peppy songs and gray people

I’m not sure what point there is in writing about feeling depressed. I think there’s some study that says purging isn’t actually good for you, and besides, who wants to read about how tired someone is, how fat, how very gray. It should be gray right? Not blue, the color of nautical scenes and boys’ layette. I think there’s hardly a use for writing about feeling depressed because you also can’t do it justice.

If today were an opening scene in a movie, it would open with some good mood song—obviously I can’t think of one now because I can’t get on with that wavelength, but something like Queen’s Under Pressure—then a tight shot of water from a waterfall shower head, feet out of slippers, hair in a turban, blotting of lipstick, a rod of clothing from which to choose the day’s ensemble. Then the music would peter out as our lead climbed back into bed, gold sandals still on. I can’t get myself to leave the house.

I have nothing to wear, nothing fits, my face is fuller. I’m afraid of the scale. Despite forcing myself to go to the little gym in my community, I can’t perk up or get back on track. I tell myself to just get through four days, just four, then I’ll be back. I haven’t reached out to friends I want to see, in part I think, because I have nothing to wear and feel old and pale and I’ll see it on their faces, as they fall a little, unsure if I’m really the friend they last saw. Am I in there somewhere?

I tried printing inspiring quotes, treasure map photos. Not helping.

I really hope this depression is linked directly with my low testosterone. Not just low. The doctor wrote on my blood work results, “very low.” Because if it is, at least that’s something that can be fixed. Being on 300mg of Wellbutrin hasn’t helped much either. I haven’t made any effort to see old friends or make new ones. What have I done? I’ve baked a blueberry nectarine cake and topped it with lemon basil frosting, so at least all’s not lost.



  1. Hang in there. And don’t discount the effect and disruption that moving can have, even when it’s a welcome move. I am in a similar boat with respect to just about everything you wrote (and I somewhat-recently moved states, but longer ago than you did). Keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep up with the gym (good for you! I can’t get myself there!), don’t beat yourself up about the eating/diet/weight (hard to do, I know), and give the Wellbutrin some time to work.

    And thanks for writing about it. It does help others in the same boat, to hear it from someone who from the outside leads a charmed life. I hope that doesn’t sound wrong – I just mean that you’re beautiful, thin (even if you don’t feel it), successful, with a hubby, 2 beautiful kids, a gaggle of close friends, nearby family and an abundance of resources, and yet it can happen to anyone. Hugs.

  2. Been there, done that and just coming out the other side. The only thing that got me through was knowing at some point, had no idea when or how, but at some point “this too shall pass”. It took about 3 months but there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. Gray is right and it is a hard non-color to exist in. Sorry you’re there, bleh. Brighter days will come.

    I’ve started writing “I was here too” or “I know exactly how you feel”. What is more annoying than those platitudes? Maybe “it’s god’s plan” or “everything happens for a reason”…gag.

    Why do humans always have to ‘out-do’ or one-up someone elses pain? This lesson was SLAMMED home to me about a month ago. Now it is almost funny – almost. At the time it was insensitive beyond words and it made me swear never, ever to try to ‘out-do’ someone’s misery.

    About a month ago, dad and I were hunkered down over mom’s latest physical and mental set-back. It was awful. The news was worse. Everything was bleak, gray, desolate. And then an old family friend came over to ‘ease our burden’ and proceeded to smear shit all over us. He told the most vile, disturbing, ghastly story of loss ever. My dad and I stared at him in bemused horror until he left. I can chuckle now…sort of…but at the moment…I kind of wanted to murder him.

    So – lesson for me is don’t try to our-do someone’s sad story. Be there, be supportive, be kind, keep calm and carry on.

    I’m right here. Courage and strength.

  4. It will get better soon I am sure. I get depressed also when I hate my body. I know that sounds so harsh to type out but that’s what it is. Body Hatred. When I wash my girls in the sink sometimes I am confronted with myself int hemirror being able to see howw the fat on my arm pushes together and bunches up into cellulite as the kid pushes against my arm. UGH puke throw up arm cellulite!!! I need to join a freaking gym and I askked my husband and he responded, yeah sure, join. I mean we need new tires, but join.

    ugh again.

