Depression Work-Arounds

Mornings have been really rough this summer, in this house that contains a depressed husband/father. Every day I’m up early and enjoying the morning paper, coffee on the back porch, and the promise of a new day, often in the company of one or more of our three kids.

My husband, on the other hand, is either in bed ignoring his alarm clock or out of bed for a few minutes and then retreating back into sleep on the couch or at the breakfast table. He’ll fall asleep anywhere as a means of avoiding facing a new day. Thankfully in the summer he works afternoons and evenings, so his morning depression symptoms don’t affect his work. But they do affect me and the operation of our household.

So we try to find ways around those symptoms. One that’s been effective a couple of times involves a sort of carrot-and stick approach: visiting our local farmer’s market. It only works on Saturdays, but that’s at least one day a week. Two Friday evenings in a row I’ve suggested we get up early the next morning and stroll through the market. It helps that our son works there on Saturdays, selling awesome, locally-baked Farm to Market bread.image

Between the idea of getting to watch our 18-year-old in action, picking up a few produce items, and the lure of a little snack of fresh berries or baked goods as we wander through the stalls, this tactic has worked like a charm. That first moment of leaving the comfy bed is still tough on my husband, and he remains pretty grumpy until we’re out the door, but it’s a victory nonetheless.

And at this point I’ll take whatever victory I can get. If you have any depression work-arounds to share, I’d love to hear them!

-Amy

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