I am hesitant to say it, as if saying it will somehow trap me in the "I don't need help" chategory when I will in fact need help. But I'm doing better. I no longer wish to be dead. I no longer pray for death. Etc. Etc. Instead, I ponder it. How come I don't want to be dead today? Huh, I don't know. Nothing much has changed, except, I suppose, the chemicals in my brain. Praise God for medication and/or whatever brought about this astounding change. It's amazing. The whole thing is. Wanting to die (duh, who wouldn't?) though my sister couldn't even immagine such a state of mind. Taking the thoughts for granted because they were around so often. It was just my life. I spent each day with the nobel and challenging goal of living until the next day, at which point the process would be repeated, and I'd live another day to get to the day after. Admittedly, it was exhausting. And now, just as wishing to be dead was just a part of life, not wishing it has now become a part of life. Now it's, duh, here I am and this is what's going on in my life.
Anyway, I saw my psychiatrist yesterday. Perhaps it helped that I'd already spent an hour earlier in the afternoon, part of which was spent trying to explain my current state of mind. I think I'm still mildly depressed, or some level that leaves me firmly outside the hospital with no immediate risk of landing in the psych ward. But I don't really know what normal is, and neither does my counselor. I guess there's this "normal is what you were before you were depressed" idea, but it doesn't work so well when my life has been weaving around depression and anxiety since I was a kid (not saying I was depressed all the time, but I don't know what "healthy" is supposed to feel like). Anyway, I explained to Mr. Psychiatrist that, since returning from Puerto Rico (location of my two "gap" school years between highschool and college), I've spent lots and lots of energy, first trying to go back to Puerto Rico, then trying to fight the mental illness stuff, especially the OCD, and then fighting to live each day. But now, I live each day automatically. I don't have to struggle so hard to get through each day. So I feel kind of empty. He suggested that I sit back and enjoy it for a bit. Which, of course, goes against my former beliefs that aren't completely former that rest and fun are potentially wrong. And he suggested that I keep working on my goals for my life (i.e., college classes for my Communication Disorders degree, or working on relationships that are important to me).
I think the OCD is still around, it's just learned to hide in the woodwork a little bit better, and it's being smart enough not to do something major like ruin my paperwork or stop me from doing something I really care about. And, of course, Exposure Response Prevention is pretty intimmidating and uncomfortable as well, so as long as I think the ERP would cause more distress than it is worth, the OCD skates by relatively unchallanged. Actually, I also think that the OCD has moved from being a major issue to being a minor issue. And perhaps I've stopped the ERP too soon. Perhaps the OCD is causing more trouble than I realize. Let's ruminate over that for a while.... I wanted to say, just kidding, but I probbably will think about it for a while until I settle the question somehow.
I also told the psychiatrist that I was scared of going back, and he told me I was in good company. I now join the mass of people just out of a strong depression who are decidedly scared of falling back into the deep depression.
And so the Psychiatrist and the Counselor gave similar advice for different pieces of my life puzzle; keep doing the things that help me and bring me pleasure - like the dance exercises and the online college classes.