Friday, February 21, 2014

Picking up after a flare-up.

Well, it is late and my brain isn't working superbly, but I'll go ahead and try to write anyway. Because I want to.

Recently, for whatever reasons, probably including being sick and cloudy weather, I had an anxiety and depression flare-up. It is dying down now. And it is a relief to see that. There are still extra sparks, like right now, my staying up this late (although it is a Friday night, so that isn't so far off). Or my having trouble getting myself to eat supper (put it off too long, so it got harder).

But there are also signs of returning to normal. My house is slowly getting cleaner. I've almost inspired myself to clean my guinea pig's cage. I actually spent 23 minutes exercising at the gym yesterday.

And then there are the tools that are out because I needed them again. My lists of "5 good things" that I sometimes write every day. My mental health blog. Seeing my counselor this week.

And there are the reminders; I had wanted to see my counselor a week early, but would I actually call her to see if she had time? No. Why not? Because I wasn't sure I felt bad enough for it to be worth it. Oh, the cognitive distortions of worthlessness. I can see it better now, as I come out the other side.

I suspect these flare-ups will follow me for a while, but I am a lot more able to handle them. My brain takes considerably longer (much longer) to jump into suicidal ideation (at my worst, it came up multiple times a day with urgency), and when it does start, I know better what it means (i.e., it means my depression is getting worse), so it doesn't freak me out as much. And...

Oh, I was going to say, I was remembering back to worse days and going through my depression and OCD flare-up, and I thought to myself, "How on earth did I do it?" It takes SO much energy to live in spite of depression and anxiety. Just having a fraction of what I had at my worst left me wondering how I did it back then. So, kudos to all of us who have fought to get through the hard days. It was no cake walk, but we did it.


  1. Abigail, I'm sorry you've had this flare up. I know what you mean about thinking of times when it was at its worst and wondering how we got through it. I wonder that, too. Sometimes I think I got through it because I didn't think I had a choice. I thought I had to.

    1. Thanks, Tina,
      Yeah, I didn't feel like I had a choice about getting through it, either. I was already in treatment at my worst... thankfully things got better. :)

  2. It really is growth isn't it, when we get a flare up, and yet we are able to navigate in a healthier way? Flare ups don't freak me out nearly as much as they used to. I'm glad you are finding ways to move forward.

    1. Thank you. You are right. Our learning to deal with flare-ups is definitely a sign of growth.