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Wednesday, March 23, 2005
There is so much to blog about. Rather than blather the same old thing about “how has the time gotten away from me?” and such, I will jump right into it.
I have been going through one of the roughest time periods of my life thus far. I won’t get into any details, but the life circumstances that I am experiencing right now are such that I often feel like I am living in a crazy world. My own spiritual beliefs have helped me through this time, and I certainly see the benefits of having gone through these experiences, but, truthfully, dealing with them for the past 6 months to a year has finally started to take it’s toll on me.
In 1995 I had a full-blown breakdown. It was very unexpected – at least in my mind – because I have always been a very optimistic, “life can’t get me down” sort of person. Back then I was working very hard, had made some very severe changes in my life and I was WAY too thin (the result of dieting, over-exercising and diet pills). I reached a point, in Feb of 1995 (which I find interesting because it is almost exactly 10 years ago) where I started crying and couldn’t stop. I went to the Dr., got on anti-depressants and went into therapy. It took me nearly a year to start feeling like myself again. I stayed on the medications until I started doing the BTD full-time. I weaned myself off of them (with a Dr.’s help) and have been fine. Until recently. About 2 weeks ago, I finally had to get real with myself that I was going down again. The worst of what I have been experiencing in my life occurred during the fall and winter of last year, but somehow the collective toll was finally getting to me again. I, once again, had a crying fit where I started and couldn’t stop. I realized that I needed to go back onto medication.
Over the years, I have promised myself that if I ever felt myself going down again, I wouldn’t hesitate to get the medical help that I need. For some reason, I forgot that. However, the crying jag reminded me, and I got back on anti-depressants about 10 days ago. I know that they are not recommended for O’s, but I respond well to them, and, frankly, I didn’t feel that this was a time to mess around. I was becoming inactive, I found myself not able to function or work well, and I found myself overeating and eating compulsively. This, combined with obsessive thoughts and worry, was driving my life.
The good news is that I respond very well, and very quickly to these sorts of medications. Within 24 hours I was experiencing the weird side effects that these things can cause initially, but I was also starting to feel better. I am now feeling much better. I’m not at what I would call, “normal” for me yet, but I am on my way. One of the biggest challenges I am facing is that I don’t want to exercise at all. When I have been in this place before, I seem to go to either one extreme or the other. In the past I have become exercised obsessed and have, literally worn myself down to nothing. This time I just don’t want to do it. I have been trying to be good to myself by just walking several times per week, but I DO need to get back onto a program and a schedule. The best thing would be to just get back into my T-tapping, as I can do as little as 15 minutes a day with that. I don’t understand some of the mechanisms of depression. It is a self-feeding syndrome. The more depressed you are, the less you want to seek help, the more isolated you make yourself, and the more self-destructive you become. It comes to a point where doing the minimum to keep yourself OK becomes a struggle. I have found myself there quite a bit recently, but I do think that I am starting to come out of it.
I remember the last time I went through severe depression and how I realized that I was coming out of it. It was the spring of 1996 and the wildflowers were blooming. I remember driving in my car on a beautiful day, with the windows down, looking at the wildflowers on the side of the road. I remember thinking that I was feeling something that was almost unrecognizable to me – I was feeling the sun on my face. For the first time in over a year, I was truly enjoying the sun, the wind and the flowers.
I can honestly say that I am very happy that I did not get to the point of such despair this time, that I was numb to life around me. As I sit here typing, I am looking out my open window. It is a chilly morning, but I can smell the Texas Mountain Laurel that is blooming nearby. We have a trumpet vine planted along our house wall and it is in full and amazing bloom, covering the house in a carpet of color. My favorite Mockingbird who lives in our big live oak is serenading me with his never-ending song, and the sun is peaking through the leaves of the trees. I can close my eyes and feel the sun on my face.
I will be OK.