I Need to Stop Indulging in My Depression

I’ve mentioned that I am completely EXHAUSTED every single day. Even after multiple energy drinks + 10 hours of sleep.

But the clock is ticking, and I can’t keep pushing my US medical licensing exam date back time after time. So, this week I have been especially good about studying in spite of my exhaustion and having to fight to even keep my eyes open (no exaggeration here), and in spite of my depression. I just try to suck it up every morning, down some monster, and leave the apartment the same time as boyfriend to study.

For most days, I study, take a break, nap because I absolutely cannot stay awake any longer even after a 2nd monster, wake up after an hour or two- not quite refreshed, but I just accept that I’m exhausted all the time regardless of how much sleep I get, and since I can at least keep my eyes open after the nap, I study some more.

But the last few days, I’m like a rebellious little toddler who just refuses to take naps even though I am exhausted and desperately need some zzzz’s. I just don’t feel like napping- even if I know I will be more energized, in a better mood, and feel good about getting a few more hours of work done…..I just…. don’t feel like it.

Instead of napping, I make up the excuse that I just have a really hard time falling asleep therefore I’m not napping, but in reality, my effort is very half hearted and I’m only fooling myself.

Funny that for the majority of the last 2 years that I’ve been depressed, I’ve resorted to sleeping copious amounts (and binge eating) as a temporary escape from my negative emotions. I’m talking 16+ hours a day. It’s really quite a miracle that I was even able to get by the first 2 years of med school, thanks to my smart boyfriend who tutors me. But now, it’s the opposite and I don’t feel like sleeping away my feelings.

Of course I don’t enjoy being sad, but….sometimes I just feel like being sad, I just want to cry and pout instead of sweeping my emotions under the rug, you know?

Day after day, I fight really hard to set aside my sad feelings and study. Because it’s called being an adult and fulfilling basic responsibilities….but, sometimes I just want to take some time to be sad. I know it sounds non-sensical, but that’s the best way I can explain it.

I DO take time to “take care of my feelings” by doing hobbies such as embroidering and baking to distract myself from all my negative emotions, but well, they are only temporary distractions that can shift my mood from negative to neutral. As soon I stop doing said activity, deep sadness looms over me once again.

So I guess what I’m saying is, I keep refusing to nap because I know that napping will not solve my depression. Instead, I lie in bed with a blank mind and just indulge in my sadness. It just doesn’t feel right ignoring my feelings, you know? Which is why I chose to experience the sadness as opposed to trying to recharge so I could study more later.

I just feel so hopeless, and I really just wish I could find the answer to my unhappiness. It’s actually quite paradoxical. People who try to seek out happiness, are people that tend to have higher expectations of what happiness is, so the lofty expectations inevitably lead to disappointment and further depression. Then the cycle continues.

But even if it is important for me to confront my emotions and find out the root of my unhappiness, NOW IS NOT THE TIME. I NEED TO STUDY HARD for my medical licensing exam and focus on learning the material! That doesn’t mean I’m ignoring my emotions, it just means I’m putting a hold on the issue and focusing on the TASK IN FRONT OF ME. It’s called growing up and getting shit done even if I’m sad and don’t feel like it.

A doctor can’t throw in the towel and say I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT when he/she’s on call and others are depending on him/her. A mother can’t watch TV while her baby cries for food because she doesn’t feel like nursing. Likewise, I can’t NOT NAP or NOT study and indulge in my sadness. And where does not napping lead me anyway? CRANKINESS on top of depression.

Annie, grow a pair and suck it up please. Untangling your emotions needs to be put on the back burner right now.

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2 thoughts on “I Need to Stop Indulging in My Depression

  1. you may have a lot of reasons to avoid untangling your emotions, like your education and studying, but don’t beat yourself up for trying to feel your feelings. you’ll never get out of depression unless you learn to do so! it’s a balance between pushing yourself to fight a mental disorder and backing off of pushing so that you can just plain function. believe me i know that’s true. some nights i go out to eat and push myself, but other nights i just need to stay in with my safe foods. at least you are aware of when you are using coping mechanisms – that’s step 1!

  2. Oh man, I definitely know what you mean about feeling guilty over your sadness and chastising yourself to “Get over it!”

    Feeling sad and depressed is such a very, very complicated thing, especially when you have clear ideas of what you want things to be like.

    I definitely think that sitting with your feelings and trying to accept them is a healthy approach. Journaling, too!

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