Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'd Rather not Talk about It

For the last few weeks, I have felt sad. I am tired and unsettled and my regular activities fail to please me. I am writing my blog less because I feel less than enthusiastic about most things. I haven't been to church for weeks nor do I feel inclined to call up my friends to chat or go for a walk. The brand new bike that I bought is hanging in the bike room and I have only been twice to the pool. It seems that I am suffering from depression.

I have always been aware of the moods that come and go. Monsieur suffers from a mood disorder but he tends to live in the hypomanic state.  At the high times, he is 150% involved in whatever his fancy may be at the time. He has run 13 marathons, played in several music groups at a time, been a workaholic and had several domestic (and not) relationships in his life. It's part of what attracted me to him in the first place but it is hard to live with. I am more likely to feel sad or lethargic. I guess that makes us a bit like Jack Sprat and his wife.

It is easy to say "just get out there and do more things and you will feel better." I am a sociable introvert. I enjoy time by myself except right now when it seems that I don't enjoy anything. I enquired about volunteering at the Sharing Farm today and I called my personal trainer to see if she has any openings. But depression isn't really "fixed" by doing more things or buying more things or going more places. If I had a "cure", I would be a wealthy woman.

I have now been retired for two years during which I have travelled and accomplished some of my personal goals. My dad died this year and my relationship with my mother has changed a lot as she works to build a different life for herself.  I have no grandchildren and I do believe that generativity is an important aspect of older life. I was used to being around children as I was a mum and a teacher. Monsieur does not need anyone (so he says) and does not feel that it is his job to make me feel better.

Depression is often the elephant in the room that we don't talk about for fear of seeming weak or ungrateful. Those who don't understand depression may ask themselves "What does she have to feel sad about?" I have ample financial resources, good health and the ability to engage in many activities. I have read lots of books about "Third Age" living and am not afraid of growing older. I have no answers. If this sadness and lethargy don't disappear soon, I will go to see my doctor.

4 comments:

  1. Madame,
    I am no expert but find that getting out of the house for a daily walk and volunteering helps with perspective. I also practise the art of gratitude...in the peri menopausal years when I felt the blues I would write down 5 things every evening that I was grateful for..I also loved Sarah Ban Breathnach's book Simple Abundance.
    Perhaps there is an underlying health issue that is contributing to your mood or as you suspect it might be depression.
    Have you considered getting a pet? My two cats are great company and the friends that I know who own dogs find that they give oodles of unconditional love...you may still be grieving for your father too as it has not been that long.
    Upping your omega's and eating more fish might be a step in the right direction.
    In any event keep the lines of communication open...and keep us posted on your progress.
    Take care,
    Leslie

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    1. You are right about the walk and the gratitude journal. Although we live in an apartment, I am seriously considering a small dog as M. is allergic to cats. It means that doggie would have to go to Maman or daughter when I am away but we are considering a Fur Person. Fish, salad, quinoa and blueberries are my staples and I agree that diet plays a significant role in mood. It could be that I am just starting to feel loss of my father and what that means to me. Thank you for you concern and I shall keep writing.

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  2. More and more, we sound so similar in so many ways. I'm also a sociable introvert who gets hit by depression from time to time. I recognize how much effort it would have taken just to write the post in a depressed frame of mind -- Sounds as if you're already trying most of the approaches that usually work, but sometimes it does take some outside help. Talking to your doctor is probably a wise step if you don't get some traction soon to move out of the slough. I hope you'll keep us posted. . .

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  3. I believe that many of us suffer from a sadness that we do not understand. As introverts, it is difficult to move outside ourselves even when it seems the obvious remedy. The approaches that we try often turn things around quite quickly but I am a believer in calling on professionals when needed. Reading and writing, for me, are always beneficial. I have found blogging a connection to a group of people who deal with many of the same daily issues.

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