I am sinking into depression and for the first time, I understand the cryptic trappings that everyone describes...
I never thought I had depression, just depressing circumstances.
Apathy is intense.
I can not convince myself to shake it off.
My normal coping skills are laughable, and I am having a hard time keeping it together when my spouse gets home from work.
I have been dealing with severe nerve damage for years, since a 4 level PLIF in 2007 to correct spondy (grade 4) of 96% at L5/S1. (Discectomies, and laminectomies as well.)
I am 28, and all of this began right before my 21st birthday, and 3 weeks before my first marathon.
(I was running on a broken back for YEARS and assumed my pain was normal or overtraining, as did my GPs at the time.)
I have prided myself on keeping composure, pushing through the pain, knowing that the day would come, when my body gave out again. Typically, when falling into sadness, I pull myself up by my boot straps with a, "I will not let this ruin me."
But honestly, it has.
I became an expert at hiding the struggle, and it has worked well for years.
I have been pulled from work, indefinitely and this time it feels real. I worked so hard for my career. Worked two jobs while completing college to remain competitive in the field and live without loan debt and now, after 16 months of medical leave, I have been terminated. My employer held my position for nearly two years.
I feel like I have no sense of self left.
I was an athlete.
Now I can't walk around the block.
I was a District Supervisor, with nearly 400 people under my supervision, and now I can barely manage my own care.
I was a magnetic speaker,
Now all I can handle in social interactions is talking AT people.
Reciprocal communication is so challenging when you are constantly on the edge of tears.
I know that I am trapped in a dark place, and that recognition is what is terrifying. I know damn well that I am lost, and sinking and even after personal pep talks, I can do nothing about it.
I am afraid to tell my chronic pain psychologist that I am this sad, because I have put up a farce version of myself and my coping skills for years. But I am lost, and scared that I will only get worse. I am always battling being honest in our sessions. I am sure that she knows this, but it attacks my character to be vulnerable.
Just looking for some tips on how to stop falling into this rabbit hole.
Thanks for your time.
Jenn (San Francisco, CA)
27 Year Old, suffering with several spinal conditions since 2007...
Spondylolisthesis grade 4, PLIF 2007 corrected to grade 2,
Nerve Damage and all of the fun that comes along with it.