelm me – it’s just buzzing in the background. I felt restless this morning and couldn’t settle myself enough to do much work, so I went to Starbucks, got some tea and a sandwich and wrote letters. I need to find a nearby park where I can go for walks and meditate when the weather is pleasant. Today is a 6 out of 10.

Not as grumpy as I look here. Mostly pensive. Today is a 6 out of 10.

Not as grumpy as I look here. Mostly pensive. Today is a 6 out of 10.