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Here We Go Again

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I thought I was past needing to blog about my depression. I thought I was past my life being affected much by depression. I haven’t been 100% for several years, but I thought I was doing well enough to be getting on with, and for the most part, I have been. 75% maybe. I’ve been working and having relationships. Freud would be proud of me. Over the past few months, though, I’ve experienced some mood dips, and the frequency seems to be slowly increasing.

After about six years of feeling and functioning pretty well, the past year or so has been a setback. This was precipitated by a relationship breakup in September 2010. September 2, 2010, to be exact, but who’s keeping track (more on the relationship and breakup later, I’m sure). I’ve been feeling a lot of sadness and loneliness and some anger, which are all different from depression. I think the stress of living with these other difficult emotions all these months has taken a toll and contributed to lowering my mood.

Over the summer, the sadness and loneliness of grieving the loss of the relationship have given way to the discouragement and apathy of depression. Until this week it has been just single bad days separated by better days, not long periods of depression, so I wouldn’t even qualify as clinically depressed if I went for help. I know it’s depression, though, and it’s getting worse.

Bad enough to have me worried. Not bad enough for me to be hospitalized or even to try medication again, but heading in that direction. Bad enough to reduce my concentration, especially when I’m working or meditating. I haven’t had much work lately (I’m self-employed), which is good in that I don’t have the additional stress of having to get something done while I’m depressed, but bad in that I generally feel better when I have work to keep me busy. The lack of work has been going on long enough to cause me to feel anxious about money too.

So, my task is to do as much as I can to take care of myself to keep my mood up, and to keep functioning as best I can when my mood is down. Whatever my mood is, I can keep doing all of the things that help to keep me healthy: Be mindful of my mood, for starters, so I know when to take extra self-care measures and when to be thankful for a good mood. Eat well, exercise and get the right amount of sleep. Keep myself reasonably active—physically, mentally and socially. Keep up with work and other responsibilities, so I won’t have the extra stress of feeling guilty for falling behind. Keep in touch with the important people in my life.  Do things that bring me joy. Meditate daily, to practise mindfulness and concentration. Stay in the present, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Have compassion for myself for having an illness that I didn’t ask for and that is not my fault.

In future posts I will expand on some of these elements of self-care. What do you do to take care of yourself?

Be good to each other.

J

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  1. fromi2us
    December 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    J – just subscribed to your blog. As to your question – what do you do to take care of yourself? That’s a darn good question. I do different things on different days. The thing that helps me most is to get out of bed and moving! I try to dive into various new interests as well. I take some medication for stabilization – helps me, but not for everyone, for sure. I just try to stay busy – keep moving. Withdrawing is the worst thing I can do. Peace.

    • December 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Reg. Thanks for subscribing. You make a good point about getting out of bed and moving. My anxiety tends to be worst in the morning, as soon as I wake. As long as I lie there, the anxiety stays, and only when I force myself our of bed does it begin to lessen. Keeping active definitely helps.

      Thanks
      J

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