It is one of those days that I wish I was not an addict. OR I wish I didn't give up narcotics in Sept 2012. I want to NOT FEEL... I want to be numb. I am just having one of those days, scratch that, weeks where I just want to disappear into my own skin. Really starting on my birthday and still through today. I wish I could go back to taking a pill and not have to feel the pain I am feeling....
A dear friend asked me on Monday if I was on an anti-depressant. It wasn't a negative quesiton at all.... in fact she mentioned that her doctor was a huge advocate of meds. Her doctor says 'life is too short to be unhappy... let's get you equipped!'. We chatted a minute about the fact that I do actually have to go to the psychatrist for my depression and anxiety meds and can't just call in refills... well I have to go every few months.
She then posed the question if I ever walked the dogs in my building so that I could get outside and get some sunshine and get my blood pumping. And while I did when I was on medical leave, it was not something I had done since I went back to work. I had wanted to start going to the gym that is in our building, and that has yet to happen, pure lack of motivation.
She mentioned her fitbit had been dead for sometime and she wasn't even sure how long, but she knows that she feels better when she gets out and walks. She mentioned maybe we could bug eachother to get walking. I said I was not even getting 3,000 steps a day in, sometimes not even 2,000.
So Monday began our goal day, AFTER we both charged our fitbits! Each day last week we set a goal of steps, sometimes the night before, sometimes the morning of. The goals were as follows:
Monday - 2,000
Tuesday - 2,500
Wednesday - 3,000
Thursday - 3,500
Friday - 4,000
Saturday - we forgot to set a goal
Sunday - 4,500
And here is how my week went (and I can honestly say it would NOT have gone like this had it not been for the goals set, the motivation and encouragement received and just the overall conversations had:
Monday - 2,476
Tuesday - 2,931
Wednesday - 4,037
Thursday - 4,211
Friday - 5,044
Saturday - 8,552
Sunday - 7,372
And my friend kicked a** too!!! It was amazing and it felt good too. I felt accomplished.
A while back my doctor had told me to set my fitbit goal at something that was achievable so that when I hit it and my fitbit would congratulate me (it vibrates and does fireworks on the display) that I would feel proud and that I could keep increasing it each week until I was up to where I needed/wanted to be. So I did that this week on Tuesday I believe. I set it for 3.000. My partner saw me dinking around with my phone and asked what I was doing and I told her I was changing my step goal for fitbit and she asked to what and I told her and she laughed.... a hurtful laugh... I was crushed. I told her I was doing what Dr. C had recommended so that I would not feel defeated at the end of the day and if she felt that was pitiful then she could think that, but I was doing this for me. We didn't talk much for a little bit and we didn't bring up that topic again. It stung, it still does in the back of my mind and I should/will talk to her about it when I am not so emotional or angry. I want to transform my life for the better and I want the people in my life to understand that or at least listen to why I feel the way I do. They don't have to agree by any means, but they do not need to be hurtful either. As I mentioned we didn't bring up the topic again and we had a great weekend for the most part and did almost all of our walking together. We went to the National Zoo on Saturday and walked down to the Potomac in Old Town on Sunday so she got lots of steps in too.
Here is to setting goals and obtaining them. Here is to friends that help inspire us. Here is to transforming myself. And finally, here is to me just trying to find myself.
I have been on this long cycle of just bottling up. Like shaking up a bottle of soda... I feel like I am about to open it and explode. I am afraid to open it as it means saying out loud what I have been feeling in my heart and have been trying to just deal with somehow hoping things would either just go away or somehow just get better or change themselves. Only saying enough to get by.
My depression has truly taken over and even on medication I have seemed to somehow let the depression win. It makes me feel like a complete idiot (for lack of better term) that I fundraiser and speak about raising awareness for suicide prevention all the while in the back of my mind I am struggling myself with this exact thing. I'm a hypocrite. There are days that I simply cannot get out of bed. I can't even force myself to do so. I run through my mind and think of the people that mean something to me. The people whom I would want to leave a letter to if things got bad enough. There are a few. There could be a generic one for most, but certain individuals deserve more because of their impact on my life. A month ago I had to write and sign a one page sentence for my therapist that stated I would not harm myself without talking or contacting her first. I realize it was probably a liability thing as it was a joint session that my depression was really bad and I didn't have much to say. She asked if I thought I should be admitted and I said no. So instead I had to write and sign. Things are at that point again and I have scared myself so I called and have a solo appt tomorrow. Odd thing is we have a joint appt tonight but I don't think my other half knows how hurt and depressed I feel. I think she has blinders on. I guess I don't blame her, perhaps I am just a burden.
