For nearly 10 years, I ran a product-based business that made the majority of its income in December. My holiday season last year in particular was nuts. I spent most of December going on red wine, gourmet marshmallows (thanks to the neighbors I had at a holiday market) and very little sleep. With all of the stress that came along with filling holiday orders, running a booth that was open every day for 10 hours, along with the usual stresses of life, I made a fatal error in self-care and let my antidepressant prescription expire.
I made the bad assumption that so many make: I didn't need my prescription any longer because I felt fine. I've been on the lowest dose of Wellbutrin for about a year now and was doing fine. I mention this only because my goal with using an antidepressant was to use as little as I could so that I wouldn't rely on it. Wellbutrin got me back to 0, if that makes sense, but it was never going to put me up higher than that. I wanted to work on the rest of it myself, via diet, exercise, therapy, etc. But in November I missed my refill and in December my rx had expired. Now it's January, I'm back below 0 and I don't have the holiday rush to distract me.
My depression comes in the form of apathy and exhaustion instead of sadness, where sitting on my couch watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia for 12 hours straight and eating too many granola bars seems like a fine day, indeed. I'm fully aware of the work that has to be done: the blogs that need writing, the podcasts that need recorded, the social media, plus orders of my products that need to be shipped. But I can't do it. Instead I write unconfident texts to my doctor, asking her to renew my prescription, and hope that tomorrow I will have a little more energy to get to work.
I don't write this with the hopes of giving you tips on how to overcome depression as a business owner. I write it because I know I'm not the only one who gets this way. I know how depression can affect a person and how frustrating it can be when you're battling with yourself. I may be many things, but I know I'm not lazy or flaky, so it's doubly frustrating for me to get few things done.
If you're reading this when I publish this on my blog, or later on, know that I understand what it's like and that I know it's easier said than done to just "get over it." Allow yourself the time for self-care, and forgive yourself trespasses against yourself. Then get up and try again.
If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.
Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.