Depressive Episodes are So Frustrating
I go to the Deep End of the Pool
Friday afternoon, after work, I did my usual weekly ritual of heading to my favorite Thai restaurant near my home. There I order a chicken fried rice with extra vegetables. The cashier knows me. She’s usually ringing up the order as I approach the desk. I pay my $17.07 on my card and await my food.
As I head home, I’m full of anticipation. The chicken fried rice with extra vegetables never disappoints. Because it’s cooked fresh, the dish is hot. I usually wait 30 minutes or so for the food to cool to a warm temperature. While I waited, I used the bathroom, checked my social media, and went through the mail.
I was seated on my couch, getting comfortable as I scrolled through Tik Tok. I felt my body melting into the couch. Tension eased from my body. The tiredness began to make itself present. I had to use my free period to cover another teacher’s class. A bunch of rambunctious 7th graders who had energy for days and didn’t understand the meaning of being quiet.
I had to clean up my classroom after dismissal, picking up pencils, paper airplanes, and other items. It was really hard on me. I was already tired from my four classes of freshmen and managing middle schoolers sent me over the edge. Once I cleaned up, I set up my board for Monday’s class and packed my car with binders to grade.
So as I waited for my food to cool down, I thought of an event was I agreed to attend. It was a gathering of educators and members of the organization Educators for Excellence. They were doing a bowling night at a local bowling alley. The bowling alley wasn't far from where I lived and would be a short drive from my home. I had promised one of the organizers that I would be there.
I didn’t go. After eating some of my food, I took a nap. When I awakened at 6 PM, the start time for the bowling event, I couldn’t get off of the couch. My mind only wanted me to stay. My body wanted me to stay. I had lost the will to go. I was in the midst of a depressive episode. I felt my body going flat on the couch. My will was snuffed out.
When I have a depressive episode, it’s triggered by a combination of things. My energy level is low. My body is tired. My mind settles on relaxation and sleep. I don’t want to do anything even though I want to do something. But the depressive episode usually wins. I didn’t want to go bowling anymore. I didn’t want to be around people. The virus case numbers have skyrocketed in my city. I didn’t want to potentially expose myself. I didn’t want to exert myself bowling. I want to do other things like my art, create an ebook, and draw.
I didn’t do much of anything. I watched videos to motivate me. It helped but not much. I did do some drawing. I have three large canvases staring at me and I need to do something with them. I have a ton of art supplies and craft supplies. They need to be used. The videos gave me back some motivation, but the flatness I felt didn’t leave.
If you suffer from depressive episodes, recognize the signs. Low energy levels. Motivation waning. Your body is tired. You stare at your things to do and feel overwhelmed. If you made plans, the will to go has left you.
My depressive episode flattened me for about three hours. But time span varies for each person. Sometimes you can fight your way out of it. Other times you must submit to the weight of depression. I submitted and I’m angry about it. I want to do better but waiting for bangs up against motivation. Motivation faces fear. Fear sometimes wins.