Monday, February 16, 2015

If only it were that simple.

This has not been an easy winter. I am coping, but some days barely. Last night as I headed off to bed I decided to up my anti-depressant medication starting this morning.

I have just been feeling flat. Going through the day - getting things done - but just flat.

And then this morning I saw a meme that said:

Exercise is the most under utilized anti-depressant.

Oh my fucking god! If I had high blood pressure it would have gone through the roof. (I don't. I have low blood pressure so it probably is pushed into the normal range.)

Really? Really?

I swim at least three miles a week. I go to yoga at least once a week. Most weeks I hit the gym once or twice and when it is not pouring with rain I go for a hilly walk of 4km or so.

I eat well, I spend time with friends and family, I do ALL THE THINGS.

But depression doesn't care.

It lies, and it doesn't care.

I have had people in my life like that - people who lie and don't care - and those people I eighty-sixed.

You can't eighty-six depression.

And you can't exercise it away.

This is not to say exercise can't help, and that when I get home from a long swim it gives me some ammunition to say "See? You didn't win today."

But the effort to do that with depression is like swimming dragging a manatee, or walking carrying a fifty pound sack, or breathing with an eighteen-wheeler on your chest.

Yes, you can do it, but it ain't easy.

So stop with the memes that are trite and meaningless (and in this case grammatically incorrect because it said "Exercises (sic) is the most under-utilized anti-depressant."

The same meme stated "Food is the most abused anxiety medication". Really? More than, let's say, heroin? Because I suppose to the author of that meme it is worse to be fat than to be a junkie. Really? Don't get me started on the fat-phobic society of ours. I don't have the energy. But it is wrong, too.

So today?

Today I am going to be good to myself. I am going to ignore that constant nagging little voice that says it isn't worth it. I am going to replace worrisome thoughts with something else if I can.

And yes, I am going to up my medication.

And if you have an opinion about that?

Keep it to yourself.

And, most certainly, don't make a meme.


  1. A wise choice from a wise woman... I'm still trying to muster the energy to do more than my dog walking to try to help calm the Black Dog. And it's glorious sunny blue summer down here. Winters are hard ... Grey is oppressive. I have no idea about snow. It is out of my experience but I imagine it can induce claustrophobia and cabin fever.
    I am see a therapist who specialises in positive psychology and doing a lot of reading in the field. It is helping me quiet the nasty bitch in my head who keeps telling me I am fail ( yes... Noun used as adjective/ verb complement intentionally.)
    And I totally agree... Meme should sometimes be defined as ' smug platitude resembling twee advertising jingle created by smug overpaid wanker' .
    Sending sunshine thoughts and cyber hugs aplenty.

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    2. I love your definition of meme. Actually no snow here but lots and lots and lots of snowy pics are from my son's place I Alberta.....But today there is sun, and I am heading out into it. Thank you for the cyber hugs!

  2. So much foolish talk and theories out there in the world of health. Depression, cancer, chronic fatigue don't pay any attention to it. I've had to learn to plug my ears and just do what I can, when I can and leave it at that. No nagging my aching muscles that they should be jogging. It's made my life a whole lot less stressful.

    1. yes I remember well reading the post you wrote about cancer and all the 'helpful' things people said to prevent is just ignorance or pridefulness, but some days it hurts all the same

  3. Well said Mary-Anne! I am going to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the moment, and one of the things I am supposed to do is exercise. I would love to if I could summon up the bloody motivation to do so! I ma only managing the odd walk at the moment.
    Oh and guess what? I am one of those people that over-eat when depressed/anxious as well which is not helping! I agree with you that the people who create these memes have no idea whatsoever what they are talking about, and should bugger off and do some real work!!!!! :-)

  4. I have a love-hate relationship with memes. I often enjoy the ones that are meant to be humorous, but the ones that dish out life advice, not so much so. I hope you are able to find the right balance with your meds.

    1. me too. (about the meds and the memes). I do find the funny ones, pretty funny, but I can do without the advice ones, that is for sure.

  5. Coping with depression is hard. I admire you for the way you handle it. I have generalized anxiety and a chronic halucinatory condition, but I find them far more manageable than when I had a bout of depression four years ago. Please take care, do all that is needed, and take care.


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