Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spring Cleaning


This is something I've been thinking a lot about, and after [indirect, as in "it's not all about *you*, M"] encouragement from several sources, it's time to come out with it.

I've written about my depression before. I'm not afraid of it. I'm not afraid of you knowing about it. I'm not even afraid of you talking about it or thinking less of me for it. It's just part of who I am. Like it, don't like it ... whatev.

I certainly don't like it, I'll tell you that much. I don't like to write about it because I don't like to verbalize it much. I don't like to encourage that kind of energy. And, to be completely candid, it's not a factor in my everyday life. Until it is. When that happens, I barely have the energy or give-a-damn to go to work, let alone blog about how crappy I feel.

However, in the interest of authenticity and perhaps even soliciting a little support from my bloggy pals, here I am. Talking about it again. Ugh.

I read a lot. I read books, blogs, and articles. I don't read newspapers and I rarely read magazines. Except Arizona Highways and Clean Eating (not that I'm a clean eater. But I want to be and their recipes always look good.). I'll always read those. Oh, and I have  subscriptions on my Nook to National Geographic and National Geographic Travel.

What's my point again? Oh yes. I'm upset.

I can recall each time I've slipped into a deep depression. Remember, this doesn't have me crying into my all-natural toasted oat cereal (with vanilla almond milk, thankyouverymuch), and luckily, it doesn't involve thoughts or actions of self-harm. I get pissy. Moody, intolerant, judge-y, cranky, over-sensitive, unfocused, and lllaaaazzzzyyy. Days without a shower kind of lazy. Not busy, not just comfortable and don't want to get up. Lazy. Heavy. There's a difference between lounging around in my PJs because I'm comfy and not dragging my arse out of bed because I'm depressed.

I'm damn lucky Hubs is the cook in this house or we'd eat cereal and macaroni and cheese all the time. And since there are now Noodles & Company locations in Austin, I likely wouldn't even cook the mac & cheese!

At work, I lose focus, patience, motivation, and I start to drop the ball. And so on.

I'm a happy, cheery, fun person. Or so I've been told. I like to *do* stuff. I like to get out and explore. When I'd rather stay home watching Criminal Minds and NCIS marathons, something's up. Sometimes, I catch it, but truth be told, it starts out an awful lot like PMS. I don't always realize I've been PMSing for 8 straight weeks until someone gets my attention about it.

Attention? Mine has been gotten. Grammar, schmammer at this point. Remember? My give-a-damns-busted.

I've soul searched. I've vented and explored with Hubs, friends, the cats, and my own internal voices. I'm in a deep depression. I don't like it and I want out. First, though, I struggle when I can't figure out the trigger. I need to have a name for things. I need to have a reason.

This is what I've come up with for my reasons.
  • I'm in a new city. I love Austin, and moving is still hard. Hubs and I haven't explored much yet, except with our friends who come to visit from out of town.   sorta lame ... what else have you got?
  • I haven't been consistently exercising for a year now (gasp!). I've had opportunities. We joined a local gym. I've been a few times. I don't sweat every day.   okay, this is going somewhere, what else?
  • I've been eating mostly like crapola for almost the whole time we've lived here.   yes! you're really getting close now. But there's something else. Something ... bigger, more overarching. Come on now. What is it?
  • Hubs, to me last week: "You turned 35 in September. Your Mom died when she was 35. You think that might be contributing?" And then, Green Goose asked me basically the same question a few days later. Universe come together much?   ding ding ding! I think we might have a winner.
Now that I understand the reasons, I can start to formulate a plan, a way to deal and climb back out. As much energy as a deep depression sucks out of me, climbing out wears me out even more, though it's a steeper and shorter-lived exhaustion.

After reading several blog posts recently (Source of the Stink, Orchids), as well as a book I didn't expect to touch on this topic (review coming), I'm not only ready to name what's up, but I'm ready to start pulling myself out. I'm ready to really dig into solutions. Living like this isn't very much fun, for me or anyone around me. I love life too much to feel numb/cranky all the time.

The plan:
  • Write about it. Cheap therapy, yes? Yes.
  • Get away from it all and refresh my viewpoint. Check! Headed to Costa Rica on Saturday for a week-long yoga retreat. (I know. Lucky, for sure.)
  • Check in with the doc. Are my current meds still right for me? We'll see. I'd love to get off meds all together, please and thank you.
  • Formulate and commit to a workout schedule. Hopefully, meet a buddy that I can make plans with. Maybe I sign up for personal training sessions to start. *Anything* that will encourage me to follow through. This starts in Costa Rica with twice daily yoga classes.
  • Find a counselor/therapist in the area. Do you know how much fun it is to "shop" for a therapist? About as much fun as those tickly hairs you get stuck to your neck/chest and you can't find the damn thing to get rid of it. It just tickles and tickles and you wind up with red marks from trying to grab, yet still miss it.
  • Ask for support. In sharing this with all of you, I'm baring a part of me I'm not real fond of. It's like showing you the hail damage on my thighs, except I can't necessarily blame this on hot fudge sundaes and genetics. Or, maybe I can. Hm. 
Depression is not a weakness. Except in me, when I'm evaluating myself. I know better, and that's still where my emotions go, thinking I *should* be able to pull myself out of it. Sigh.

Thanks, Word Nerd, for giving me "permission" to unload about being upset.


Image courtesy of word-nerd-speaks.com