Showing posts tagged Personal

Working with depression

Nov 26th, 2022


Been struggling with depression over the past couple of weeks. Some of this is seasonal (with the shortening of the days), though I wouldn’t say it always happens. Last year at this time I recall feeling the opposite of depressed: that probably had to do with the fact that I knew I was leaving my previous job at Mozilla and wanted to get as much done as possible. Sometimes a highly motivating life situation can keep it in abeyance. Nonetheless, it’s here now, again, and demands to be dealt with.

What does depression even mean? It’s a bit of a hard thing to pin down, exactly. But from the perspective of looking after my own well being, I don’t think I really need a definition. What matters are the symptoms, which I’d roughly express as:

A few things I tend to try to diminish its effects:

I don’t feel like doing these things but I try with all my might, against all my will, to do them anyway. Any individual action might not do much: but the cumulative effect of doing all of the above seems to have an impact — or at least that’s what I tell myself.

And yet despite my best efforts, it’s not always enough. I do all of the things in the second list, and yet still find myself suffering in all the ways described by the first. What do I do then?

I try to understand that there really isn’t an escape from unpleasant feeling, and that it’s just part of life: glorious and beautiful in its complexity. I try to be curious about what’s going on, even if I think it’s all happened before. If that’s not possible, I at least try to be present with it. That’s all I can do.