January 10, 2012

Depression stole my swagger

There are a lot of miserable symptoms of major depression. Despair. Fatigue. Loss of interest in things we once enjoyed. Stomach-churning anxiety. Real, physical pain. Those are just a few.

Worst of all, this soul-sapping brain disease can steal our self-confidence.

At least that’s what my wife noticed recently.

After a tough six months of on-again, off-again depression, I’ve come to realize she is exactly right. Depression stole my swagger.

I was once brimming with self-confidence. Not arrogance, but confidence in my ability to accomplish anything I set my mind to do. Then I crashed and burned with my first major battle with Major Depression.

Sadly, I can’t remember the last time I felt truly confident.

My current meds and time with my therapist are helping me survive each day, but I’m sick of just hoping to survive. I want to start really living again.

Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so.

So what am I going to do about it?

I’m going to be more intentional about setting modest goals that I can achieve, whether it’s at work or at home. Achieving those goals will surely help build my self-confidence back. I am keenly aware that such cognitive behavioral therapy works, but it is difficult to be diligent about using those tools when you feel depressed and mentally exhausted.

I blogged earlier about the need to “fake it til you make it,” and I still believe that. I just wish it wasn’t so darn hard.