I'll take it as a compliment that I made you cry. Tears of feeling understood are pretty cool tears to have! :)
You obviously don't put aside everything, you are just putting more aside while the depression is having its way with you. That is to be expected.
"the big stuff makes me shut down completely. does that make sense?" - it makes complete sense - I think it is called overwhelm :)
You know what, sometimes we do need to stop. You have got a great support network by the sounds of it - why don't you just "call in sick" on your life for little awhile in order to get some strength up? You do deserve to do that from time to time - and it will benefit your loved ones for you to get your needs met and feeling whole again.
You are not stupid and no feeling we experience is ever stupid. Every feeling is legitimate. Even if it is from a chemical imbalance the feeling is still legitimate for you because it is what it is. We don't have to act on every feeling we have but that doesn't mean the feeling is wrong in anyway. If we don't like the feeling, we can go about taking what ever action is effective to meet our objectives.
Depression can make you teary. That is just a symptom - nothing to get too worried about in the grand scheme of things. The Don't Care mode is also just another symptom of depression, and again it is worth taking note of and treating, but not getting too upset over. Afterall, the symptom is telling you something is out of kilter here and needs your attention to be made well.
You are allowed to be just "Jenny". Yes, we all put on masks to some degree - but you are allowed to share more of yourself with the people you love. That is intimacy - and your loved ones might be honoured to be entrusted with your inner most thoughts and feelings.
"I have done counseling before and it's typical "how does that make you feel" or else I end up lying to the people so I don't look like a
huge jerk or get checked in some place because I can't A. afford it and B. too much responsibility." Have you seen medved's thread on therapy? I think you'll like it http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=19&m=2400165 . It sounds like the counselling you got was pretty ordinary. (I also imagine that if you have that "Happy Jenn" persona, it might be a bit tough to sit with pain and discomfort? So maybe counselling isn't for you... You seem very strong and independent, so maybe meditation might be something for you where you check in with yourself for a given amount of time each day, and explore how you are feeling, what thoughts you are having, what sensations you are having in your body, whether you neck is tight, your breath shallow? Maybe that is something that is more comfy for you and that is perfectly fine! Brilliant in fact!
"I use to be on meds for depression and anxiety but I went off 2 years ago after yelling at myself to snap out of it". Where you depressed when you went off the meds?
Can I just mention that for me my journey has taught me to:
a) try not to yell at myself - I need to be my very own best friend. Me, Myself and I need to be a strong team to get through this
b) try to realise that depression is a physical illness like asthma and diabetes. Some people with mild depression can get away without taking medication, but the people who get better from moderate and severe depression often need to take medication for some length of time. I think people are more likely to go off to earlier than required - for stigma, cost, false information that it isn't a physical illness, or the false logic that stopping to take the cure will make the illness go away.
I run consumer DBT discussion groups here, so I most certainly believe in making sure all the lifestyle factors are in order and not expecting a pill to do what we are too lazy to do for ourselves. DBT also teaches us to treat our physical illness in the most effective way possible.
Please don't feel I am not telling you that meds is that way for you - I'm saying you might want to determine from a place deep inside you what is the path that you know will bring you back to wellness - and how you will do it. Please know that you deserve to be well, whatever way you decide to go about it.
Insomnia is awful. No you are not a basket case. That you seem to alternate between feeling good and bad and not much in between could indicate a little bit of elevated mood - insomnia, racing thoughts, things being really good, even anxiety. Please do not take what some mentally ill non-professional chick says as a reply on a website as gospel though!!
You seem like a lovely caring, responsible, thoughtful person Jenny - please don't beat yourself up over the fact that you might have depression.
It is a physical illness in the brain - and your self worth is not connected to it or its symptoms - (now I have to take my own advice!!! lol).
Big Hugs x