Anti-depressants not cutting it anymore. Not interacting with my kids or wife. Staring at the computer screen. Everything grey. Things have to get better.

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Comment by Chris Hamm on February 9, 2010 at 8:53pm
Will......great thought. What is it that I can't accept and that I need to. My mind races to a hundred different things but no one things seems to hit the nail on the head. Really interesting...That's something I'll need to mull over.
Comment by Chris Hamm on February 9, 2010 at 8:52pm
Ray, thanks again for your words of encouragement. I've whined about my depressions here on AoM before and you always seem to find me and put me up. Thanks, man.

I do need to reach out more the real people around me. While the community on this site has been invaluable to me lately I know it's a poor substitute for a real and vital relationship with someone sitting in the same room. I've always walked a line between little self-worth and putting energies into other people. I want to make sure those around me are taken care of but part of that is to "not bother them with my problems". I've always believed no one really wants to hear about my junk. The times when I've blubbered it out I always feel melodramatic and teenagery (new word?). Ridiculous and offensive to those who care about me, I know. I don't know that it's about being the "strong silent type" but more the meek guy back in the corner sometimes.

I do need to get to the doctor. While Sarah is right, meds aren't the be all end all by any means if they need tweaked so I have the capacity to help myself, he'd be the one to make that call. See my response to Sarah regarding talking to my wife.

Changing my surroundings.....yes, yes, and yes again. I've mentioned this to you once and in this post once already but I was able to get out of the house for a couple hours on Sunday and go for a hike through the woods. It was great. I felt great afterward. I don't remember the last time I was able to do something like that. I love my wife but we are very different people. I need alone-time to recharge she needs to be with people she loves. She already has a lot of guilt for being away from home so much during the week working so the weekends are "family time". That means on the average week I'm with the girls 24/7. Getting a break like that hike once a week would be great. Hopefully that can become a regular thing.

I know that I have the most important job in the world but, of course, through the day-to-day it's hard to feel like that. I was doing great at the beginning of the school year but that has tapered off considerably. Especially since it's cold and flu season and sleep has been scarce. I had to run upstairs just now to calm poor Heather down. She's miserable.

Thanks for being my friend, Ray. It means a lot to me.
Comment by Chris Hamm on February 9, 2010 at 8:25pm
Well all. I honestly didn't mean to make this post public. Forgot to hit the button for a private blog post. Like most people with depression issues I have good days and bad days, that happened to be the pinnacle of a few bad days in a row. That being said.....thank you all for your comments. I'll try and get to each of you.

Sarah, thanks so much for your comments and especially following through with the check-up! You gave me some good things to think about. I don't have a lot of guy (or girl) friends that I feel comfortable talking this sort of thing over with. I've got one good friend but he....well doesn't totally live inside reality, lol. He's a great guy likely wouldn't be of much help in this situation. I've had several people (Ray included, I believe) recommend exercise and I've been trying to do that. With the two little kids there's a million excuses not to but my wife shoved me out of the house Sunday and gave me a couple hours off. I went for a hike in the woods and it was great. The only thing that would have made it better is if I had a dog to walk with me :)

My wife does know how I'm feeling but we don't talk about it much. She has some pretty decent depression issues herself so we have this fun little co-dependent thing going on. It usually goes something like: "What's the matter, honey, you don't look so good", *shrug* "Having a bad brain day, y'know", *the other one nods*. Again, excuses, excuses but not the kind of conversation you want to get in while there's food flying about, Heather pulled the tray out of her potty seat, and the phone's ringing. By the time the girls are in bed, she's doing homework and I'm vegging or doing housework. She and I could talk later but you bring up another great point.

What's keeping me up? I dunno. I think this whole cycle of crud really set in during college. I remember staying up, all night sometimes, because I didn't want to go to sleep. I hated the thought of sleep. I think maybe I was trying to convince myself that if I didn't go to bed the next day wouldn't come? Makes no sense, I know. There's nothing that I toss and turn over but probably because I keep myself distracted until I'm exhausted. I sit downstairs on the computer drooling over Saddleback products or playing mindless Facebook games until I'm falling asleep at the keyboard then crawl in bed and dink around on my iTouch until I drop it a couple times out tiredness. I never really stopped to think why I do that. Probably afraid of the inside of my own head.

I do go to church but haven't spoken to anyone there. It wouldn't be a bad idea. Not sure where I am in my faith and whether it would help or just annoy me to hear how God can help me through the valley.
Comment by Sarah Joy Albrecht on February 9, 2010 at 9:38am
Checking back, Chris!
Any updates?
I hope today was a better day.
Comment by Will on February 6, 2010 at 9:47am
I lived 10 years with clinical depression. I found short-term and long-term fixes.

Short-term: whatever needs doing, break it into tiny parts. If I have 30 papers to grade, I just grade one. If that's too much, I grade 1 paper, 1 question. Then I decide if I want to do more. I can go a long way with that.

Long-term:

I identified what it was about the world I could not accept, and
I accepted it

It took me 10 years the first time. About 9 months the next time. Maybe it will go quicker for you. I hope so.
Comment by Sarah Joy Albrecht on February 6, 2010 at 4:05am
PS: Your kids and your wife look really nice. How did you meet your wife? :)

PPS: Whittling is a great, manly hobby. It helped my dad through some serious times of stress. In addition to being therapeutic, he ended up making some gorgeous pieces that sold for thousands of dollars at an art show ;)
Comment by Sarah Joy Albrecht on February 6, 2010 at 3:58am
Chris,

Even if it's been a while, please do call up some good guy friends of yours and get out of the house for a bit. Please tell them how you're feeling and see if you can regularly go out once a week and force you to talk and interact with them.

Can you exercise? That always helps me when I'm feeling blue. It stimulates natural mood-lifters in the body. It also relieves tension.

What's keeping you up late at night? What are some of the issues that are weighing down on you?

Does your wife know how you are feeling?

Do you go to church? Have you been able to talk to a pastor about feeling so grey?

Meds can help, but you also have to address the issues that are getting to you. Otherwise, the meds are only masking things.

It can get better. Keep fighting. Don't give up, k?

I'll be checking back for an update :)

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