Tuesday, February 01, 2011

the problem with mental health is that you can't see when it's broken.

I write a lot about how I’ve been feeling better lately. The depression that was pulling me down is now, for the most part, at bay. There are still days when it bites at my heels, reminding me not to get too big for my britches. Even with medication, eating right and a tonne of exercise, it is always there waiting for me to become complacent, to slip. Some days despite best efforts I feel myself sinking into the pit of despair. On those days, today being one of them, I remind myself:

Today is just one day.
Do your best.
Breathe.
Give thanks.
You are enough.
Be kind.
Open your heart.
It is okay to feel sad, but don’t let it overtake you.
There is joy to be found – you just need to look.

The very fact that my inner voice is speaking kindly to me is tremendous progress.  Only a few months ago it was saying things like "you aren't worthy" and "who do you think you are anyway?".  But still, depression is a cruel mistress.  The thing that creeps up the most is apathy. I see the message light on my phone blinking and I can’t be bothered to check and see who called. There is a sharp keening in my heart and I am unable to figure out exactly what I am missing. I long to get back into bed and hide underneath the covers and sleep the day away. Lucky for me this is most certainly not an option.

The challenge of course, is that mental health issues are invisible on the surface.  Today I look just like I look on every other day.  I will crack the same sarcastic jokes and do my best to keep it all together as I wrap my mental arms around the sadness and attempt to contain it.  After all, today is just one day...

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:54 PM

    Thanks for this post - I know the feeling your describing (however at points I've scummed to sleeping the day/days away). I'm not doing that these days but that has been replaced with a lot of spontaneous crying. Your words give me inspiration to just get through those 'days' they won't last forever.

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  2. @Anon - thanks for commenting - I know sometimes it isn't fun to read about depression. I think when the individual days turn into a string of them it may be time to speak with a doctor. I personally am considering a visit myself if things don't pick up soon.

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  3. I feel this post, more than you know. Thank you, Kat. I've spent most of my time smiling, because there isn't anyone around who can understand how hard i'm desperately trying to keep my head above water, to keep from sinking...I get tired of crying, but some days, it's all I can do.

    I haven't spoken with my doctor, yet. I may have to...

    Thanks for this.

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