Sunday, May 24, 2015

CAUTION subject might be triggering

I hate depression and anxiety. Let me fill this first paragraph with nothing so you have time to leave and read a happier post if that is a better way to take care of your self.

Depression and anxiety are robbers. They steal life. They steal energy. They steal joy. They steal time. They steal rest. They steal bits and pieces of life.

And occasionally, they lead to the stealing of a whole life. One of my friends, who has supported me many times, has left this earth from complications of depression and anxiety, if you will.

It is strange to think about, but our culture builds into feelings of guilt for survives, in a similar way to how modesty supporters add to the guilt of certain victims when they make the lady responsible for the man's thoughts in how she dresses. We broadcaste the stories about valedictorians telling how people saved their life from suicide by small acts of kindness, then command people not carry guilt for what they maybe could have done after someone does lose their life.

I know that a phone call from me might have bought her another few minutes of peace but probably would not change her date of death. A phone call can relieve a bit of depression, especially situational depression. But that is probably it.

And lastly, as a friend recently pointed out. I'm mad at depression and anxiety because i will not let them win in my life. They have already taken enough. Even if i give up temporarily, i have yet to give up permanently. Please, God, let me never give up permanently.

And I'm so grateful that my medication is working right now. It gives me a much wider margin of safety.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Time off work

My trouble with days off started when i was a kid. My mom gave us our birthdays off of chores and school work. Which was very nice and more or less the equivalent of an extra day off work as an adult. Like my three day weekend going on now.

And as a child, i was glad, but then i felt all pressured to use the day just right. The perfect choice of activities. Cleaning my desk or file box. Having fun and relaxing. Perfectly, so i didn't waste my once a year day off of chores and schoolwork (i was homeschool, so even a summer birthday meant a break from school). But all this pressure and anxiety over my free time really detracted from my enjoyment.

Forward to the present, this is my first long weekend since whatever time off we had for New Year's day. And i have freaked out. All that pressure like i had as a child. And it multiplies itself, because the anxiety detracts from my enjoyment, which means I'm not "doing it right," so I'm upset with myself for being upset.

And i needed this break! I was exhausted from work. But the stress of extra time off almost makes me wish the day of was over...

Well, i was hoping that if i wrote it out, I'd come up with the cure. Instead, i still feel physically off from staying up late and sleeping through the morning and the resulting eating disruptions and probably the medication delays, too.

And my house is in its usual state of needing work. And I'm out of milk, so i can't have milk and cold cereal in the hope that such a staple meal would resolve my mental discomfort.

Well, maybe if i eat lunch and pay bills i will feel more capable of completing my mental instructions to "love yourself." Or maybe i can get out school supplies and start preparations for the summer program. Granted it is related to work, but it often brings me some joy and hope for the future.

My regards to all who are grieving a loved one this memorial day weekend.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Mother's Day Lament

People sometimes recognize that mother's day can be hard if your mother has passed away. Or if you had a rough relationship with your mom. Or if you are struggling through infertility. And they should recognize this pain.

But what about the single lady who just doesn't have a significant other nor a baby? What about me? What about the baby i wish i had?

On Valentine's day, i still have enough single Facebook friends to see at least one post about Singles Awareness Day. And we have a cute preschool party. And i buy myself a Valentine's gift.

But mother's day? I thought about buying myself flowers, but i already got some in a base from teacher appreciation week. And if i get the wrong flowers, they will aggravate my allergies.

And then there is medication side effects. Specifically being very tired. If i had a baby, people would understand. But hey, i live alone. There is no good excuse, aside from maybe insomnia, which, thankfully, i don't currently have. And guess what people say (meaning it has happened like twice so i feel like the whole world must agree) when i lament the fact that even if i sleep in and take a nap and sleep lots the next night, I'm still so tired. They say, maybe you slept too much. When they sleep too much, they feel super tired. Well, friends, i don't sleep too much during the week. I am a procrastinator for going to bed, so often it is around 7 hours a night. That is not too much. Then on the weekend, i try to catch up on sleep. Maybe you aren't supposed to do that. But either way, this incessant weariness is putting a damper on my mood. Well, that and/or my mood decided to dip. And this antidepressant is a little lacking in cutting the anxiety. And anxiety is exhausting and depressing.

And this was a rough weekend. And let me finish off with one more complaint.

This is about when you hear people's testimonies about God's work in their lives. When they talk about how depressed they were before they dedicated their life to God, or whole they were rebelling against God. And then they experienced God in some special way and things got better. I'm glad for them. Really, I'm glad they are feeling less depressed.

But this kind of story makes me want to cry. Leaves me wondering where i went wrong. I mean, I've been a Christian probably since before the ocd or depression really took hold. Hey, I was an over-seas missionary depending on people's financial support between (and during) bouts of stronger depression. And i know God is not a vending machine who gives out mental health if we just have enough faith and obey enough. But... I still feel sad when i hear these stories.

Seriously, i don't get this whole illness thing. Like, couldn't i do so much more for God if he removed the illness (and how about the medication side effects while we're talking miraculous healing). Isn't this enough experiencing of sorrow to enable me to be more compassionate with others? I mean, can't i at least have longer gaps between these bouts with depressing and/or anxiety? Couldnt i just take, say, a week or even a month long "refresher course" on how mental illness feels and then go back to having more energy and stamina and emotional resources to do more helping others instead of feeling like the proverbial sponge?

So instead, I'm one of those other stories, who will maybe help someone like myself, whose testimony is, "I'm sick and tired of this depression, and sometimes I'm even mad at God, and sometimes God seems out of reach or behind some invisible barrier, but i know he is still there, so I'm going to keep slogging through this irritating, exhausting illness whether it gets better or not, but I'm going to tell myself it will get better here on earth because it has before and because i need the hope."

Oh, and just one more thing; this last week and weekend got pretty tough, and I'm scared that the side effects and lack of effects of this medication are going to overtake the positive effects and pull me back down into the worse depression. Hopefully not, but pretty sure that largely subconscious fear is making this even harder than it would be otherwise.