"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." ~Albert Camus
About ten years ago, I stopped sleeping. It started on a vacation. The first night in this lovely beach rental, I couldn't fall asleep and stayed wide awake all night. Of course I was a mess the next day, and the following night I was panicky that I wouldn't be able to fall asleep again.
This was the start of a spiral of insomnia, that led to anxiety about not sleeping, that led to total exhaustion, that led to strange physical symptoms, that caused more anxiety and worry. I had no idea what was wrong. I thought it might be hormones. I thought I was dying. I feared I might never feel normal again. I went to my internist, my gynecologist, and a sleep specialist.
Finally, someone said to me, "I think you might be depressed. You better do something before you come completely unglued." Completely unglued?! Depressed? I didn't feel depressed. I felt exhausted, achy, frightened and anxious. But I didn't feel sad. In fact, I wanted to feel better, to be happy and energetic. I was wired and tired, like I had an intravenous feeding tube serving me high test espressos 24-7. But depressed? No way.
The idea that depression would manifest as a constant feeling of fight or flight never occurred to me. I thought depression meant that you were sad, hopeless, lethargic, slept too much. But I subsequently learned that depression and anxiety are fraternal twins, and they can waltz into your life wearing a myriad of costumes. If you don't know how to recognize the symptoms, you might come unglued before you know what's happening.