Over at The Bloggess, she says something incredibly wise: depression is a lying bastard and life will be brighter again.
(an aside – if you’ve never heard of The Bloggess, go there right now and read! She’s awesome and it’s much better than being here. Plus, I’ll wait for you to come back.)
I’m struggling to keep this in mind — that this monster that keeps climbing on my back is doing nothing but whispering lies in my ear. Nothing good or positive or healthy comes from this voice. You’re boring. And ugly. And will always be alone. And never have sex ever again. No one in the world wants you. That’s what it tells me. Among other things. (I mean, if it could toss in something helpful, that’d be nice, though. Perhaps a reminder to change the filter on the furnace or something like that?)
When I’m at my most logical, I can see the fallacy behind these words. No, I haven’t found someone to be with, but does that mean it’ll never happen? Of course not. And I’m quite sure that my stable of friends would argue with me if I told them I was ugly or boring. If I were as awful a person as the monster tells me, I’d be utterly alone in this world. And that is far from the truth.
And yet, I’ve been really challenged to work my head past these feelings and move forward. It’s hard to battle something that doesn’t play fair, ya know?
I had made an early August appointment with a psychiatrist to talk about going on some meds, but in the end, I cancelled that appointment. See, for a few weeks at the end of July, life was good. Really good. I had met a girl. Someone I liked! I thought she was cute and good company and everything she said to me indicated that she felt the same. The only downside? She lived about 2.5 hours from me.
It ended up being the relationship that never was. After the initial date, we made — and she cancelled — 5 more, all with good, plausible reasons. But fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 5 times, who’s the idiot? Whether the excuses were real or not, it was clear that I was a very low priority and if it’s that way in the beginning? It’s never going to get better. You can’t make someone love you. Or even meet up for a drink with you, as it turns out.
After that I went all to hell — much worse than before. But I had already cancelled the psych appointment. And when I finally called back, she wasn’t taking new appointments anymore.
For weeks I wallowed and dwelled and hated my life. It was crying binges during the day and spending entire weekends where the only conversation I had (talking to the dog doesn’t count!) was with the checkout person at Trader Joe’s. I ate with abandon and my only exercise consisted of using the remote control and doing 12oz bicep curls with my drinks. It wasn’t much of an existence, that’s for sure.
But very recently, part of me woke up and decided that if nothing else, I could control my eating and health. I decided that even if I didn’t have the motivation to work out, I could eat healthy and watch calories. I think things got so out of control that I picked the one thing that I *could* control. If even just a little bit.
And so, I joined myfitnesspal.com and started tracking food. Joined in with the community. Even managed to get myself a dozen or so friends that check in on me. And that’s been good.
In the spirit of trying to take care of myself, I also went through my insurance and found another random psychiatrist who was accepting new patients and made an appointment (I have another 3 weeks to wait)… one of those things that sounds easy as pie but is impossibly difficult for me to do (that’s a blog for another time).
So, we’ll see what happens. This mood/depression/whatever has been hanging around most of the year, and it’s definitely been bearing down on me lately. Despite the fact that a potential girlfriend made me feel better, I don’t believe getting rid of the depression is that simple. I think the uplift would have been temporary and would have gone away eventually, with or without someone in my life. In the end, I need to fix myself, not distract myself.
So, while the depression has been back with a vengeance, perhaps I might be crawling back up as well. At least I feel like I’m making some healthy decisions in spite of myself. With every good choice I make, it makes a little easier to make the next one. I’ve started doing a bare amount of exercise. And I even promise not to cancel the psych appointment, no matter what’s going on by then. Because I need to remember how depression can lie … life will get better. Sometimes you just need to take the first steps.