“You are worth more than your darkness.”
I am using the above quote to remind myself that I have more to offer life than my level of depression. So often when we get depressed we feel paralyzed by it and stop moving which in turn leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. I need to push past these feelings as best as I can to try to shake off the depressive funk I am in or to see if I am having a paradoxical reaction to the Prozac which the psychiatrist gave me to life my mood and help with OCD symptoms. Before I started the Prozac I was obsessively ruminating on certain thoughts and issues continuously and never relaxing. Since starting the Prozac I have been able to let some to most of the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors go. This in turn has allowed me to relax enough to, according to my therapist to feel the level of depression that I have had all along but was masked by the severity of the OCD symptoms. Feeling as depressed as I have this week has been scary for me to admit to anyone especially when you were just given a med to help relieve it. I have three more days on this new dose for it to improve or the doctor said she will discontinue it if it is worse or not better.
It is so hard when we fall into the abyss of depression to remember that you have more to offer than the darkness around you because that is all you feel. I have to work hard to remember the qualities and talents and skills that I have to offer when I get down this low. It is hard for me to even recognize them at times when struggling. But the truth is I am a good clinician, caring and compassionate, loving, kind and loyal. I usually work hard to get my work done and make sure it’s done right the first time. I’m smart with a sense of humor that most of close friends get to see. I am determined to work despite several set backs both physically and emotionally. I have survived 100 o/o of my worst days and there have been some pretty crappy ones along the way. So despite my feelings, I am doing better than I thought.
This is a hard post to write. My life was touched by the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church this week. While my faith remains intact, the religious foundation of my youth has taken a fatal blow. The priest who was suspended from the priesthood for sexual abuse was at one time my therapist and at another time my co-worker. I feel many things and part of me is grateful that while I was in therapy, I did not discuss my trauma back ground – my gut told me that I shouldn’t and it wasn’t okay to do so. I usually am not good at following my intuition though it is usually spot on but I did and can’t imagine how much worse I would feel if I had divulged my story to him. Church and organized religion is such a difficult thing for me with many, many unhealed wounds. It’s going to be awhile before I can trust to rejoin a church again.
I gave in and cancelled as many of my commitments as I could today before I reached a total and complete meltdown. I was terrified of doing that and the consequences but I was no space to handle anyone else’s issues let alone attempt to manage my own this morning. Sometimes saying I can’t is a strength rather than a sign of weakness.
This was the best choice for me today. I needed a stained glass kind of day where I picked up the broken pieces to put some semblance of order back into my life. I had my significant other come over at 5 a.m. this morning to be with me as I was starting to fall apart and have a complete and total meltdown. I only kept my appointment with my therapist for this afternoon. I figured it was necessary at this point. Tried taking a nap and even took meds to calm down to facilitate this and I am still wife awake but the feelings of panic and depression have subsided some since I did. I’m grateful my partner came here after arriving home late last night. I think it was good for me not to be alone and have the extra support. I needed it and was heading into dire straits in terms of both my physical and emotional health. I cannot say enough about good self care…eating, drinking water, getting sleep, taking meds consistently, and not bottling up problems. I forgot some of these this week and paid dearly yesterday and today for it. When life is feeling like it is reaching a breaking point, remember to step back, sweep up the pieces and create stained glass my friends. There is only one you.
Resiliency comes in many forms and choices. While I have been under an enormous amount of stress the last few weeks, I still have choices on how to live my life in a way that that allows for more joy to enter in. The above quote is actually a Swedish proverb though some people accredited the quote to writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson; and actor Johnny Depp, on most web sites. It reminds me not to take life too seriously and endorphin releasing a good heat belly laugh is. One o my co-workers has the most infectious laughs to be around. It’s contagious. She brings joy to our whole team just by being present with her humour and fun- loving spirit. This proverb helped to remind me that I am usually good at using the love passage from 1 Corinthians as a mantra throughout my work day and I haven’t been doing that and it shows. I am not as patient; I am not letting go of wrong doings, I am not other-centered vs. self-centered, etc. I could go on but I think you get the point. I needed to be reminded that I am in need of more laughter and love in my life especially at work.
Send me your best attempts at humor…try to keep it fairly so I can retell the jokes without incident to my clients who could use a laugh with me. I love mental health jokes by the way.
Finding balance between my work and personal life feels totally out of whack. Not only is it impacting me but my relationship with my significant other. Last night I brought work home and ended up spending time with a friend who needed my time before my significant other got home. The result was an all nighter in part due to needing to talk some things through with my significant other and spend time with them after a conversation that raised some emotions due to what was probably being overly sensitive on my part. I lost it last night emotionally and felt like running from our relationship for the first time in two months. I felt scared of being judged which is a leftover issue from my perfectionist father. I cried and cried because I felt teased and like I wasn’t measuring up.
Work has been a fiasco with several of my clients in crisis daily that I can’t accomplish anything. Add on top that balancing work and personal life isn’t going well and I am starting to have high levels of anxiety to the point where I was shaking at work today when things fell apart. This scares me. I usually have a John Wayne approach to work and it is not working. I am falling apart internally and questioning again whether or not I can be in relationships with others. I am afraid of being harmful to my significant other due to watching them struggle lately. I wonder if it is possible to do my job and have a healthy relationship. I just want to be happy.
September is suicide prevention month. As someone who has struggled with suicidal ideation and nearly died from a suicide attempt and lost numerous friends and clients to suicide this month means a little bit more to me than most people. Tonight at a DBSA meeting I heard someone minimize suicidal ideation. It kind of made me furious. I believe (totally my perception) that anyone thinking about suicide is capable of doing it and needs help. It may be a cry for help but better a heard cry for help than an ignored one. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and wanting to die I hope and pray that you will reach out to someone who you can trust. It takes a huge deal of courage to do this but it may prevent a permanent solution to a short term problem. Don’t get me wrong… I think that living with depression and mood disorders are very painful experiences that take huge tolls on people’s lives. But I also believe in hope, recovery and the process of change. While I still suffer from dark times in the abyss, I can also experience joy and laughter and love now. Don’t give up hope if you are suffering from suicidal ideation. This too shall pass.
While I feel better able to breathe tonight, I cannot get any sleep which leads me to wonder if maniac isn’t starting to set in due to too many sleepless nights because of the pneumonia. It is the very last thing I need to have happen right now.
I managed to work 11.5 hours yesterday despite feeling crappy. I felt spent afterward.
I just kept plugging away though because I knew it would be seeing my significant other after work for the first time in days and we had plans to go to the local festival last night. We went to enjoy some of the activities and by the time we finished dinner and bsat down we we’re both spent. I was just glad to be with them after a few days apart. Due to my pFSD issues, I don’t handle our time apart very wey well. Hopefully it will be a quiet w3ekemdso I can recuperate.