It's different and yet it's also the same. My character is more developed this time which is positive. I still feel the fatigue, sadness and irritability that I have in the past. When I do not want to leave the house, however, it frightens me. I never felt it to this extent during past major depressive episodes. When I am laying on the couch with the TV on and I feel exhausted and a range of emotions that are very uncomfortable, it feels easier to stay put. During my past episodes I pushed myself to go to work, go out with friends and use my fake smile to get me through each day. I am not able to do that anymore, which is positive but it comes with its own burden. I feel guilty for being so idle.
This is such a hard place to be in. I am damned if I do and damned if I don't. What I am thinking now is that I do not want to be a burden and more importantly I do not want to be known as "the sick one." I don't want to have to ask friends (again) for rides to appointments and to take my daughter for a play date for a couple of hours so I can try to relax. And even when I do ask for these things (and they are always granted), I simply want my friends to continue being/doing what they have been doing over the years: talk, gossip, laugh and support me.
As I continue to write this I can see how much I am projecting my own thoughts and fears onto my friends. If the roles were reversed, I would be doing the exact same things for them that they do for me. I see that more clearly now.
The truth is I am sick with a very unforgiving illness. My brain is wired in a way where the circuits are very comfortable re-routing themselves back to its familiar setting of major depression. I am honestly too tired to feel angry about it at this point. The past few years have had tremendous ups and downs yet life continues. I continue. I think that's all I can do right now.