For the last week, I’ve been trying to share a meaningful personal victory over depression, and have met with limited success.
I told a friend. They didn’t get it. “Doesn’t everyone?”, they asked me.
I told my brother. He didn’t get it. “Is that a…good…thing?” he inquired, hesitation in his voice.
So, I told my mother, but her encouragement is a given. I could tell her that I eviscerated a live chipmunk and she would metaphorically pat me on the head for what a good boy I have been. Right before she called a mental health professional on my behalf.
It seems that announcing “I made the bed three days in a row!” is not quite the watershed moment for the rest of the world that it is for me.
Rainbows and Unicorns
Last week, I admitted to you all that I have yet to get a therapist/counselor to work through my depression with. This is still true. I have gotten a referral to what I hope is a person able to deal with my idiosyncrasies and will be calling them for an appointment later today.
However, what has happened is apparently the Prozac has begun to kick in.
I will admit, I was expecting a more…dramatic result from the Prozac. I sort of had it in my head that there would be a period where my body got used to the medication. Then, one amazing morning, I would wake up and step into glorious sunshine, surrounded by rainbows and unicorns.
After all, that’s what happens to normal people every day, right?
Instead, I find that I’ve grown a little more stable. I am not yelling at Lor at the drop of a hat. Going outdoors is not causing me to burst into flame spontaneously. I wash the dishes without being prompted a half-dozen times.
And, oh yes, there is the subject of the bed…
The Bed, Unmade
Let me explain how depression works.
A normally adjusted person takes a look at an unmade bed and thinks: “I need to make the bed.” Maybe they get it done, maybe they don’t, depending on how late they are for work, etc. But the acknowledgment is there.
A depressed person takes a look at the unmade bed and thinks: “Why should I even bother to make that bed? I am just going to screw it up in a few hours anyway. Just like I screw everything else up. So what’s the point? In fact, I might as well just go back to my unmade bed and lie there…”
So, yes, the fact that I have been making the bed for a few days in a row is actually significant, though it probably doesn’t look like it to the untrained eye.
To me, a made bed is a victory. A small one, yes, but a victory nonetheless. It also represents potential. “If I can do this,” I think, “maybe I can do something else too!”
In the past week, I’ve completed a few things around the house, managed to get my professional life back off the ground, and even spent some time with my extended family.
All on the strength of making the bed in the first place.
Filling The Spaces
Of course, this is only the beginning of rebuilding a functional life after my depression derailment.
I still need to get back to regular posting here on Misdirected. Today will represent the first time I have posted in back to back weeks in a few months, so we will tentatively chalk that one up as “progress.”
But there are so many other things that I am going to have to start over on. it is literally tiring to think about. I haven’t been to a gym in weeks. I haven’t run over a mile in who knows how long. My personal trainer certificate hangs on the wall gathering dust, as the works I had intended to build around it remain unstarted.
And don’t even get me started on the subject of my fiction writing. I have probably not come up with an original idea since the beginning of the year.
So much remains undone, in fact, that I can actually feel the weight of them bearing down on me. There is so much, in fact, that I can feel the beginnings of a panic attack fluttering in my chest, just trying to comprehend how I am ever going to get it all done.
I just have to sit back for a minute and breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth, practicing mindfulness, all the things the self-help gurus tell you to do that you are secretly sure aren’t really working. I am just going to have to remind myself that change happens incrementally, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that all I can do is all I can do.
So, I’ll just wait with one ear listening for the sound of Lor getting out of bed. Then I can go collect my early-morning hug and kiss, and reassurance that someone loves me and believes in me, even if I don’t believe in myself.
And then, I’ll make the bed.
Not Looking Forward To My First Day Back At The Gym,
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