Understatement of the year, I know. But it kind of describes my whole weekend. I felt lonely and really sad. Stuck in place. Knowing I have some things to work through and wondering if the feelings I am experiencing are normal or from hormones or related to the depression I usually think I have beaten.
My writing teacher liked that I mentioned depression in one of my posts last week, because she thought it might be helpful to others. So I will just say this. Depression is scary. Really scary sometimes. Little things or even nothing can set you off. You feel sad or hopeless about something and then that leads to another thing that makes you feel even more sad and hopeless, and another. If you don’t catch yourself, or learn coping skills, it can keep cycling and cycling and getting worse, until you feel like you are spiraling down a hole with no bottom. It can be hard to make yourself move. You can be around lots of other people but still feel totally alone. You might even just cry in a setting that you know isn’t private, but you just can’t hold back the tears.
If you have never been through it, I hope you never have to experience it. If you are like me, I hope you have worked with someone to develop some coping skills, or know when to reach out for help. I did that yesterday, with my best friend who met my ex and knows what he meant to me. I also did that by reaching out to a friend who I know has also suffered from depression. For various reasons, she doesn’t take the anti-depressants like I do, and I have to admit, I don’t know how she can do it. She must be so strong, is all I can say. In fact, she makes me think of another friend who I know has battled through it, without the medication, and she is such a strong woman too. Maybe I am weak in comparison, but I am not going to let myself judge myself in that way. It wouldn’t be fair to me. If I did, I would be erasing all the work I have done on myself over the past few years.
So why do I mention this at all on a blog that is supposed to be about hope and dreams? Well, when you feel like I did for part of this weekend, it can be hard to look forward. Hard to think of it as realistic and not stupid or silly. Realizing you have a whole support system where you are, and if you move, thinking you might lose it. Or will have to start up a new one all over again. And realizing you will be doing it in your 40s, at a time when most people who have followed the great “American dream” are settled, have kids and a family, etc. They may not be looking to make new friends, you know? And also, what am I doing, thinking about changing careers so drastically? And from one that I know will probably not pay me like the one I currently have? Am I crazy for thinking like this? And, will I ever meet someone who will love and accept me as I am, even with all my animals?
It is these self-defeating thoughts that I am trying to overcome. To see them for what they are, and fight through them. One of my new tools is this blog. I also splurged at a local bookstore yesterday and bought myself two journals in which to write. I usually just buy cheap spiral bound ones at my local CVS, and lately, I have been so focused on saving money and/or paying down debt that I didn’t feel right spending the money that way. But yesterday, I realized it is good for my mental health to do so. And this morning, I already wrote in one of them, and it felt good. There is something about writing the old fashioned way. I feel like in that journal, I don’t have to censor myself. I don’t have to think about things in a special order. I can just write my feelings as they come to me.
I also signed myself up for two Continuing Education specialist courses with NASM, the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I have a year from now to study for them and take the exams. I am still studying for the CES Certification Exam, because its the one I have been advised to take. But I think the specialist courses will fuel my passion more. One is specializing in weight loss, and the other specializes in women’s fitness. I will let you know how they go. (I figure I hibernate in the winter anyway, and it’s not like I have much of a life, so I might as well be productive with my time.)
I am sorry that I may sound like such a downer in this post, but when I first started this blog, I said I would try to be as true to myself as possible. That to do otherwise isn’t fair to either you or me. I hope to be more upbeat next time.