What “Not Depressed” Feels Like

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Photo credit: Paul Bowman on Visual Hunt / CC BY

So it’s been a year since they switched my meds. And I’ve been doing really well–thriving. Don’t get me wrong–once in a while when I’m just sitting there, this thought comes out of nowhere: “I’m so depressed.” I was so used to being depressed that I couldn’t recognize other feelings. The feeling of being not depressed is new to me. I’m not used to it!

So what does being not depressed feel like? For me, there are a number of ways. I feel lighter, less of a weight on my shoulders; I don’t feel like I’m under a cloud all the time even when it’s sunny; I care more about my appearance–I’ve started wearing a little bit of makeup again; I’m not always wearing “house clothes,” like sweats and an old shirt; and probably most important is that I’ve regained some of my self-confidence.

These changes didn’t come about overnight. Rather, they happened gradually, which is probably why I’m only now discovering them.


How do you feel when you’re not depressed?

Author:

I hold an MFA in poetry from The Ohio State University. I'm a fiction writer, blogger, wife, pet mom, and Ohio State Buckeye!

26 thoughts on “What “Not Depressed” Feels Like

  1. If you don’t mind me asking… In what way did they adjust your medication? You sound so much lighter, just the way you described. I am so thrilled for you!
    To answer your question… Depression is as if some type of entity has taken over my mind. I have felt drained, irritable, severe shutdown, and overall emotional. When I was hit with the episode I had experienced last year, I kept praying and hoping it would end. I slept more often than normal and barely had any motivation.
    Since that episode, I still have lows and highs, but I just try to handle it the best way I know how. To push me, and keep as busy as possible.
    I am so very glad to see you back here! 😊

    1. They adjusted my meds by switching out Tegretol for lithium. Yes, I’ve gained a few, but nothing drastic.

      I’ve experienced everything you described too, so I can relate. Although I’m better, I still feel these things when I’m PMSing!

    2. Very relatable post and I’m sure it’s therapeutic for you to write about. Writing is one way that helps me when I’ve got a nasty case of “the blues.” I’ve also been benefiting from journaling, meditating, and listening to music when I need to decompress. Lastly, and probably most important, is listening to our bodies. Give it what it needs, whether that’s rest or movement (exercise or dancing, etc.). Have a beautiful day! ☀️🌹

      Mya
      https://thegplace.com

      1. You have a beautiful day, too, Mya! I’ve begun meditating again, and trying to be better about listening to my body. Thank you for sharing!

  2. This is wonderful news especially since you were categorized treatment-resistant! I have always been all over the place, never only depressed or only happy, so I can imagine I wouldn’t know how to deal with one consistent feeling. I am currently in a bit of a slump which of course is emphasized by poor self-talk. But I will pull through and soon be on my way back on the upswing. It is always good to hear from you Barb.

    1. Thank you, Candace! It is weird to have one consistent feeling. It takes some getting used to. I’m sorry you’re going through a slump right now, and I know this is cliche but true: this too shall pass. I’m sending you lots of healing thoughts. 🌷❤️

  3. Welcome back Barb! I have missed you! So good to hear you doing so well! Congrats! Goes to show they can be so wrong when they categorise you as treatment resistant!

  4. Hi Barb.
    Loved reading your comeback post and to be honest, I feel the same way as like you and sometimes until now I thought its my make belief just to avoid people asking me about how I feel. But now reading your post and some of the comments I can assure myself that noits not only my imagination but he good outcome of my trials with my depression, its another story that sometimes I go and sit in that darkness unable to do anything but I know when I kick my hands and legs I can come out sooner or later.
    Once again thanos for sharing your post and U r welcome back.

  5. Excellent news that you are back in the running Barb, did you give any further thoughts to our conversation of yesterday?

    as to how l feel when l am not depressed .. lighter …l have to battle off depression, and l do so by keeping busy, the busier l am , the happier l am. The more stressed l am the more l write, it’s a nasty catch 22. So l am currently writing a lot which is great for keeping the depression out, but l am stressed up to my eyeballs ha ha.

    Good to have you back 🙂

    1. Yes, I have certainly thought about our conversation and embrace the fact that I am living with bipolar, even though I’m well, rather than fighting it right now. I still plan to write about mental illness, but I’ll also write about whatever I want! I’m no longer sluggish and am doing things like any “normal” person. I want people to know that folks with bipolar live normal lives, too.

      I do know about feeling lighter when not depressed. I’m glad you have writing as an outlet.

  6. I totally understand that feeling of feeling lighter! I notice when there is and is not a weight on my shoulders – it’s gotten easier to tell the difference over time. Thanks for sharing!

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