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, December 23, 2013

Still Going

It's been one week since I stepped out of the inpatient mental health unit after my most recent 10-day stay. It was the end of my fifth admission since September 30th, 2013. So far it doesn't look like I'll be going back anytime soon. Of course, as soon as I typed that sentence, my heart skipped a beat. Obviously recent history is not on my side, but so far I'm doing okay.

I've been keeping busy with exercise, running, AA meetings, errands and chores. I'm taking my meds and keeping all of my appointments. I've also continued to stay overnight with my friend Wendy as needed, which has been most nights. And like I said, so far it's been enough. I've maintained my mood, my energy level has been okay, and my thoughts have not been distressing. Busy has been good for me.

In other news, it's the holidays, which I know can be very difficult for many with mental illness. I was a little worried myself, but I finalized some plans tonight so I'll be around others for at least a part of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I didn't want to be alone. Usually I'm okay being alone, but I didn't want to push my luck right now. On top of Christmas, I also had a birthday a few days ago, and my sobriety anniversary is between Christmas and New Year's Day. It's a busy time with a lot of loaded "holidays" for me, but I'm still going.

I think I'm still going because I'm endeavoring to take only one moment at a time. I'm doing my best to take the next right action. When I'm tired, I nap. When I'm hungry, I eat, and I'm trying to eat well. When I'm lonely, I search out someone with whom to connect. And when my mood or emotions feel iffy, I talk to someone. I'm trying to stay focused on the things I can control and not worry about everything else. It's been hard not to get frightened when I've felt sad, for example, but by acknowledging the sadness and the fright, I've been able to keep moving forward.

I hope you are all able to keep moving forward through these next few days, too. I wish you all the peace, serenity, and happiness we each deserve during these holidays and into the new year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!


Irene said...

Wise, thoughtful words. Thank you.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I'm glad that you are moving forward. I love that "next right action." It seems such a helpful way to take a moment at a time and live mindfully.

I wish you much peace and joy through the holidays and New Year. And Happy Birthday!