Taking Stock

It’s a new year and the tendency is to resolve to be better in the year ahead. Three days in, I’ve done that, broken that and become a bit lost. So after a long absence, I thought I might return to blogging, something that has helped me so much in the past in figuring out where I am and where I am going. So here I am.

Major Depression:

Six years post-major depressive breakdown, I really do feel like I’m on the verge of breaking free. There have been several relapses, but they aren’t as bad now. My doctor and I have been lowering my medication over the past year, and I’ve managed to make some progress regaining my career. Low mood, hopelessness or sadness aren’t so much the issues now as anxiety. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

The companion of my depression has been anxiety. This, I think, is my biggest obstacle at the moment, but here too there has been progress. I think for a long time my shame over mental illness fueled my anxiety and made me so afraid of people finding out. But a lot has happened to fight the stigma of mental illness and I think this has helped. I’m comfortable discussing it with some friends, I don’t dread going to see my psychiatrist, and I’m not ashamed to admit my situation to myself. 

But I’m currently not managing my anxiety very well.  I’m struggling a lot financially, the aftermath of my prolonged depression and career issues. I’ve taken significance steps to address this, but until these play out there is a lot of immediate stress in trying to stay afloat. So here is where I try to remind myself that I have taken the steps, that I’m almost at a point where I can balance things. But it’s hard. Not being able to pay for the simplest things, figuring out how I’ll feed myself and get to work until my next pay cheque arrives…it all adds up. My psoriasis has flared up and there are big red sores where I’ve scratched too much. I wake up with my fists clenched and tension up and down my arms. I struggle to sleep at night and yet sleep way too much overall. I’m sleeping in the day to avoid my worries, but this is just perpetuating things. 

I also stress about work. I’m struggling with a project and veer from worry to avoidance. This has affected my recent work and I’m seriously stressed about going in to work this week. I also worry about my work reputation, which compounds other worries. 

Right Now

I feel this post getting more negative as I confront my worries. So I will take a step back and look again at the big picture.

Depression: under control, with the exception of oversleeping

Anxiety: grounded in real stresses that I’m taking steps to manage

Medication: gradually lowering

Work: I’m functional, I have recovered some of the ground lost when I was laid off, and I have found a job and organization that I like

Social: I’m making some efforts to break free of my hermit like ways, though there is still a lot of work to do here

Shame: lessening as I’ve stopped self-stigmatizing and I have opened up to some

So that’s where I am in a nutshell. Thanks for listening 🙂

The Sunny Side of the Street

Today I had a slow start, sleeping until 11 am after a restless night. But after that things really improved.

I showered then went out to get a latte to perk up. It was -15C or more, but the sun was out and it was so nice! I walked on the sunny side of the street, soaking up some vitamin D, and it wasn’t cold at all! I think I’ll need to start doing little things like that in the morning, some little excursion outside (even by car), just to get things started. I seem to work by momentum.

Then I went online to talk to a friend in Europe. It’s a really good friend, but I flaked out on so many talks this past year because of depression. We had a wonderful time catching up and, as a bonus, I also had a chance to catch up with family in Europe too.

Then I had a bit of an energy dip and contemplated a nap. But when using the “truth” lens as I need to do for my yoga training, I knew that I wasn’t really tired. I was just procrastinating on a job application because I’m really interested and afraid of rejection. Also, I was bored.

So I resisted the nap and put together my cover letter. I also contacted someone I knew that worked there to try to get a leg up.

Then I went to yoga. Only two days since my intensive weekend of yoga. My recovery time is definitely picking up!

Finally, I thought to be extra productive and get groceries too while I was out. Sadly that didn’t work out. Silly me, I went to the store, picked out all my groceries and got in line only to realize I had forgotten my wallet!! So I ended up with no groceries, just a bit of extra walking.

Oh, and I found out about a job interview next week.

So, slow start, but I’m getting back into the swing of things with just a day’s blip in between. This is good. 🙂

The Good, the Bad and the Hope for Better

Good things today:

  • I wasn’t as sore as I was after my first yoga training weekend, when I hurt for days.
  • I wasn’t as tired as I was after my first yoga weekend, when I slept for nearly 24 hours.
  • I watched a new show that I like.
  • Made progress on yoga homework.

Bad things today:

  • Didn’t do anything I planned on doing.
  • Woke up at 10:30 am when I was aiming for 8:30 am. I very consciously turned off the alarm.
  • Had a lengthy nap in the afternoon when I wasn’t really tired – I was bored and procrastinating.
  • I didn’t shower, dress or leave the house.
  • I didn’t start writing the cover letter for the job that I really want to get. Too afraid of failing and so I procrastinated.
  • Didn’t do any exercise or even stretches for my sore muscles.
  • Didn’t set up my new challenge.

Hope for better:

  • I’m definitely making a faster recovery than I did from my first yoga weekend. It gives me hope that I’ll get things going tomorrow and not fall into a trough of hypersomnia.