There are days when I just don't seem to have brain function, when thinking beyond eat, knit, sleep becomes an overwhelming task. I blame it on the fibromyalgia and brain fog that goes with it, but I suspect it is more the clinical depression. I can't take anti-depressants because the pain meds I'm on can interact fatally with them and if I had to choose between treating pain or treating depression, pain wins. I lived for 10 years with this pain because the doctors would pat my head and tell me that it's not so bad and just take a tylenol. I was ruining my liver because 3 extra strength tylenol barely put a dent in the pain. But it wasn't so bad, right?
I do okay for the most part with the depression but there are days (weeks?) when I'm just down and I can't function at a level that makes me feel normal. Fortunately I've had fewer and fewer periods of depression in the past year, especially after leaving Christianity behind. It's not that Christianity was causing my depression but it didn't help when you are in a system where you are apparently to blame for overwhelming feelings of despair. Despair being a sin and all.
When I was a fundie, depression was looked upon as not trusting God so taking meds for it was considered a crutch. One youth pastor told a high school girl she was using a crutch by taking her anti-depressants. I learned about it after the fact, but since she wasn't a member of our church, but simply part of the mid-week youth group, I hope her parents yanked her out of there quickly.
My son has Tourette Syndrome and OCD and a host of the sidecars that go with all of that. He was taking haldol for his tics, which were so strong they were painful to him. His eye-blinking without his meds would prevent him from being able to read or watch tv because of the constant blinking. This youth pastor told him he was using the meds as a crutch. I still shudder when I think of all the damage done to my son by these people who were supposed to be the light of Christ to the world.
I try to use more natural methods for dealing with the depression but it's not always easy. Getting outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, exercise, eating better...those help but when you're on the bottom of a depression cycle, forcing yourself to do those things is like trying to shovel water out of the ocean. Generally I just ride it out and it passes more quickly than if I try to fight it. There are cautions about riding it out, though. You have to tell someone you're in a cycle so they can sort of keep an eye on you and make sure you don't decide to stay on the train. That requires someone who's not intrusive or nagging but can gently nudge you to get off at the next stop.
And of course, during these times I'm not terribly spiritual. I used to try to force it because relying on Christ was paramount to overcoming anything and being depressed was a sign of your failure to do that so I tended to try to hide it from my fellow church members. These days I just wait, knowing the God/Goddesses are there waiting on the other end of this. That helps more than me trying to force rituals I don't feel. In fact, I think it helps shorten the cycle because I do love the rituals and eagerly look forward to them when I'm not in a cycle.
I'm not saying Paganism is curing my depression, but it is much kinder to people suffering from it. The pressure is off to perform (being a solitary and all) and I don't have to justify anything to anyone.
Still, it sucks when you're down and your brain is mush and you can't formulate arguments or reason your way out of a paper bag. Although there are those who believe I can't do that when I'm not depressed.
In the meantime I just muddle through and do what I can while waiting it out. At least I'm free these days from the extra burden of trying to make this a spiritual issue and measuring the strength of my faith by how well I pull myself out of this. Indeed, it's much easier to climb out when you wait for the stairs to show themselves rather than trying to climb up without them.
It just doesn't get much better than this.