It was quite a few years ago that I was really depressed. The problem was that I didn’t realize I was depressed until I looked back at it years later.
I had a really bad year or so from late 2003 to 2004 and beyond. It started in November 2003 when my husband lost his job. Over the next 6 months, both his parents had died (in their 50s), my family stopped talking to me, we moved, and I got a newer, more stressful job. For the next couple of years, I walked around in a daze. I was just going through the motions of life, but I didn’t really seem to enjoy anything. I was tired all the time. It was like the world had turned from color to sepia and I didn’t even know it.
After a couple years of being a grumpy pessimist who saw the worst in everything, I woke up one day around my birthday and realized that I hated my attitude. I had started saying things like, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade… but I’m all out of sugar.” As ridiculous as it sounds, one day after I said that, I thought, “But if I were really out of sugar, I’d just go to the store and get more. There’s always more sugar somewhere.” That thought kept me going when I didn’t feel like being more cheerful. I realized that I just had to keep looking for my sugar.
It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually I got my positive, cheerful attitude back. I became myself again, and hopefully a newer, more improved version of myself. It wasn’t until years later that I realized I had been depressed. When I was going through it, I had no idea, and because I had moved and my family wasn’t speaking to me, I had no one around me to remind me that who I was wasn’t who I had been.
Since then, I’ve moved again, found a job I love, and reconciled with my family. Things are better now, but they didn’t get better on their own. I could have chosen to still be miserable, but I didn’t. I had to change my attitude first.