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Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

Holding back

Despite knowing the rules of the internet, I’ve neglected this space. I’ve neglected a number of spaces actually.  I’m pretty good at getting in my own way. Some of the things I want are in my control and yet I block myself.  I’ll make excuses, I’ll procrastinate. I won’t event try.  Maybe it’s the perfectionism. Maybe it’s the depression–even though I tell my husband “You have to fight it every day,” I don’t fight it myself.

Mind you, I’m out of  the worst gloom. Finally. Events from a year ago brought me to a brink I had never neem to before, meaning that getting out was equally uncharted. Different than previous depressive episodes, and so dark that there was no “oh I need to reach out now,” moment. I never used to give weight to the idea that one action, one decision, could touch everything. I do now.

Now I am in more familiar waters: sleep troubles, vivid dreams, inability to focus, foggy, lack of motivation combined with being unable to drop a pointless task to pursue something related to my goals. As I said, getting in my own way.

I’m great at external goals. Student work gets graded because I know the students count on it. When I full-time college instructor I was all in; I overworked myself really. As an adjunct I go all in on my classes. I can even use those goals/tasks to get in my way: For years I would work myself to death but really had nothing for myself to use to recharge or refill. It was work or nothing. By 2008, even a “summer break” wasn’t enough to help me reset for the next year. I entered a dark period where I entertained the idea of planning my own death. I can through the other side of that better able to recognize when the dark thoughts were starting, an important step in stopping the rest of that cycle. This last year was an exception as I encoutered situations I never dreamed would impact me, and I feel like I’m re-learning that skill. I feel like I’m still trying to find away to talk about it.

I need to add to my skills this time. I need to stop getting in my way. I worry. I’m afraid of not being successful, so if I don’t try I never fail. Technically. I worry people will attack me or not like me. (Don’t I sound like I’m 16? I swear I’m not. I just have an awful history of picking the wrong friends or being in the middle of controversial topics I didn’t plan on being in.) I want to be liked and by that I mean you don’t have to agree with me, you just need to not be a jerk. I don’t handle miscommunication well; I shut down. I began studying communication because I wanted to fix miscommunication issues but 13 years later I’ve learned you can’t make people slow down, listen, be mindful, ask good questions, consider facts. Not if they aren’t interested–regardless of whether they say they are. Actions are more than your words.

I imagine some friends and family telling me to toughen up right now. Just do it, whatever that “it” is. Take some meds, get over yourself, not everyone will like you. I’ve heard it all before. That stoicism, I believe, plays a major role in my depression. If I could just be like everyone else and shut down these feelings, and not verbalize them, then it’d all be O.K. Lack of honesty about emotions, their impact, lack of honesty about who I am, combined with suppressing character traits that are natural to me just so I can fit in with my less emotional family and peers hasn’t paid off. That suppression has kept me from asking for helping during some dark times. It’s an easy path to self hate from there, and it’s pretty well paved from where I’m standing.

I am trying to take steps forward. I am trying to get out of my way. To be vulnerable. To share about my depression and about being married to a spouse who has it as well. To be comfortable with who I am instead of being ashamed of it. Channelling Brene Brown. Hold my hand?

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