Thawing out

At first, the flat feeling that comes after a depressive episode is a relief from the crushing feelings of sadness. I wouldn’t even call the flatness a feeling since feeling flat is essentially a lack of any full feelings at all.

I still have them, those things called feelings but mine are muted and unpredictable. I have to remind myself to put on a brave face most of the time and at least pretend to be happy for the sake of everyone else around me. Yesterday, which was Mother’s Day, a celebratory event, was rather torturous for me and it’s not because anything bad happened. It was a lovely day, beautiful weather at a fabulous brunch buffet with my family. But all I could think was “try to look happy, or at least try not to look so emotionless.” Having to constantly monitor my facial expressions and appropriate responses to conversation is exhausting. The day seemed like it was never going to end. Today, someone asked me how the food was and I couldn’t even say if I enjoyed it or not. I think my taste buds, along with my emotions have packed up and left the building.

My moments of just feeling normal again are unpredictable. Some days are good, others are not. I never know what the outcome of activities are going to be. Things that once made me feel good are not guaranteed to make me feel anything at all anymore. Going for a walk down by the lake and taking some pictures which was once a sure thing for me, now produces only a hint of what used to be there – it’s right there in front of me but just out of my reach.

I do still care enough to maintain. My job keeps me busy and I like it, so I know I am still capable of some positive emotions. I just wish it would happen more often and outside of work.

I have started to see a therapist who told me that this emotional flatness is a part of depression and it might take me some time to thaw out, so to speak.

Just last week the east side of the lake was still covered with sheets of ice and chunks of snow on the shoreline. This week the ice is gone, the snow has melted and the water is wide open. Hopefully with consistent self-care, plenty of patience and a lot less of being so damn hard on myself, I might start to thaw out too soon.

photo (4)

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7 thoughts on “Thawing out

  1. EllyWendy

    Another stunning photo, wow. Thank goodness you can still find the beauty that surrounds you and share it with us. Depression is so difficult to cope with. I think you are doing a very brave thing by writing so honestly. Some people have never had the experience of depression and don’t have a clue what a challenge it poses. The insights you share help inform. I’m sending you positive vibes and cyber hugs. Take care, and yes, please be gentle with yourself.

  2. Jenny

    You will definitely ‘thaw out’ again, Billie (as you so wonderfully put it!) – it just takes time, and you don’t get to decide how much time which can be more than a bit frustrating. It is very strange and sometimes disconcerting to see the world through different lenses for months on end, to have your emotions unhooked from the world around you and even your taste buds go dormant – but actually (and you can kick me for this if you want) in many ways it’s not such a bad thing. You have to learn to sit with yourself for a while, notice your thoughts and emotions, accept them for what they are. You rest and you take one step at a time, and then magically and slowly, slowly, the colour comes back. And it will come back. And you will be amazed and in love with life all the more.

  3. Jesse Accidental Adventurer

    Haven’t seen a blog or beautiful pictures from you lately. I think of you often and hope that you are working through this tough time in your life.
    Just wanted to let you know your absence in the blogosphere is not gone un-noticed.

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Thank you Jesse, I really appreciate that and I apologize for not responding sooner.

      I haven’t completely forgotten about this blog and have been feeling like writing again.

      Thanks! 🙂

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Whiskey! Hi!!!!! So good to hear from you.

      I am doing better and not feeling so dull and emotionless. I felt like a dull and flat card board cut out of myself for months but I’m feeling more like myself again these days. I sometimes get these random moments of crippling anxiety which really sucks but I’m learning how to manage it.

      Lots going on in my life at the moment…

      I haven’t felt like writing anything in ages but have been feeling something stirring inside and I might have something to write again in the near future.

      I read your last blog post…you inspire me. xoxo

  4. Allen shizar

    Its really something to be able to do all this u are trying so damn hard to achieve. Sometimes depression in all its glory (i am sure u can understand the thick sarcasm), so yh in all its glory ,it may seem like that big black shadowed monster, but in reality its just us holding ourselves back, arent we?
    I imagine sometimes how difficult it is to be the third person in our own condition and analyze everything. To try and rip apart your bad thoughts, from your own true self.
    Will u tell me when the ice has finally melted off and the clouds has given way to sunshine?


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