Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 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!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Getting ready and Gratitude

I'm busy running pre-vacation errands and doing pre-vacation chores. I've gone shopping, mowed the lawn, done laundry and got my hair cut. I saw my therapist, delegated my patients to the other PT at work, and gave Puck a good brushing. He's so handsome! Tomorrow I'll work, pack, play my softball game, take a nap, and then we're off! I'm really excited to go. It will be nice to relax, take in the beauty, eat good food, and enjoy my time with my friends. This pre-vacation business will make way for some good, old fashioned relaxation.

Like I said, I had therapy today. We talked a lot about the triathlon, as this was my first meeting with my therapist since I finished it. She, like most of you, agreed that I need to work on being grateful for the effort, for finishing, and to focus less on my disappointment in the water. I'm working on it. As I, ironically, pointed out, focusing on the disappointment isn't getting me anywhere. (You see, I know this cognitively. It's just getting the rest of me to go along!)

My therapist and I also talked about how well I've been doing. It's been a good 9 or 10 months since my last significant dip into the darkness, and that episode was relatively short-lived. That's hard to believe. It's been at least two, maybe three, years since I was last hospitalized. In the first 4-5 years of this illness, I was in and out of the hospital often. Lastly, I'm going on five years of sobriety. At that, my therapist said something about time flying. Things have been good.

My therapist has been through most of this journey with me. It's rather strange to sit in her office now, sometimes with very little to say. I feel so grateful...words really cannot express my gratitude. How do I thank someone who's been so instrumental in my life? How is my thanks any different than the thanks she gets at the grocery store? You know what I mean? I'd like her to feel my gratitude. I can't just say, "Thanks." I'm going to have to think more about this. I'd like her to know how grateful I am. I don't know where I'd be today without her.

Hmmm...how did I get from vacation to that thought track?? I'm just going with what's flying through my brain tonight. Gratitude. I guess I'm feeling grateful. I have a therapist who's kept me, at various times, alive, functional, resilient, and/or composed. I have friends I love--friends who care about me, too. And I'm about to embark on a ten day vacation with those friends to a beautiful, restful place. Peace.

5 comments:

Maggie Beth said...

Oh Etta ~ You made me tear up.

I understand fully. I was blessed with two great threapists who "rescued me" from the first therapist who f$*#($ me up so badly! I so understand.

And I, like you, can't begin to thank them! But I know this ~ Your gratitude is shown when you do the hard work ~ when you listen to the advice and act on it. Your renewed, amazing life is physical proof of your gratitude. Many people are handed second and third chances and they do not take them ~ that is UNgrateful....

In our darkness we all have a choice ~ live or die.....you fought to live! Yes, she gave you the tools to survive ~ but YOU DID IT! All the therpy in the world won't help if the person doesn't MOVE!

I am glad you MOVED!!!

HAVE A WONDERFULLY AMAZING TRIP! I hope you have much fun, laughter, great food!! and peace......

Stacy said...

Sounds wonderful! I hope you have a great time on vacation!

NOS said...

It sounds like you're in a really good space, Etta. You seem very enthusiastic about your vacation-- and enthusiasm definitely can't be mustered if you're depressed.

And it's great that you have such a good relationship with your therapist. I'm sure that really has helped.

Wishing you well,
NOS

The Depressed Reader said...

I have just discovered this blog and read through some of the posts. The title of the post is very apt, depression really is a marathon, and you combating on marathon by doing another has a certain poetry to it.

I've done one marathon before, and have been thinking it might be good to train for another as a way of combating my own depression. Reading your blog has made me think a bit more seriously about it.

etta said...

Hey Depressed Reader--Welcome, and GO FOR IT!



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