Last week I had a few days that I thought that the depression that has felt so heavy for the last few months was lifting. I even said something funny and laughed at it with Dr. Mind. I think he was so surprised to see me laugh that he laughed harder just because I haven't done that in a long time. And it was actually pretty funny. I was supposed to look at him and say something and instead of doing that I aimed my head toward him and my eyes went to each side, far away. Apparently he can see that and said something and I just told him to average it and it would be perfect. Clearly we have a long way to go on regaining eye contact (with anyone) but still, I did laugh.
But in the last few days it is back. I don't feel like doing anything except sleeping and that is all messed up. I forced myself to exercise yesterday and will again today and I have forced myself to do a few things like cutting out squares to make something for the new baby and I worked on Anne's dress. I threw laundry in the washer earlier. But I haven't done things like clean up the basement or finish washing some dishes that were soaking. Things that need to be done. I just can't. Oddly I am reading. I still have to read everything at least twice and part of reading right now is finding an author that is very easy to follow and whose books were favorites during my driving constantly with books on tape days.
Part of the depression is that I have symptoms of a complication from my hysterectomy. I am not going to say more than that except that Dr. Body is concerned, it may or may not be related to surgery, and it may or may not require further surgery. We're trying a med change (for a non-psych med) first and if that doesn't work (and we both know it is highly unlikely) then I will need to go back to the surgeon who may or may not refer me for more treatment with another doctor. It is just something I do not feel like dealing with and it's a kind of stressful possibility. We'll see.
As is often true and can be so very frustrating my depression is partly related to a happy thing. A week or two ago I posted on the facebook page for the camp I worked at during college. I immediately connected with one of my best friends from then. Which is wonderful. It also has made me think a lot about how grateful I am that I had those 3 summers. Camp adds up to a year of my life and was so healing and growth-producing and amazing. It was the only time in my life where I was just a normal kid and I was doing something I was extremely good at. I was a good occupational therapist but I was not very good with paperwork and keeping up with the constant new additions to Medicare rules that made it harder and harder to be the supervisor. Camp didn't have those things. We had some paperwork but it was minimal and some of it really didn't matter. The kids had a checklist on their lockers that we were supposed to complete to show that clothes were changed, laundry was done, showers given, etc. I'm not sure anyone ever made it through a whole 2 weeks with those things filled out. They got rid of them after a year because of the never filled out thing. It's kind of hard to explain but there's a strong bond that forms when you do that kind of work. I remember constantly thinking "I'm 19/20/21 and people are trusting me to do WHAT?" as I learned to manage catheters, feeding tubes, braces, behavioral issues, colostomies, seizures, and so many other things I could go on for years. My first session I had 2 very hard adult women by myself. Rather than finding it overwhelming or something to survive as I'd expected I found that I loved it and was good at it and that this was my life's calling. My 2nd session I started knowing that I would do this in some capacity but not what. I ended knowing that OT was a perfect fit for me. There were a lot of people who had that kind of experience. Those of us who fell in love with it bonded in ways that never can be repeated. That combined year of my life I laughed more and harder than any other time. We had contests to see who cleaned up the most poopy. We stretched minds to come up with ideas of what to do with 50 active kids when it rained for half the session and the fish pond overflowed into the green that was surrounded by cabins (answer, lots of mud play that I didn't get to do because I had little kids that time) or the opposite, when it was 110 degrees for days on end (answer, one very long pool party that I missed most of because I didn't drink enough water and wound up with a UTI and fever of 103.5.) It was days on end of listening to one obnoxious tape played at blaring until finally the counselor I was paired with leaped up yelling "I got it! I heard the swear word! IT'S MINE!!!". It was laughing until I cried because the male counselor I was with had never changed a diaper and after doing the worst ones for several days I told him that the next poop was his. And it was a poop beyond all other poop, one that we had to give our other kids to someone else and spend 45 minutes handling. It was changing an external male catheter (think condom with a tube) and realizing that my gloved hand was adhered firmly to my charge's genital*ia, then laughing so hard I couldn't tell the other person what was wrong so he could get the swab that released the glue, then he laughed so hard that tears ran down his face and he had to leave after tossing me a swab I couldn't open. (To be fair this child was not aware of what was happening or we would have held it together. Not professional but we were not professionals. Again, we were 19.) It was singing "daddy is a lupdup" over and over because it made my camper happy and was her only expression. It was restraining a teenage girl with numerous issues when she bit a piece off of a bench (I still have that piece). It was hearing a child make a noise and leaping from my bunk to the floor in time to hold him while he seized. It was also the most beautiful place I've ever been, so it was waking every morning until at least July and watching the fog rise off the mountain streams. It was the summer where I rarely slept as mania entered my life with a stronger hold than ever before but which meant that at every camp-out I was able to watch these amazing sunrises from a mile up a mountain. It was amazing.
I have known since the first day that those weren't things I would ever repeat once I didn't work there. By the time I finished my 3rd year I knew it was time to move on, that I had outgrown some of the magic. My friend who did a part of a 4th year confirmed that. I just never thought that a time would come when I thought laughing once was magic. I knew then to appreciate what I had and that it was good only for that time but I did not know that my definition of challenge would change so much. Remembering all this is happy.I'm just sad that I don't have much in my life that is so intensely happy now. It's also, honestly, hard to see people from college and grad school and how well they are doing. I'm getting reminders of that now because my college reunion is coming up and let's just say I don't fit into my reunion group well. I also have found a few people from grad school and they are in academic positions now, which is consistent with a lot of our training and their goals. I don't remember so many people's last names so that makes others hard to find, which is probably for the best.
I don't know what else to say. I'm just tired and I can't seem to find the thing that brings happy back. Since I never was able to use my SAD lamp this year it may simply be sunshine. I'm certain that will help as it has the few times I've had a chance to try. But this depression is harder because I want it to leave so badly and I'm just so very tired. I haven't eaten in a very long time so I guess I should try that.