Tinkering With the Big D
In the past few months I have found myself once again flying around in a million different directions trying to fix myself. I constantly feel at a loss as to how to overcome the many ways in which I feel as though I am failing. My weight continues to skyrocket, I roll over in bed when the alarm goes off. It is not just that I don’t want to go to the gym, I don’t want to get out of bed. Period. I just want to be left alone and sleep. “I’m just tired” or “I’m doing the best I can.” are phrases that continually flow from my mind and mouth. This is a state of being that continues in my life. Sometimes intensely and sometimes I feel as though I am getting the upper hand. My house is a total disaster which leaves me in a state of perpetual embarrassment. Every time I see an ant amble across my counter, I take it personally. What kind of mom allows her children to room with bugs? The unending pile of laundry, the orthodontist appointment I keep forgetting to make, the mammogram I continue to blow off. Just barely getting by.
I know people feel this way all the time. But added to all of this has been a deep sense of sadness. So deep that it pulses like a physical pain in my chest. I keep thinking if I can just get ahead a little bit, if I can just get a second to breathe, it I can just take one weekend to reset. But I can’t. I don’t. I don’t know.
Recently it became so bad that I started investigating anti-depressants. I did this without really thinking about depression. Although an obvious pairing – the word depression being in the cure I’m seeking, I pulled away from it. I have no problem with you being depressed. But that isn’t me. I can’t, won’t take on that label. I refuse to be broken. Because my life is awesome and I should be happy and more grateful. I don’t deserve to be depressed. What does it say about me, as a human, if with such a great life I am depressed.
Except I think I am. I think I might have struggled with this for a really long time and just assumed I wasn’t good enough. I pull away from family, friends, everyone because having them find out just how screwed up I am scares me. And please don’t come up to me if you read this and tell me you love me. Because, and don’t take this wrong way, it doesn’t matter. I mean, it does, but until I figure this out, all the love in the world isn’t going to fix me. I know I am loved. I’m just pretty certain if you knew me you would know better. So there it is. Nothing you do or say will change that. I have to.
I have looked into seeing a therapist, but right now can’t find one that I am willing to trust. I’m just not ready. I have also looked into natural anti-depressants and have been taking SAM-e for a few weeks now. I will say that it definitely helped immediately. I take 400mgs once a day in the morning. It has helped me to pause before I bite off your head. You’re welcome. I am already considering stopping it. But we will see. I have a lot left. But it is really expensive. Plus it might be a placebo effect. I think I have decided that if I notice a downward shift I will bring it back. The problem is I’m not sure the exhaustion I have started feeling in the last few days isn’t an effect. Plus my nails keep breaking. I know that sounds stupid, but it bugs me.
I am also listening to How to Get Back Up, A Memoir of Failure and Resilience. It is an Audible book I am really enjoying it and think I might start to listen to it all over from the beginning because I keep forgetting everything I want to remember. One thing I’ve learned after listening to this and reading some on depression is that when you concentrate on happy or positive things you can reshape your brain. I know that sounds obvious, but I think about how often my own thoughts turn negative or surly. I want to change that, and research says I can. So I am committing to writing twenty minutes everyday for twenty consecutive days about things that make me happy. I realize that I often turn to journaling when I am sad or angry or feeling overwhelmed. I am providing, and deepening those sad pathways in my brain. I can reroute my brain by focusing on positive and happy things. The same parts of your brain that are activated when happy or positive things happen in your life are activated just by thinking about them. Writing things down or journaling helps reinforce this, I think. I have my own mini data control from when I journaled about how well I thought I was doing when I first started working out. Every day was a success and I wrote it down. The truth is some days as I was writing there was a little voice inside that insisted that I wasn’t successful and I was kidding myself. But I pushed forward and congratulated myself anyway. (By the way, this isn’t the positive writing).
I have also started making to do lists again. First, I want to be honest with myself about how much I actually expect myself to get done. I’m not sure my to do list is humanly possible. But I am setting some goals and then chunking them. This is part of the Buckets idea I also got from book. The idea that we have so much time in a day and how am I spending it. I want to put myself on a mini reward system. Small short goals, small rewards. I haven’t completely figured that part out yet.
Also, I wrote down what makes me happy and how I actually spend my time. Some things are non-negotiable. I have to food shop, I have to go to work, etc. But I need to prioritize better about how to spend my time. Another thing I don’t have worked out. I feel better when life is less messy, literally when my house is clean. But I can never seem to get to everything. How do I fix that? How do I make the things that make me happy non-negotiable? I am working this all out as I go.