After 52 blog posts, I’m having a “moment.”
Until this morning, I have been overflowing with things to write about. When I pull out the laptop and sit down in a chair on the front porch, the words have just poured out of me. Well today, they are colliding. I can’t make sense of any of them. I can’t get past the first paragraph.
I’ve been here before.
I should know that this will happen every now and then. The last time, I just wrote down every thought as it came. The discourse was a trail of breadcrumbs back to what I was thinking about. Today, I am most concerned about what my life is going to look like.
You can be sure that whatever I do, depression will be around. The challenge, as I see it, is to recognize that, and use all the tools I am learning to lessen its grip, lessen the impact of unhelpful thinking. By slowing down my reactions to these thoughts, I have a chance to avoid impulsive actions.
I am dodging the hard questions?
That seems to be the main sticking point in my thoughts. I can come off with sound, logical reasons for making decisions, but these are often tied to what depression wants me to think about. And more importantly, they give me the chance to avoid looking at what depression doesn’t want me to look at.
Being good at justifying decisions is not the same as making good decisions.
This begs the question, am I really devoting enough time into my recovery? I look busy, but am I accomplishing anything? For all the good work I have done since I got out of the hospital, I am still just beginning to see what depression has cost me. I am just beginning to understand the work involved in really resolving the underlying issues.
It feels like I am back to the starting line again.
Now that I am out of the depths of despair, I can see how I am minimizing my hospitalization. The event that was 43 years in the making is getting swept under the rug. I said from day one in the hospital that I did not want this. I was going to be on guard so that this wouldn’t happen, that I was too smart to let that happen.
Yet here I am, with a broom, lifting the edge of the rug.
Why would I be so naive to think that I could beat depression in eight weeks, after living under its repressive regimen for 43 years? When I start asking different questions, the first one is “Is there another way to look at this?” And the answer is, “you bet there is.”
Once again, it seems like I am choosing the easy way out.
Get busy, using all the politically and socially correct reasons I can think of. This takes facing the consequences of my actions out of the picture. And it takes the pressure off me to do something different. I can get right back into my old habits, with depression riding shotgun in the passenger seat.
You can bet depression is already working on the next collision.
Depression is more than a back-seat driver most of the time. It has figured out how to get me alone with my thoughts, how to push people away with labeling, mostly of myself, and it keeps reminding me that my thoughts are nobodies’ business. The more secretive I can be, the better depression likes it. This leads back to the question of the day.
What will my days look like?
Once I have a better idea about this, all the little pieces will fall into place. Once I have a goal, I have a terrific success rate of achieving those goals. Of course, I am also very good at executing the impulsive, destructive goals that depression gives me to work on. This isn’t exactly convincing me I’m on the right track.
Seeing clearly the difference between a well thought out goal and an impulsive one is what’s keeping me from moving forward. Even as I write this, I am getting the feeling I am trying to stay away from facing myself. Those pesky emotions are getting in the way and making me think I must think.
I want to take action, not think about my feelings.
Now I am back to: am I running towards something, or running away from it? While I do not have the answer to that yet, what I do know is that addressing my feelings is harder than it looks. Having emotions and feelings about something is different than being able to articulate them and make sense of them.
I can see how I am back to focusing on ways to avoid facing myself, not ways I can be better for the long run. Yes, my strategy will make the short-term feel better, but I will have not done the work to make any significant change in my future self. This leaves me in the company of depression and will take me back down the road to “up against the wall.”
“Up against the wall” is still fresh enough in my mind, that most of the time it is easy to see I do not want to go there again. Yet I run the risk of doing just that as I dance around the real work of seeing myself and acknowledging what I really need.
I’m a spinning top, bouncing off the sides of the cardboard box I was spun in.
The days will all look the same until I look at them differently. I have the tools to make better decisions. Now it is time to use them.
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