Friday, November 5, 2010

Have You Gone Mental? (LX)

I have now just finished my sixth day of significant depression. I've became too depressed to write, kind of immobilized for a couple of days, although I truly enjoy it. This blog has become a journal, of sorts, that has traced my steps on my road to recovery.

I must admit that I have not felt like I was getting better for the past six days. As I begin my day at 5:00 AM I can feel the intensity of my depression beginning to subside. Why? I find myself at this early hour looking forward to a day in which there will be a few positive things.

I think, actually my "resurgence" began yesterday at lunch with my good friend Peter. He is the one person with whom I can talk about the feared topics: religion and politics. Our talks don't change the world, but they are very uplifting. Am I still depressed, yes. The difference is in the intensity. Up until yesterday I would say (on a scale of 1-10) I was about a 2. Throughout the day I increased significantly to a 6.

I also saw my therapist in the late afternoon yesterday. Seeing my therapist does not necesarily make me feel any better. In my sessions we take our picks and shovels and "dig' into my life in order to "mine" the material that will hopefully lead to a higher degree of recovery. I am, at this time, struggling to define "who I am". It has been difficult because I have come to the point to which I don't even understand
what "who I am" is! I have defined myself in terms of my occupation: manager, counselor, etc. This is how one writer defines my life: a human "doing" rather than a human being. I don't like cute little sayings like this, but it does seem to describe where I have lived the past several years. That is my journey at this point, as depressing as this hard work is. I hope that God will take mercy on me so I can solve this dilemma.

I began my day, yesterday, at 7:00 AM at my Rotary Club. The crowd is a bit anxiety producing, but I enjoy this meeting I now attend weekly. My club does a tremendous amount of community service from which my disorder has discouraged me from participating in. I have not served since late last year. Outwardly I am a RINO (Rotarian in name only). My club, knowing what is going on, has been patient with me.

After seeing this in "print" I realize why my day was better yesterday: Rotary, lunch with Peter, and a visit with my psychologist. I was involved in three activities which I could positively anticipate. This phenomenon seems to be helpful, temporarily at least, to my having a better day than usual. I appreciate such activities in my life. Mostly I do not positively anticipate the day.

I need, often, to reach into my "bag of tricks" and meditate, use distraction, exercise, make contact with members of my support team, and writing. These "tricks" seem to lighten my load a little, so I feel a bit better for a while after my use of these skills.

I don't know where my life and recovery is heading. I feel I should be a lot better than I am. I have described my progress as three steps forward and two steps back. I can attend some gatherings, which I could not do for months. I do so with a signifant level of anxiety but force myself, "acting as if". I can last about an hour before I feel like I need to "run for my life".

Well that's it. I've had a few victories and several losses. Life as usual. I can usually tell how I am doing, in some respect, by my ablity to write this blog. It usually puts me at a 4 or 5 which is a welcome relief from the difficult days at a 2 or 3. Having finished my 50th blog, I will continue to write this jounal and trace my steps through my process.

Typos and all . . . God bless you.

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