It is September, the beginning of the depression season for me. I know it is coming and trying to maintain that positive outlook, get as much rest as possible, and stick to a routine. It has a fifty percent chance of working.
I bought a Happy Light over a year ago and it seemed to help. I sit in front of it in the mornings for 15 to 20 minutes while I do deep breaths and meditation. I have gotten more practice on the meditation part and it goes a lot smoother now. I am also in a weekly meditation group.
In my therapy groups we talk about being in recovery. When I would mention that to relatives or previous co-workers, they would assume it was related to drugs or alcohol. It is not that, I am in recovery from major depressive disorder, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. I had my last hospitalization in 2017. It was a third hospitalization over a four year period.
Most people do not realize that a major depressive disorder episode just doesn’t go away by “not being depressed and feeling better.” In my case it was actually facing and dealing with decades of abuse and the resulting trauma that caused the spiraling down into depression. I had to unpack all that messiness in my life, sort it out, and figure out where to put everything or what to let go. It is still an ongoing process but I don’t have those “end of the world” thoughts like before.
I thought this year was going to be the year that I finally get cleared of it in my medical records. Then because of the undiagnosed arm tremor from the rotator cuff surgery, two years ago, a neuro psych test appointment was scheduled back in March of this year and is currently in four days.
A neuro psych test is to “evaluate functioning in a number of areas including intelligence, executive functions (such as planning, abstraction, conceptualization), attention, memory, language, perception, sensorimotor functions, motivation, mood state and emotion, quality of life, and personality styles” as well as requested because “may have experienced an injury to the brain because of an accident or because of an illness.”
This testing process is supposed to take up to 6 hours. I am so not looking forward to this but will stay positive about it.
This consult and testing request resulted in the VA putting me back into one on one therapy again starting in October. I am also having a pending additional group therapy on top of the two I already have, which will start in October as well. I was disappointed to say the least.
In my mind, I feel fine, I don’t have suicidal thoughts and haven’t had any since the last hospitalization over five years ago. I have had down moments but have been able to quickly recover from those and turn them around. I still have anxiety moments but they also do not last that long, and I am able to reason my way out of it, through talking or writing it out. It is frustrating to feel good about myself but for others to not see it. They are still expecting me to fall apart.
I made a conscious decision and promise in 2017, after I came home from the hospitalization, to not allow myself to go down those dark paths again. I was done feeling the way I felt. It was serving no purpose in my life. It has been a long road to recovery ever since.
I know that my current unemployment situation is not ideal and I am struggling but I have the basic needs of housing, food, transportation, and utilities being met albeit it is a very tight budget with my VA disability.
It is the extras like cell phones, internet, and the ability to buy “things” that I do not have. I have to juggle things constantly to make it all work and sometimes, I need help. That is the issue my kids have with me right now. They do not seem to understand that I have not been medically released to go back to work, even part time.
I am doing the best that I can, but still no one sees it. I was told that I just need to get a job. If it was only that easy. I have been out of work for over two years now, have outdated marketable skills and training, have ongoing medical issues to include weekly therapy, and now I am over the age of fifty. I am not even eligible to go back to my last fast food job because I cannot lift over forty pounds, yet.
Instead of moping around and feeling bad about the current situations, I turned to being creative again, finding daily gratitude, and focusing on positive affirmations. It has helped tremendously with my mood on most days.
There are still days when I am just not motivated to do anything but I still get out of bed, get myself up, get dressed, and start doing something but usually end up taking a lot of naps. Those days are not the norm for me they are the exception.
I have been excited about the possibilities before me and even went as far as to start another online relationship. If I were still in a “bad place” within my thoughts, I would have never even thought about that. Involving others that I consider my family into my recovery process is not ideal for me.
It something that only I can see, hear, feel, and know what I am going through. I can write and talk about it all I want but no one can hear the thoughts in my mind as an anxiety or down moment is occurring. That is the purpose of my therapy groups. That is where I take those moments and lay it all out on the table to look at. The people in my groups understand what I am going through because they have had similar experiences.
This is my recovery process. Dealing with the thoughts that are constantly flittering in and out of my consciousness on a daily basis. Every once and a while, one thought, may seem to be a bigger issue than it really is, but I manage it.
I manage it without prescription medication.
I manage it without a trade off of drinking, smoking or a myriad of other distractors. I still have some binge eating issues but they are still under control.
I manage it through my meditation and peer art groups.
I think that some of the people in my life do not believe any of this. You can’t believe in something that you have never experienced but you can be open minded. People cannot judge others when they have never had trauma in their lives.
There is no conceivable way to fathom the pain or suffering a person’s mind puts them through when there are mental or behavioral health issues. All the people can see is your outside.
They cannot see the light of hope that outshines the darkness of one’s thoughts.
Thank you so much for stopping by.
Have a wonderful week!
Peace, love, and good vibes.
Stay positive, stay motivated, and keep moving forward.