Other symptoms I’m more or less able to control on a daily basis. I sometimes get the urge to spend money. However, since I grew up in a stone-broke household, I know the value of a dollar and know that saving is a much better proposition than spending. So I resist it, unless it is for Christmas and birthdays. And even then I am so cheap that I don’t buy anything that isn’t discounted or that I don’t have a coupon for. My current weakness is purses—designer ones when I can find a good sale. I only have three so far, so I have kept that impulse in check very well.
I can obsess over small details. I am by nature a neat freak. I like to organize closets, cabinets, bookshelves, files, and collections. However, I was so tortured over neatness by my mom when I was a young child that I swore I would never inflict my obsessions on my kids. So I haven’t. My house is generally neat but has pockets of chaos in it, and I refuse to stress over it. I let the kids manage their own rooms and refuse to freak out over their messes.
I have a cleaning service come once a week to do the cleaning so I am free to spend my time doing the organizing that I enjoy and am capable of. I have taught my girls how to clean but know they have to make the decision to use that training when they get out into the world. My middle daughter loves neatness, while the other two like more clutter in their lives. But that is who they are, and I will not make my condition worse worrying over it.
When I get anxious, I often pace around the house. It’s aimless, directionless, and uncomfortable. I try to do it after I’ve spent a long time sitting at the computer so that I am getting at least some motion into my otherwise sedentary life. But sometimes I do it simply to fill the time. When I feel the anxiety spinning out of control, I do have a medication I can take on an as-needed basis to calm me down.
I very rarely have crying spells. One thing that makes discussing depression so confusing is that people use the word depression as a synonym for sadness. When I’m sad, I cry. When I’m depressed, I can’t muster up enough energy to cry. I have very little to be actually sad about. That is why I was diagnosed with clinical depression; depression that has a reason is called situational depression—it is in response to life circumstances. Situational depression can turn into clinical depression if it lasts long enough with the variety of symptoms listed earlier.
I hope I’ve been able to describe the symptoms I experience well enough. As I said, it’s very hard to describe them when not actually experiencing them, and it’s hard to remember in the middle of them that they will pass if you continue taking your medication, doing your therapy, and, most importantly, praying for relief and walking with the Lord.