Vacation was good, I came home feeling better. For a few days, I found it easy to make a list for the day, enjoyed crossing things off, and felt a pleasurable sense of capability and accomplishment.
Whenever I have a blue-sky episode like that, I start to think I am better and now I will go back to my regularly-scheduled life. I don't need all this help with the kids anymore, I don't need to see a therapist anymore. I'm fine!
But I'm not fine. It seems I am still depressed, and I've been blessed with a few good days. I can see this is counter-productive: when I feel sad again, I am disappointed and discouraged that I am not well, and that magnifies the sadness, etc., etc.
People who understand this better than I do encourage me to think of it as I would a broken arm or cancer. Depression is an illness as real as those. What my depression lacks is the objectivity of an x-ray. I want someone in a lab coat to run a test and tell me what's wrong. When I start to feel better, I'd go in for a follow-up. They'd do another test, and say, "Oh, it looks good. The depression is shrinking. But it's still there, and you need to continue treatment or it will get out of control."
My treatment is annoying in its lack of certainty. Therapist does not tell me what to do, she suggests things I might want to try. Some of them work, some don't, some of them I don't want to try. What I want is a to-do list with a guarantee that if I complete it, I will be well.