I was sort of amped to do something with my day, then Degon coming home for lunch sort of threw me off and now I’m trying not to be overwhelmed by the number of things I could/ought to be doing. Including four drafts on this personal blog and two drafts on TS.
Instead of listing all the things I should be doing, I’ll just talk about therapy and how I don’t have any but somehow I still make breakthroughs.
Up until recently, I didn’t have a super tangible idea of what a breakthrough is. I mean, yeah, I understand the concept and get that therapy helps people make progress in their recoveries. Or that choosing to go to the doctor is somewhat of a breakthrough in and of itself.
I’ve made all these milestones… more or less by myself. I chose to get medical help via pills, and I didn’t realize until JT’s talk at Skeptics of Oz that apparently most people don’t do that by themselves. Other people have to be convinced or dragged to the doctor in order to move the process forward. I was hurting so constantly and so completely that it just seemed like a thing I’d been meaning to do for a long time that I finally got around to doing. I don’t remember making the initial phone call to set up an appointment, but I’m sure I was anxious and it sucked. That’s sort of how phone calls are for me.
And recently, I’ve made breakthroughs on my own. I’ve mentioned them in previous posts that I’m too lazy to link to (seriously, when I start putting in pictures and linking, it becomes work and I get hosed and can’t finish). Somehow, in the midst of all these things that confirm for me that I’m a terrible person, I have managed to convince myself that I’m actually not a terrible person, despite what my lying brain says.
I think the acknowledgement that my brain is lying to me was a pretty big step by itself. Suddenly, it’s not me thinking those things, it’s my illness hijacking my higher thinking capabilities. Being able to separate myself from the voice that incessantly attempts to undermine my self-esteem has really helped.
I’m not a terrible person. I’m not horrible. I’m not a sickness. I don’t poison the lives of other people. I’m not incapable of moving through the world without hurting people.
Somehow, I managed that mostly on my own. Other people were also telling me throughout the process that I’m not horrible (thank you, Olivia), but those don’t really sink in by themselves. It took a little while until me saying it actually sunk in, too. And now it’s not a focal point.
When I start to feel bad, I can at least deviate it away from myself. I can more clearly see that it’s the depression, and I can be mad at the depression and not at myself. Because it’s usually not my fault that I feel the way I do.
And allowing myself to feel things without making myself feel guilty was another big breakthrough. Olivia actually did help a lot with that one. Sometimes, I have to give myself permission to break down and cry in the bathroom at work. I have to let myself lie down if I feel like I can’t stand. I have to give myself space to feel like doing things and go with it, and sometimes I have to sort of force myself to be functional enough to perform certain tasks.
Today, I have a list of things I know I should be doing. And I feel good enough that I’ll probably get to doing them. Especially since blarging out all this has helped me get it off my chest.
I’m somewhat unique in my ability to handle myself. A lot of other people don’t see a doctor without being pushed. A lot of other people can’t make breakthroughs like I can without a professional psychologist. A lot of other people can’t stop feeling alone. A lot of other people can’t communicate their needs to their partners. Which is not something I’m great at, but for the first time in nearly four years, I’m somewhat able to tell Degon what I need from him on bad days.
It’s making me cry a little, but I’m so much further along in recovery than I was two months ago. Granted, a lot of horrible things happened at that time which pushed me further into depression, but I was already having an episode. I’m so much better now than I was.
I’m strong. Stronger than I ever thought I could be. Stronger than my illness. I’ll grapple with it for the rest of my life, but at least I have the tools to manage it, cope with it, and perhaps quash it before it gets bad.
Also I’m not editing this, so if it’s jumbled you just have to deal with it, audience of make-believe people.