A lot of what I end up writing about is what it’s like to live with severe depression with a side of anxiety, so today I want to share some personal triumphs.
1.) Because I’ve been living in darkness, emotionally speaking, for a long time now, I finally went to a psychiatrist. She told me to stop drinking (I’m working on it…), but she also upped one of my medications. And it’s working! In the last few days I’ve noticed a marked change in my energy level and general outlook. I still don’t clean my house or anything, but I feel better, and that feels huge. Don’t ask me about it though (mom), because I’ll still shrug my shoulders and be like, “I don’t know, whatever.”
2.) I have decided to really focus on writing. I feel embarrassed when I tell people that I want to “be a writer,” because that seems like such an impossible hurdle to jump, but I’m going to try. I have always felt compelled to write, so why not try to do something with that? It has taken me nearly 40 years to get brave enough to try something at which I might fail.
3.) I had coffee with a friend today. I know that probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to most people, but for me, connecting with people is a big deal. I tend to make and cancel plans a lot, usually because I just don’t feel up for going. Today, a friend reached out and asked for help, and while I suck at keeping plans, I do show up when a friend needs me, so we met for coffee. I have no car so I had to walk, and my walk took me through the woods so I was able to breathe in the trees and my dog could joyfully frolic about, and then I had to walk up a huge hill and when I showed up I was very sweaty. I have not been able to get myself to exercise in about a year and a half now, so walking those couple miles was the most I’ve moved my body in a while, and it felt like a good thing to do, even though I had to mop up my face sweat at the coffee shop. More importantly, though, I need time with friends. I don’t need a lot of close friends, but I need a few, and connecting with a friend is always rejuvenating. So, thank you friend, for asking for help and getting me out of my house.
4.) I am trying to embrace where I am right now. I’m not working, and that is very strange for me. It makes me feel shitty. I know several people who are stay-at-home parents and I of course respect their choice, it just doesn’t work very well for me. Plus, like most people, we need to make more money. So, I’m viewing writing as a job even though I don’t get paid for it (yet!), but I also signed up to be an Amazon delivery driver! That way I can choose when to work and make some money so I’m contributing, AND get out of the house, AND probably have some interesting experiences! I’m excited about it. Going forward, I know I need to work with kids in some way. I’m volunteering in my daughter’s class once a week for a couple hours, but I need more than that. I will figure all of that out eventually.
5.) I’m almost 40 years old. For some of us, it takes a looooong time to figure some things out, to accept ourselves as we are, and to be brave. God it’s hard to accept myself! But I am learning to give fewer fucks, and it is liberating as hell. I still give a lot of fucks and will probably always give a few too many, but I am finally learning to let go of all the fucks I’ve historically given about what people think of me, or whether I said the wrong thing, or whether I should speak what’s true for me. I have decided that if I am worried about something I said or did, I will check in with the person I said or did that thing to, and otherwise, I will trust that my true friends and loved ones will tell me if I have done something hurtful or questionable. Freeeeeedom.
Of course, tomorrow I might be in the hole again, but today I feel strong and hopeful. I can’t remember the last time I said that.
Photo from deviantart.com