Reminder #20

When you and your ex-husband separated, you thought you would die from the pain, but you didn’t.

When you first became ill, you thought you would die from the pain, but you didn’t.

Two weeks ago, you thought you would kill yourself because of the pain, but you didn’t.

You can do this. You can do anything.

The Beginning

OK! So, after two and a half weeks of writing, hoping, and trying to get here, I’m pleased to say that as of this afternoon, I am:

  • On new (and hopefully good) anxiety medication.
  • In the process of referral for psychiatric evaluation and counselling.
  • The owner of a new and lovely shower gel.

The last one probably wasn’t necessary but it smells really, really good, guys.

But… Hooray! I’m here! I’ve moved from absolute ground zero to the beginning – the first serious steps – towards getting myself healthy. I’ve got appointments booked out the whazz, but it’s all for an excellent cause: me! We’ve got appointments for everything from diabetes testing to asthma testing, all in the name of getting me back to a place where I am living a healthy, fulfilling life again. I’m not religious in the slightest, but I feel blessed nonetheless.

Right now, I feel grateful to myself because my anxiety and depression often make it really easy for me to over-analyse myself into not going to do things, and I was pretty concerned that come today, I was just going to make up some reason not to go to the GP and get the ball rolling. However, I was prepped and ready ahead of time, so I didn’t have a reason to run around and make myself “too late” to make it. I also managed to successfully talk myself out of wasting time during the day when I could be getting ready. It was productive, and I’m both astonished and eternally grateful that today happened the way it did.

I’ll probably write more tomorrow about how depression can make you fight against yourself, but today is feeling so good that I want to try to capture this feeling, and not over-analyse it by talking about the bad parts of my psyche. So, instead of way too many paragraphs about things that make us sad, I hope you enjoy this video of the sea, taken near my home. It was a beautiful, sunny day, but quite windy.

Good night!

Reminder #19

I’m drawing on memories tonight, to bring me back to/keep me in a place of calm and relative happiness.

I’m remembering the feeling of sun on my skin, dry grass under my feet, and the sound of goat bells tinkling past. I’m remembering cold swimming pools, hot fries, and pinball machines. Finally, I’m remembering games of Uno around a table bathed in candlelight, cold Orangina or crème de menthe, and a symphony of cricket calls.

Beautiful times. and I keep them close now while I wait for more beautiful times to arrive.

 

Yay

Today is a bit of an odd day. Good things have happened. Bad things have happened. I’m not sure really how I feel. However, today is so odd because it’s really the first time I’ve felt “level” in a while – no drastic mood changes, no (or rather, not too much) crippling anxiety, and I didn’t spend the day telling myself how useless I am. I got some stuff done, and overall it’s been… Nice.

I wrote yesterday about how nice moments aren’t really something I allow myself to enjoy, which remains true, but I am letting myself look objectively at it and see if I can learn anything from it. The biggest, and most shocking, thing I’ve realised is that maybe caused this good day to happen.

For the last two and a bit weeks, I’ve been religiously writing here about following some easy steps towards better physical and mental health, and a couple of them seem to be taking hold! Today, I noticed myself consciously saying “it’s okay, it’s just a small blip, don’t let it take you over,” when there was a down-swing. I ate something bad for me but didn’t immediately jump into self-loathing; I focused instead on the good things I’d done today.

And, also importantly, my conversations with my dad are beginning to change. After deciding that it was time to try to cut negativity out of the conversation, I’ve made an effort to keep every message positive and upbeat, and it does seem to be changing the tone of our chats. I’m not going to throw a party, or consider all of the issues resolved, but I’m going to give a tentative “yay”.

source

OK, so it’s a bit extra.

I’m really excited to see that some of the things I’ve been doing might be paying off. While I’m normal enough to enjoy the accomplishment, I’m also reminded of how lucky I am to be blogging all of this now so that I can actually look back at all the good vibes I’ve been sending myself, and how surprisingly far it means I’m coming from where I started.

Tomorrow is jam-packed with things to do and I’m feeling strangely excited for it. The “excitement” might just be a precursor to anxiety (as it so frequently is), but instead of letting myself become anxious about whether or not I’m anxious, I’m just going to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine for a while, keep reminding myself to breathe, and (fingers crossed) remain level for the rest of the day.

To all of you, I wish you a peaceful and happy day, too!

Powerless

Today, I was powerless. Not figuratively – I mean literally powerless, because my electricity meter has been acting up and so they came out to replace it today. So, for about an hour, I had no power.

During that hour, I did some things that I don’t normally do. I sat by the window and watched the world going by outside. I ate slowly and my food was a secondary thought to what I was doing. I didn’t panic, or have non-stop anxious thoughts about things I need to do. I wasn’t calm, not by a long-shot, but it was nice. It was different.

Moments like that don’t come often for someone with depression, and when they do, we’re hardwired to experience them as if they’re one-offs, never to be seen again. Calm, peaceful moments don’t exist in the framework of depression, so if we find them, we don’t see them as ports in the storm, we see them as an oasis in the desert – beautiful and much-needed, but ultimately a fleeting mirage to hide the barren landscape.

I’m trying to cling to this nice moment, as the moment the meter-reading-person finished, all of my anxiety rushed back at me. I’m telling myself that moments like the one earlier aren’t mirages, and I can have more of them in my life, but honestly it’s so hard to really believe that. I’m holding on to the hope that I can get from where I am now to the eventual goal of happiness, despite not believing it’s really possible (the same reasoning behind buying lottery tickets, I guess), and I suppose that’s all any of us can really do!

One thing I’ve found which is honestly helping be feel a bit less stressed out and verging on a heart attack, is the series Moving Art on Netflix. It’s nothing but scenic shots of the world and relaxing music. Absolutely gorgeous cinematography, a relaxing and well-matched score, and two whole series (for a total of 12 episodes) to enjoy. I really recommend it!

Still hating Netflix’s new rating system, but that’s another story…

For today, sweet friends, I wish you all a day filled with happiness and beauty. Until tomorrow!

Emotional Reminders (Reminder #17)

Today was tough. Therapy session number two. It started badly, because I was feeling impatient and didn’t see it going the way I was feeling it needed to. My therapist was very understanding, calmed me down, and now we’ll see how it goes week-by-week.

I’ve never been the type of person who can open up without prompting, so my therapist (who is very quiet, more of a listener) wasn’t really engaging me to start with and I didn’t know how to begin without prompting. It occurs to me now, though, that I do it here all the time. I’ve spewed all sorts of emotional vomit across my blogs without even a second thought, so why is it so hard to do in person?

For now, I have no idea. I’m feeling too raw and exhausted to even consider trying to figure it out tonight. I just want to sleep and try to bounce back.

My reminder to myself for today is: you didn’t give up today, be proud of that.

Good night.