    I feel your pain and I also know you will be back one day soon. So just hang in there and maybe try to get out of the house a bit. You are in long island now right? take a walk on the beach, once a day everyday. Maybe that will help.

  5. I know it’s probably the last thing you want to do if you feel yucky but try to have some sex. Use some, ahem, visual aids if you need, have the kids babysat and rent a hotel room, have some champagne, anything to get going, and then just do it. Worse comes to worse you have a happy man, best outcome is you get your endorphins going and your mood lifts.

  6. I am right there with you. Diet and exercise derailed with summer vacation. My kids and I have been baking (and tasting) nonstop. I just read Bob Harper’s new book for a quick little motivation. His “rules” are pretty self-explanatory and elementary, but I like his delivery, and he’s inspired me to get up off my buttercream frosting-laden ass, and drop some pounds before school so I am not self-conscious at the school “walkers” door.

  7. I’m going to mirror pretty much what everyone else has said. You’ve had some VERY rough roads behind you; don’t dicount how that amount of stress over a long period of time will do to your mental and physical well being.

    Just be. Let expectations go for a while and relax. Get out of the house, go outside, and take your camera! Get drunk and let Phil chase those shades of grey away in the bedroom. Go do something low-key with friends that will understand and not judge.

    Give it time and space. Things will fall back in to where they belong.

  8. I am so sorry you are having a hard time. Like so many of your readers, I have been there, too. I had a bout of situational depression after some big life changes a couple of years ago. Therapy really helped get me through. Have you considered speaking to a therapist? It can’t hurt, and might help. You are going through a lot right now, between health issues and the move. Sometimes, it is good just to have some place to lay it all down and have a little help sorting through it all.

  9. I’m in perimenopause (God, hope it’s gonna be finished soon!), and I absolutely understand. As much as your resisting it, go to the gym! I’ve been through a year of unbelievable changes (a move, husband’s job loss and a whole lot more), and keeping a daily workout has kept me sane! Spending time with friends is also a great antidote to depression, and now that you’re back in NY, this is do-able. Lastly, therapy is a good option to support yourself during this transition. Hang in there, and don’t be hard on yourself!

  10. On a happier note, I just want to say again how much I enjoy reading the This Day in Greek Tragedy History section of your blog. I laughed out loud at the ‘don’t feed them after midnight’ post. That was hysterical. Hope you’re feeling better.

  11. Stephanie, have you ever tried homeopathy? I had not – I don’t even really get it. But I was feeling really awful for awhile, despite best efforts (yoga, therapy, massages, etc etc.). I took a homeopathic remedy after a friend recommended her homeopath. I wept all over his office for 2+ hours. He asked the weirdest questions. Like what kind of weather do I prefer, am I averse to any animals, could I recall last night’s dream, etc. He listened to my complaints (sobbing!) He prescribed a one dose remedy. He said he preferred not to tell me what, so I wouldn’t google. I was desperate, I took it. I woke the next morning and something had shifted. It’s been a few weeks and holding steady. I don’t care if it was the placebo effect! Whatever works. I thought I’d mention. I have my sense of humor, patience, compassion, optimism and adventure back. Not perfect, but feeling myself again. I wish that for you too xx

  12. Sorry you are going through this.

    How long have you been taking Wellbutrin?
    It takes a few weeks- months to start working.

    Yoga is good And walking on the beach
    Also I feel having a treadmill in my house is a lot easier and relaxing than a fitness ctr.

    Good luck!!

    And enjoy your ny summer!

  13. On the one hand, I feel for you, and I’ve lived with and around depression so that it’s hard to get the perspective you need to face life. On the other hand, not to be mean or anything, I want to say – buck up, buckaroo. Look at what you have,not what you don’t. Friends and family who love you. Wonderful kids. Enough money to do what you want and not worry about paying the electric bill or what to go without until the next payday. And health – yes, health. You aren’t gonna die from your current condition. You are fortunate to have the means and the smarts to do the research and get the treatment to manage your health issues. So put those gold sandals on, go buy something you fit into that makes you feel good and visit those friends who love you for you, no matter what you look like.

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