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!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Building Positive Experiences

One of the symptom-busting techniques I have learned in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is to build positive experiences, and I'd say this week I did enough building to construct a house! I had a really good week. I built positive experiences working with others, helping a friend, celebrating another friend, and taking good care of myself throughout the week. I feel so fortunate.

I had a great week at work. My patients were particularly rewarding to work with this week. Sometimes that happens. I can't explain it. I just had the pleasure of treating a group of very motivated, hard working, fun and appreciative patients. It made work very enjoyable, and more importantly I felt like I made a difference. That's always nice.

I think I also made a difference helping a young man I know. It was my pleasure to assist him as he prepared for his first job interview. We went over his resume, how to write a cover letter, and every aspect of the interviewing process. From the hand shake to thanking the interviewer for his time, including practicing actual questions and answers, we covered it all. It was awesome! I mentored this young man when he was in high school. To see him now, all grown up, and to still be called upon for assistance, is absolutely one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I'm so proud of him.

It was my friend Wendy's birthday this past week. I had fun surprising her at work. I brought her some good Tollhouse cookies, a bouquet of flowers, and her favorite, Diet Pepsi. Wendy has been so kind, generous and supportive over these last 3-4 years. She's been a true friend. I try not to let an opportunity to show her how much I care for and appreciate her pass by.

I also cared for myself this week. I'm happy with my stable mood, and I'm feeling more functional than I've felt in a long time. Jet and I ran 5 days for a total of 33 miles, including a challenging, hilly 15 miler today. I feel like I'm getting back into racing form. I continued to work on my eating this week, and I ate well. I stayed away from the sweets, which I love. That's a first! I'm still not losing the weight I'd like to lose, but my clothes are fitting better, which is satisfying. Finally, I took my medications as prescribed, slept when I needed to sleep, and attended all my meetings and therapy appointments. It was a good week filled with positive experiences. I'm grateful and pleased.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on your good week. There will be many more if you allow all the opportunities to flow in. In all, running is definitely a motivator. When you are running well, then generally you are feeling well too. Keep going. Life is short.

Anonymous said...

It's been a while since I've checked in. I struggle with depression, as well. You've worked hard and I'm so glad to see how your efforts are making a positive difference. Good advice in your post about building positive experiences. I'll try to keep that in mind.

Anonymous said...

Love this! I think I said this before (maybe not), but I enjoy hearing about the different things you do to try and treat your depression. Different things work for different people but it is good to get ideas and perhaps try several a few new things.

- Virginia

Lakeland Primary Care Clinic said...

Had an absolute joy reading your post(s). Thank you for sharing your experiences, you never know how far your reach can go. Showing how depression changed you is incredibly brave.