10 Things I am Thankful for Today As I Face My Depression
- I’m alive – Several business associates and my mentor thought at one time that maybe I was not alive. That thought is depressing. Yes, I have a competitive streak that keeps me going. There is still so much to do. My plan is to see my 100th birthday. But there have been days when being alive was inconvenient. From the bottom of the abyss, it was survival, not living.
- My team of Doctors understands me – It has taken 14 months to find a group that really has me as the focus. Not that others haven’t been helpful and supportive, but my new team gets me. This has led to an out of the box thinking which finally is lifting me out of my morning funk. Even better, I am not negotiating with myself to get out of bed in the morning.
- I can get out of bed – From November until June, getting up was a huge deal. I probably could have sold the rights to the story. You can’t make up all the high-jinx I put myself through to avoid getting out of bed. Lots of drama from a guy who hates drama.
- My first hours after getting out of bed are clear – Again, from November to June, this was not the case. The more I wrote about it talked about it and asked doctors about it, the more it stayed the same. Heck, at one point, it got worse. Then we backed off the Prozac a bit which helped somewhat. Now I do not have the slows when I get up. Thank you.
- I have tools to help me – SMART Recovery, WRAP, and other sources all have given me ways to understand what depression is about. I can see unhelpful thinking styles more clearly now. And I can catch myself, at times, before unhelpful thinking takes hold. Or I can recognize it very quickly and react to it. 14 months ago, I wasn’t aware that I had any unhelpful thinking.
- I am facing my depression – For me, it only took 43+ years to finally face my depression. Yet doing so has allowed me to finally learn about myself, and then begin to accept myself for who I am. Being me, alone, without titles is still a work in progress, but I am thankful I am on the journey. And facing depression has been an enormous step forward.
- My days include self-care – Getting out in the yard, being in the sun, the air, with nature, all around is invigorating. With five acres that includes some wooded areas and frontage on a lake, our retirement home is inspiring. Sitting on the front porch, having my first cup of coffee, while watching a 6-point buck make his way down our driveway, is the best self-care I can think of.
- I am less of a reporter – for almost all my life, it was “just the facts.” And I was proud of that. When others were crying when my father died, I was focused on the business aspects of his death. The same thing when one of my Uncle’s died. It started early, being a reporter. In my gap year between high school and college, I lived on a sailboat and managed a gas station. In the spring of that next year, I took a 700+ mile solo cruise in my sailboat. A friend read my journal of the experience and said, “lots of facts, but no emotion.” Today, I am getting in touch with my feelings. This is a messy business, but I am working on feeling things.
- At times, I am in the present moment – This is so exciting. Most of my life has been spent time-traveling. I go to the future, imaging all sorts of chaotic and terrifying possibilities. Or I revert to the past, and get into coulda, woulda, shoulda, thinking which paralyzes me. Now, I have times where I am in the moment, talking to someone to learn about them. This is different than waiting for them to stop talking so I can get my point across. I am so grateful for this.
- I know that I can lead a balanced life with depression – When I was up against the wall last year, I couldn’t see any way out. There was just me and the abyss, alone. No way out, no possible escape from the clutches of major depressive disorder. Now, 14 months later, I am making progress towards a life that is meaningful, at the moment, and balanced. With tools, peer advocates, doctors, and therapists, I have a support group that I did not have a year ago. In fact, none of this was on my radar. 14 months ago, I was trying to once again not face my depression. Believe me, if could have found a way to sweep this under the rug again, you would not be reading this. Yet I finally said “enough,” and I sought professional medical help. And this changed everything.
Today I say thank you, thank you, thank you.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder last year, I am sharing what I learn. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
I very much appreciate your comments.