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Major Depressive Disorder and Standing in the Trenches

I used to write all the time. It's normal, I think, to go in phases with writing. Sometimes we have so much to say our fingers can't keep up with our thoughts, and other times it's just... crickets.

Lately I've been wondering if these aren't so much crickets, as they are my desire to avoid digging into my feelings too deeply.

I want to describe what it's like living with Major Depressive Disorder, ADHD, Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Craniocervical Instability, Dysautonomia (POTS), MCAS, osteoarthritis, and endometriosis, but I'm afraid I won't be able to find the right words.

I waiver between knowing I have to be careful with my body and mind, while also wondering if I'm treating myself with kiddie gloves. Am I more capable than I realize of holding down a full-time job, or am I right to believe it would never work long-term? What about short-term? I'm not sure anymore.

I've been seeing a personal trainer at a facility that specializes in working with folks with disabilities and I'm regaining so much strength. I love the way my body is changing and I love even more than it isn't throwing me into a bunch of flare-ups. Is it enough to help me hold down steady work? Why am I so concerned about steady work? You know, other than capitalism and the fact that hardly anyone can afford to thrive in this country... but that's a rant for another day.

Really I think it's because I have the desire for things I didn't before - like buying a house, and saving for retirement.

I think I've come to terms more with my physical disabilities than I have with my mental disabilities. My Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is pretty well managed right now, as long as I don't have any disruptions with my medication. I'm on Trintellix and Vraylar for my MDD and Azstarys for my ADHD (it also helps immensely with my anxiety). My MDD is medication resistant, which is why I'm on the Vraylar in addition to the Trintellix. I also have the gene variant (MTFHR or something like that), which means my body doesn't absorb folic acid properly, which is problematic because those are basically your mental health's building blocks. So I take a supplement daily to help manage that.

Sometimes it depresses me that I'm on so much medication. It scares me because I'm on Medicaid so it's all covered... but what happens if and when I lose medicaid? Will I be able to afford these medications that keep me functioning every day? I hate having to worry about that. But you know... America.

I take really good care of myself, and taking my meds every day is a massive part of that self-care. Self-care doesn't always include things we WANT to do. Sometimes it involves doing what we know we need to do in order to thrive.

But... am I thriving? In some ways I suppose I am. But in so many others I feel lost and it so often circles back to what I'm doing for a living.

I miss being a hairstylist. I didn't miss it at first. Probably because I needed a break. But now I miss it. I feel a little like a fish out of water. I've made life work without it, I've spent a lot of time learning other things so I can bring in money, but I don't feel like a true expert at that stuff, at least, not the way I did when I was working behind the chair. I commanded that space. I knew what I was doing, I loved educating my clients about their hair and how to work with it. I was really fucking good at being a hairstylist.

I'm good at tactical marketing stuff. I'm good at helping small business owners sort out their tech shit, I'm a good writer, etc. But, it's not the same and some days that adds to the depression. I regularly circle back to wondering if I could work behind the chair again... but would my body be able to keep up with the demand? The answer is probably not, but I can't quite wrap my head around that. So I allow myself to circle back to wondering again and again, which probably isn't very helpful at all, but y'know, ADHD and ruminating.

I feel so aimless. What is my purpose? What am I missing? I'm having fun with my sticker business. It makes me happy to create them, and it makes other people happy to buy them. But it's not enough. It's never enough. That's part of the problem. What am I supposed to be doing that I'm not doing? Or, am I destined to always have this feeling of needing something "more"?

I want to do more speaking. I want to finish writing my book. Or... I think that's what I want anyway. It all feels so unclear. I miss the time when my feet felt more securely on the ground. I feel like everything went to shit in 2020 and I'm still trying to recreate myself. It wasn't just the pandemic, it's also when my head started hurting and never stopped. It's when I spent over 2 weeks in the hospital and got no answers. It's when everything drastically changed. Maybe I've yet to recover from it.

I hate not knowing how to help myself, and in turn, how to help you, my readers. I like to be able to come to you with tips and tricks surrounding all this medical shit, but today I have none. Today I'm in the trenches, wondering what all this is for, wondering what I'm supposed to be taking from this entire life experience and you're simply along for the ride.

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