Since Bobba passed away about 9 weeks ago, I have been asking myself this every morning, every afternoon and every evening.
Am I depressed? Or is it just mourning?
My stepdad was a special person in my life. He suffered from depression too, and often he was the one that pointed out to my mother that things weren’t right. We no longer have that intuitive mind anymore.
Most days, I get up in the morning still feeling exhausted. I wonder if I slept okay, and often recall very vivid dreams. Sleep has never been a strong point for me, and I wake up about twice overnight, sometimes for a period of an hour or two I can’t get back to sleep.
By about 11:30, 12pm I am exhausted. I mean muscular pain, absolutely shattered exhausted, and I can go to bed and sleep for a good couple of hours, before getting up, and getting on with the rest of my day. Only to return to bed at about 8:30pm, lights out by 9pm and fast asleep not long after. I have tried not to have afternoon naps, and some days, I can work all day and not be exhausted, but some days, I get a headache, feel tired and crochety and really need to go to bed.
Another indicator that my depression has returned is not being able to write, which I honestly haven’t been able to do since my stepdad died. I can’t explain why I don’t want to write, but it just isn’t there, the will to continue on with the various stories I have. I have made an attempt or two, but nothing significant enough for me to say – hey, I’m writing again.
Other factors include my housework. I stop cleaning the house with as much thoroughness as I used to, I just do the bare minimum to get by. I stop visiting with friends, stop exercising, and stop being sociable altogether.
I shut myself away into my little bubble and just exist.
Just get by.
And this is where I think I can separate the depression and the mourning.
I am still being creative with my artwork. Yes, I have given away my woodworking for now, but I am picking that up again next year. The only reason I stopped was because I was travelling to Motueka once a week to spend time with my Mum and Bobba. Now, I am trying to find a routine, and now that spring has sprung (thank goodness for that), I can start to organise my days a little better, and spend time doing everything I want to do.
I am socialising, I have a large group of people that I interact with on a regular basis, and some people that I interact with one on one on a regular basis. I have my besties, and I have aquaintances that are fast growing on me. My friendship network is the strongest it has ever been.
I am doing yoga, and just starting doing walking again, so I am exercising. I’m not shutting myself away from the world and drowning myself in my own little existence.
I am in mourning.
Mourning the loss of a man that was more significant in my life than I thought. Mourning for a stepdad who showed me that I was capable of being a daughter, and that he was more than capable of being the father I always wanted. I mourn for a man who shared a common ailment with me, depression. I cry for a man who is no longer here for me to talk to, discuss things with, conjole, jolly and laugh with. I no longer have to sort out his email account because ‘the blasted thing keep downloading the same old emails and nothing new’.
I am sad, because a significant piece of my life has gone.
It is not depression. I can imagine him in heaven shaking his head and saying, “come on girl, you’re doing so well, keep up the good work.”
So Bobba, this one is for you. I’m keeping on, I’m doing well, and yes, I’m still reducing the meds. Thanks for everything.