Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Today is Better Than Yesterday

Today, when I woke up, I was sad, and frustrated. I can't remember the dream I was having, but it was melancholy. I remember being in a situation I couldn't control, watching something sad happen. A lot of life is like that.

I lay in bed for a half hour, thinking about other things, even telling myself stories, deliberately turning my mind in other directions. My primary strategy for mood control. Sometimes it works. Today it did.

When I got up, I made my coffee, and watched last night's Nip/Tuck on TiVo. That show is pretty sick and twisted, but I actually found this particular episode to be quite beautiful, and positive. A lot of stuff about realizing the value of life, breaking out of certain behavior patterns, and making bold choices. The sort of stuff I talk a lot about, and try to do. It left me feeling... good.

I'm looking forward to my to-do list for today, very simple, basic things, not necessarily in this order:

breakfast/Heroes on TiVo
make grocery list
research online fundraising websites
grocery shopping
gym, if I have the time
Advisory Board meeting at 7pm

When I'm feeling good, I try to just enjoy it, roll with it, but it's common for me to muse, in the back of my mind, How long is this gonna last?

What was wrong with yesterday? Nothing really. I was just out of it, feeling down, feeling tired, feeling blah. I didn't want to leave the house, so I didn't. I did things around the house - some calculations regarding our possible apartment move, made myself a lunch, portioned out the leftovers, some light housework, etc. But I waited until G got home to hit the gym, and I made him do the driving.

Did I wake up from a bad dream yesterday? Not that I can remember. Was there anything specific depressing me? Nothing new, just the mild anxieties du jour: Will this move happen? Will I run out of cash before I get a new job? Have I lost any inches this week? Do I have anything to wear for our first anniversary getaway this weekend? Have I finished that project I volunteered to do for the Advisory Board? These are all small things.

Of course, struggling with anxiety and depression means small things become big things, in my own mind, and can paralyze me. But it comes and goes, depending on a lot of external factors.

This period of time since January 9th, this time while I'm unemployed, has been wonderful for me. While it's true that I've had ample time to rest, REALLY rest, it's also true that I'm up at 7:30 every morning, twitching with energy, my mind so active that going back to sleep is impossible. I've made excellent use of these days, doing those things I mentioned a while back, keeping the promise I made to myself years ago, that I would do X thing and Y thing if I ever didn't have to work. Part of me wishes this never had to end.

However, I have had my usual share of Bad Days. Days when I trudged from the bed to the couch and never moved for hours. I didn't shower until after lunch. I ate very little, and watched way too much TV. And when G came home, we made sandwiches, and he retired to the bedroom with a good book, while I stayed near-comatose on the couch, feeling useless, pointless. Maybe... two or three days a week. Sounds like a lot, 50% of the time. But really, the good days make up for it. Sort of.

The truth is, that I can't have anything long-term this way. I can only be relied on for a 24-48 hour period. Then something pulls me under again, and I... well, it's not that I don't DO things. It's that the effort to do them is so great, I'm miserable and grouchy just doing them. And people ask if I'm ok, and I have to tell them "I'm not feeling so hot today." And they always assume I'm sick, like with the flu or a cold, and I make up a story about something I ate, usually an amusing story that makes people laugh, puts them at ease, reassures them that everything's going to be ok, I'm tough, I can handle a little stomach upset, and it was sooooo worth it for that fantastic spicy vindaloo.

So, I don't join clubs, I don't sign up for things, I don't get the 10-class yoga card, I don't buy memberships to anything, and I seldom RSVP to parties or social gatherings, especially large ones where I will only know the host.

Being a Massage Therapist is a great treatment for this, because it forces me out of myself. I get the same effect from going to the gym. Even on days when I'm practically on the roof with a machine gun, I come out of the massage room (or off the treadmill) feeling renewed, revitalized, and unable to stop talking about how good I feel, and all the amazing things I experienced.

They say that being pregnant can alleviate mild depression, just from the hormonal changes in your body. G and I are very curious to see how being pregnant will affect me. It's fascinating. I do love being my own guinea pig.

Until that time, G and I have made the decision. I will pursue medical treatment. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist next week. I feel good about it.

I want to be able to make semi-long term plans, such as whether or not to help plan and execute a fundraiser, something that will require several months of commitment and hard work. That will be my first effort. After that... I have other ideas.

One step at a time. One good day at a time.

1 comment:

Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

One step at a time is good. You know, some days can be two steps forward and one back and that's okay too. Be good to you. Don't beat yourself up...if you "allow" yourself those bad days, they seem to have less impact. You just say, "okay, and now we move on". I don't know if you remember that once, when I first started blogging, my blog was called "The Abyss". Now, I just keep trying to walk AROUND the dark hole instead of falling into it. But if I do fall, I just allow it for a short time, and then climb out and move on. Good for you deciding on treatment. It's a good step around the dark hole. Charlie always tells me to remember that his hand is always right there if I need a boost out. I'm sure G's hand is right there for you.

A year already? My gosh! Happy Anniversary you two!