Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I worked to get here, now I have to work.

I'm a little tired. I'm a little relieved. I'm a little satisfied. I'm a little proud. And I'm still a little scared. My former DBT instructors would be so pleased--look at me, living in the gray area between black and white! But if I am to survive in my new job, my new relationship, and my continued sobriety, gray is the place to be.

What's that? A new relationship? Yup, and that's all I'm going to say about it for now!

As for my new job, it's going well. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday seems to be working, as it allows me a day of rest in between. Unfortunately, the 45 minute drive has been longer than I anticipated. The wide open, 20-mile portion of two-lane road through farm country, combined with the nasty beginning to our winter, has already left me weary. The addition of nearly two hours to my work day hasn't been easy either. Ten hour days were not part of my original plan.

Originally, I wanted to work four, 6-hour days. In almost all of my "depression" work experience, it is at 6 hours when my brain slows to a crawl, my memory befogs, and my body shuts down. Once I accepted a position 45 minutes from home, however, I decided 4 days of driving would be too much. So I settled on the 8-hour, every other day schedule instead. It didn't dawn on me how much twice daily 45 minute jaunts would add to my day. I don't know why. I'm a bit worried about it, but I've decided to take it one day at a time. I know I've got to give my body plenty of time to adjust to my new schedule before I begin making any decisions about changing it.

I'm trying to take a lot of things one day at a time right now. Like the gray area between extremes, living in the moment seems crucial at this time. Experiencing the moments of a new relationship, staying sober, enjoying a day without severe depression, dealing with my sponsor's cancer diagnosis and upcoming surgery, and coping with a new, more demanding schedule; they are all simpler when I stay in the here-and-now. I'm not perfect at it yet, far from it. But keeping the concept in mind allows me the chance to catch myself, and to stop worrying about the past or predicting the future. Practice makes perfect, right? I'll keep practicing. Will you?

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