Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 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!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cutting off 'overwhelmed'

Last night I opened a bill which was dated January 6, 2009. Don't panic. It was paid on time, I think. I point it out because this bill was only one in a pile, and I mean a pile, of mail I hadn't opened over the last two months. That's not typical for me. I'm usually a bit more on top of things. I knew my mail had taken a back seat recently, but I didn't realize I'd been piling it up since late December!

Piling my unopened mail was but one of many things I put off during January and February. On top of working a regularly scheduled job for the first time in 5-6 years, I was cranking out 40-days of yoga. Once that class ended, I began focusing on training for Grandma's Marathon. And this highlights another dilemma of my illness. I can't focus energy on anything extra without pulling energy and focus away from other, even simple, things. It's frustrating.

Piling up my mail, my dirty clothes, or my dishes is frustrating because I feel I'm skipping simple tasks, which I should be able to handle. Those 'shoulds' always get me in trouble. The piles represent my efforts to avoid getting overwhelmed, by judiciously doling out my energy, yet the piles in and of themselves are overwhelming! Worse, they are constant reminders of my continued limitations. (Don't you hate reminders of your limitations?)

But I'm pressing on. I'm attempting to cut off feeling overwhelmed by going through my piles. I'm finding I can only do a bit at a time, and I'm trying to be okay with that. Taking credit for what I accomplish, no matter how simple it may seem, is important, too. Negatively bashing myself certainly wouldn't help. Going through my piles may take energy away from running tomorrow, but energy may also be stolen if I don't go through them. So I'm pressing on...

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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