So much more to say, but have to go to the appt. maybe I'll try to keep typing just to get things off my own chest.
It is one of those times that it is hard to comprehend why I stay.
No matter how hard I try at life it just isn't good enough.
Something needs to happen.
And you sit and seriously consider giving up...
My favorite Broadway musical has always been 'RENT'. The top song from RENT is called Seasons of Love in where it talks about, well... rather than try to explain, I will just let you read the lyrics:
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes / Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear / Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes / How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets / In midnights, in cups of coffee / In inches, in miles / In laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes / How do you measure a year in the life
How about love? / How about love? / How about love? / Measure in love / Seasons of love / Seasons of love
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes / Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan / Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes / How do you measure the life / Of a woman or a man?
In truths that she learned / Or in times that he cried / In bridges he burned / Or the way that she died
It's time now to sing out / Tho' the story never ends / Let's celebrate / Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love / Remember the love / Remember the love / Measure in love / Measure, measure your life in love
Seasons of love / Seasons of love
So, how is a year measured? 525,600 minutes.
Numbers have always been extremely powerful to me... perhaps that is why I decided on an Accounting major! I find numbers symbolic in many different ways. Either in the way they were meant to be because of their history, like the number 18 in Hebrew means "chai" which translates to "life" so in Jewish tradition when you are giving a gift, you give in multiples of 18. In addition, I use numbers as a way of marking milestones. It has been 2,2121,120 minutes / 1,473 days / 4 years and 12 days, since the last time I took drugs for a non needed reason. I state it that way because while I know that this can't count as my Narcotics Anonymous number of clean days/years in my heart I know that is the day I started to get clean, September 1, 2012. However, due to a car accident and concussion, I did take narcotics and therefore my real numbers are 1,160,640 minutes / 806 days / 2 years and 75 days since my last use on June 30, 2014.
There has been much change, many miles, much laughter and strife, much love as well as much sadness in the last 4 years since I decided to change my life. Life has been a roller coaster ride. Friends have come and gone in that time. Some have remain constant. I have tried to grow as a person, feeling as though many times I have failed, but alas, I have probably just perhaps tried to be me and someone else didn't like it and so I tried to change, tried to accept someone else's definition of me. To some degree I still do that. I shall make it my goal that the next 4 years I find myself and create myself and be myself... and most of all, try to love myself.
The words I could never put together into a complete thought I have just heard by listening to an Audible book… the book is by author, Jenny Lawson, whom battles depression and anxiety and also narrates the book as she wanted it to be her voice that was reading her story. While no one persons depression or anxiety is the same, she certainly touched on some very key points that are so very relavant that I must type the first one that hit me in an effort to try to help myself put words to what “I feel” but can never express…
“When cancer suffers fight, recover, and go into remission we laud their bravery. We wear ribbons to celebrate their fight. We call them survivors. Because they are.
When depression sufferers fight, recover, and go into remission we seldom even know, simply because so many suffer in the dark… ashamed to admit to something they see as a personal weakness… afraid that people will worry, and more afraid that they won’t. We find ourselves unable to do anything but cling to the couch and force ourselves to breathe.
When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker… but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it. Survivors who wake to more work than before because their friends and family are exhausted from helping them fight a battle they may not even understand.
I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle, and as a celebration of the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.
I hope one day to be better, and I’m pretty sure I will be. I hope one day I live in a world where the personal fight for mental stability is viewed with pride and public cheers instead of shame. I hope it for you too.
But until then, it starts slowly.”
There is much more within this book that has allowed me to realize there are 'words' for what I feel inside. As I continue to listen (and now read the hard copy I ordered) I will share additionally in an effort to have a place to go back to on the days that I feel like I don't understand why I am the way I am, or the days I am at my darkest.
“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”