The Real Deal

I had intended to post last week. But life got in the way. I had a pretty low low, maybe one of my lowest. It didn’t last all that long, but I’m still climbing out. This time it hit me hard, and out of nowhere. Usually I can see myself slipping, and bring myself back. But this time was like *WHAM* and all of a sudden I was depressed.

I did something that I have never done before, which sort of scared me. Monday I came to work, only half prepared for the day. I had cried myself to sleep the night before and cried most of the morning. I was at work for about an hour, then I just decided “I can’t be here. I need to leave right now.” So I went home. Since I work in mental health and the nature of my job is to talk to people about my own mental illness, my supervisors were very supportive, and I am so thankful. I stayed in bed all the rest of the day. I felt paralyzed. I couldn’t sleep. I was exhausted.

Fortunately I have some really great support people. But they worry about me, which often times makes me feel guilty and more depressed. When I have these low lows it’s hard for me to reach out to people, I can’t think to call or text them, and I feel angry when they can’t read my mind that I need to be talked to. This time was different. My boyfriend of 1 1/2 years (who hasn’t been with me through one of these) called me. He made me get up and get dressed, he literally talked me through my morning routine. For that hour at work he texted me with support and encouraged me to go home. He talked to me the whole way home. He purchased in flight wifi for his trip to Spain, so he could make sure I was alright through the day. And more importantly than anything he made me call my other support people.

It got better. Each day was challenging. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to make myself food. Really my physical health fell victim to my emotional health. It happens for me all too often. But I did do something really important, and it helped me when I was going through an episode of depression in college: I joined a yoga studio. It’s the same studio I went to before. I had been putting it off because of the money, but with the encouragement of my supporters I just did it. The first class back (after not doing hot yoga in over a year and a half) was hard. I felt exhausted and sweaty and dizzy and sort of like I could ┬ávomit. But it was awesome. It was like I was sweating out my guilt and anger and sadness.

I’m still climbing out of my hole from last week, but I am much better than I was this time last week. I was able to wake up early and I actually got a workout in and made a lunch for myself.

Here’s to a good week. Be well.

What is my blog?

I am here to continue working through my issues. I don’t want to do it privately because I want to help people. I like helping people. It is my job to help people. People like me. People with issues.

I have been living with depression for almost as long as I can remember. Happiness is strange for me, it is foreign, it feels artificial, it is uncomfortable to say the least. That said depression is also uncomfortable, but it is my reality. In the past two and a half years I have felt a lot of depression, a lot of anxiety. In the past year I have felt a lot of happiness and I have tried to run away from it because I don’t know how to just be happy.

My job, what I get paid to do anyway, is in mental health. I am a peer case manager. The title means a lot of things, and I sometimes feel self conscious or embarrassed to use it because it outs me as someone with problems. But I have come to the realization that I need to suck it up and just be me. I’m in this job because I like helping people like me, people with real emotions, real traumas, real issues. I never had someone like me to help me when I was first feeling all of my feelings.

Being a “peer” means I have been in “recovery” for at least a year. I don’t really understand what that means; I don’t think I will ever be recovered. The pills I take aren’t magical, and I see a therapist so I don’t exhaust my loved ones. Recovery is like a merry-go-round, and I am sitting on one of the uglier horses on the ride. I help people like me because I feel like I have learned how to look at other people’s prettier horses, and now I know how to live with an ugly one. I have learned how to love my ugly horse. Do I still hate my ugly horse sometimes? Of course I do. But now I have fewer days where I hate my horse, and more days where I see it as a unique work of art rather than a mistake.

In this blog I will share my thoughts on everything. I might share tips on stuff, particularly coping. I will probably post about yoga, definitely about food and nutrition. I’m not an expert on anything. Hopefully this will help you, make you think, maybe laugh or smile.

Be well