The Depression Cloud
Mental health... specifically MY mental health... has been a ridiculously long and twisted journey.
I want a quick fix.
I want to take a pill and be better. Or take a nap and wake up happy and healthy again.
Unfortunately it doesn't work like that.
Over the past year I've done it all - medication, healthy eating, getting the right amount of sleep, yoga, meditation, affirmations, counselling, specialists, journaling... you name it and I've probably tried it.
And it IS working. Just... really slowly.
I've lost 50 lbs and yet would much rather be eating ice cream than apples. But I persist because weighing 300 lbs was painful. Physically painful. My back hurt all the time. My knees hurt and it was getting progressively more difficult to do simple things like walk up the stairs.
To be fair to myself the initial weight gain wasn't entirely my fault. I had what the doctor termed a "bad response" to one of the many antidepressants I have tried and gained 50 lbs in 3 months. That was not cool.
As soon as I went off that particular med I lost the weight but it gave me a good scare about not taking care of myself.
I've been exercising ... I mean, exercising for ME, not people who actually do that sort of thing all the time. I was riding my bike (outside even) before the snow came and since then I've been doing yoga and basic stretching.
It's not much but it is better than nothing.
And I totally count cleaning the house as exercise.
I'm trying to eat healthy.
I hate it (really) and I despise cooking and trying to plan meals and often want to give up and eat carbs all day... but I'm still trying.
But see - that's the thing. It takes a LOT of work to take care of yourself.
If only I could just lay around in bed all day reading books and eating horribly unhealthy food and still somehow be healthy I would be all for it.
When the depression cloud hits it takes real work and true effort to just keep moving.
Some days are better than others but overall I think things are improving.
And that is a huge relief because depression sucks.
Spring is almost here. The sun is shining and the temperatures are actually above zero. That helps too.
My counsellor has been working with me to help me change my thinking. She has had some very helpful suggestions and I have been very consciously trying to fix my negative thoughts.
She suggested I choose some affirmations for myself to repeat throughout the day to help in that regard.
I am strong.
I am capable.
I am healthy.
I am full of energy.
I am creative.
I repeat those things a lot.
And I remind myself of all the good things in my life. I concentrate on being thankful while still acknowledging that things are hard and it's ok to feel all the emotions.
It's hard work.
Nevertheless she persisted.