Last night I dreamt two significant things (1) that I had a lengthy, much needed session with my therapist, who I haven’t seen in a couple of years, and (2) a colleague pointed out to me how much weight I’d put on and asked me what I was going to do about it. It is safe to say I do not need Google to help me in interpreting this.
I guess it’s a fact of my life that I will always have periods of depression. Being aware of this and fully functional is both a gift and a curse. Throughout my life there have been many occasions where I have just wanted to switch off and give into it. I can clearly see how people can go right off the rails, and though I am loathe to admit it, there have been times I have envied them.
In a conversation not so long ago I discussed medication with a friend. She told me how one of her clients was reluctant to take medication as they didn’t want to “lose who they were” and become a shadow of the best parts of their former self. From my own experience, on medication I am the best version of myself and, most importantly, far more stable. As you know, if you are familiar with my blog, this wasn’t an over-night miracle but involved several years of hard, CBT self-help, followed by intense therapy. However, my point being that, without medication, when I reach a low point, I would be a damn sight worse off.
Hitting rock bottom is an incredibly, not so refreshing reminder, that I suffer from a Mental Illness. Even I forget at times. I have never really identified specific triggers but this time I have a sneaky suspicion how I ended up here.
In an effort of self-improvement and enlightenment it would seem I tried to do everything at once and turned what should have been a spiritual, educational path into a car crash between chaos and obsession. Disaster. The irony was not lost on me. I didn’t stand a chance living mindfully after I went POP with exhaustion. All of a sudden I start feeling a failure, why can’t I do it all? And then, breath by breath, I spiral. I can’t see the wood for the trees. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m overeating again. I put on weight. I feel worse. I drink excessively. I overspend. I don’t want to get out of bed. I can’t see the positive in anything. Unfortunately while this is going on in the background of my life work is also incredibly stressful. With my resilience at an all time low suffice to say that this was not a winning combination. So now the job I love is wearing me down. Instead of turing into a size 12 I can’t do up the zipper of my size 14 trousers. My savings don’t exist, they became my emergency fund which in turn became the few pounds I have left to get through the months. I haven’t done yoga for a few weeks now because I couldn’t get out of bed to attend class when I had the opportunity. I love my blog but I end up feeling suffocated by all the technology. All this leads to shame and self-loathing. You get the picture, it’s pretty fucked.
How do I come back from this? Really fucking slowly is the best answer I can give you. I’m back to the Six Point Plan, that’s for sure. My objective is simple, just get through each day as it comes. The thing to remember is it may take days, weeks or months but things will improve. I’ve learnt that keeping it to myself doesn’t help, honesty turns out to be the best policy once again.
I have a Mental Illness and while it does not define me it is a large part of who I am. I can live with that, but some days are harder than others.
If you’re reading this and know how it feels then know that we’re feeling that way together.