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You wake up and you feel like you haven’t slept at all even though you went to bed early the night before. Worse, you feel like you spent the night being beaten up by both DeLaHoya and Mayweather. All you want to do is roll over, pull the covers over your head, and sleep.
And this makes the tenth day in a row you’ve felt that way.
Sometimes, when you have fibromyalgia, it can be hard to tell if you’re tired or depressed. After all, you’re exhausted! It makes sense that you want to go back to sleep. So what do you need to watch out for?
Well, the biggest thing is not wanting to do your favorite things. Say, like me, you have cats that you adore. And one day, you wake up and it doesn’t matter that your cat is purring and snuggling on your chest- you just don’t have the energy to pet him. That’s a RED FLAG for depression, not “just” tiredness. Or say you love chatting online with your friends, and one day you just can’t bear to look at the computer. Again- RED FLAG.
So. You’ve verified that you’re depressed, not “just” tired. (I say “just” because we all know that with fibro, it’s never “just” fatigue- it’s bone-deep, draining, exhausting fatigue!) What do you do now?
For starters, be gentle with yourself. Sometimes, the best thing to do is nothing.
We all need reset time- if it’s only been a week, just give yourself the time you need to rest up and feel better, and the depression may lift on its own. It isn’t always an emergency that needs to be taken to task and brought under control. We are creatures of emotion- and those emotions deserve to be expressed once in a while. Depression is sadness writ large, granted- but it’s not the end of the world. Be aware of your emotions- be cautious and don’t let yourself go to any dark places- but if you need to sit on the couch for a week or two and eat cookie dough out of the plastic container and pout because you’re in pain and fibro sucks- DO IT!
Now, if you’re depressed to the point where you can’t get out of bed and it’s effecting your life- different story. Now it’s time to call in the big guns. In other words, call for backup! Whoever your usual “ack, help” person is, call them. Get them to get you out of bed however they have to, and get you moving. Sometimes, just talking to someone about what you’re going through, and getting out of the house can help. Go to the mall, go to the park, where ever you want- but get OUT of the house, get moving, take a walk, and TALK. Tell them how much fibro sucks, tell them you’ve been bummed about it, tell them you haven’t been able to get out of bed. Sometimes that’s enough to help- but if it isn’t, call your doctor. Don’t be afraid to take medications temporarily. A two week course of anti-depressants to help you through a bad spell is better than possibly doing serious damage to yourself because you didn’t take them.
Finally, you know the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” In the case of depression with fibro, it’s very, very true. Find a way to keep yourself from getting depressed. Take up a hobby, go to a therapist, find a friend you can talk to about it, join a fibro group, start writing articles about fibro for a website (*wink*), whatever you can do to keep yourself happy.
Fibromyalgia sucks- that’s a fact, and I don’t think anyone with this disease will argue with you on it. But we can all do something that will keep ourselves from letting it get the better of us. Find your joy, and then run with it. ?