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!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Who would've thought?

I was sitting in my meeting this morning when somebody said something which sent my thoughts to my mood. I thought about how busy I was at work this week, with 3 out of 4 longer-than-scheduled days filled with patients. And I feel fine. I thought about my work schedule. I'm now working an extra 1/2 day per week, which I was very concerned about when I began doing that in November, and I'm handling it well. I thought about Puck's death, and the acquisition of Jet, both of which significantly changed my home life and routine. And I'm surviving. I thought about missing 3 weeks of running, losing a year's worth of fitness and having to start all over, yet I'm not falling apart. I thought about decreasing my contacts with my treatment team, a change I instituted a couple of months ago, and my mood remains stable and good. As I sat there distracted by these thoughts, I marveled at the current state of affairs.

I feel fine. I'm handling work well. I'm surviving big changes. I'm not falling apart. My mood remains stable and good. Could all of this be true? Really? My mind wandered backwards to where I've been versus where I am today. I remembered drinking and drinking and drinking, and the suicide attempts, and the loss of friends, and the isolation, and the debilitating darkness within. I thought about getting sober and how scary that process had been. I recalled the terror of returning to work after an almost seven year absence. Not only did I lack confidence in my stale skills, I was unsure if the timing was right. I was very anxious about coming off disability. I thought about financial insecurity and the food shelf. I contemplated hospitals, and meds, and ECT. And finally I saw myself sitting in that chair today. Somehow I climbed out of all that.

Of course, I don't know that I'm done. I expect I'm not. I know the illness still lurks. But I allowed myself to think, just for a moment, about never sinking so low again. Wouldn't that be wonderful and strange? But I quickly arrested that train of thought. I can't set myself up for disappointment magnifying future pain, if or when that pain descends upon me again.

I brought myself back to the present, the gift of today, and I felt gratitude wash through me. The reality of my recent history is I have more good days than bad. My meds seem to work. Hospitalizations are extreme circumstances rather than routine events. I've learned to live with focus on today, and today only, in order to keep relapse away. I'm managing. I'm functional. I'm contributing. And I'm happy. Who would've thought?


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

This is such a wonderful and hopeful post! I am glad that you have more good days than bad. You have worked hard and gone through a lot to get to this point.

Mopsa said...

How wonderful to read this :) It's really inspiring to know that you managed to overcome those hard days. Your example inspires me in my own path.

Bengal said...

This post right here made me smile for you :)