Or maybe I am still on it, but I am not driving it?
Whatever it is, it feels unproductive. I’ve read a lot of articles recently by medical professionals who say it is OK to feel anxious right now. Afterall, pandemics have not come around too often. So, they say don’ beat yourself up if you feel anxious.
But for me, having an out if you will, lets me off the hook.
I can say that I am not responsible for my life, because of COVID-19. Suddenly, I have given away control to the invisible pandemic. I can say, “It’s not my fault that I cannot get out of bed in the morning.” “It is not my fault that I am just plodding through the day, marking time until I can justify going to bed, regardless of the hour.”
Medical professionals are giving away free passes to not be responsible for yourself.
And I for one, am struggling not to accept the offer. In fact, I vacillate between “I am in control of my thoughts and actions” and “what can I do, there is this pandemic?” It is chicken s%&t in my opinion that I should let myself get away with not being responsible for my own recovery.
All the SMART Recovery tools give me the power to control my destiny.
LEARN MORE: SMART RECOVERY.ORG
Yesterday, I was told that my sense of smell may never come back. And NO, it is not a sign of coronavirus. I have had this problem ever since I had an accident with our swimming pool auto-chlorinator. Six years later, I am still only able to slightly smell things.
This news made me want to give up.
READ MORE: Stick a Fork In Me, I’m Done
Yet, the doctor did give me one thing to try. He said the scientific evidence shows it helps one in three. After feeling sorry for myself for most of yesterday, I am ready to give it a try. It is easier with shelter in place and to just give up. And some I the medical community are making it easy to do that. Yesterday, I was ready to give up on ever being able to smell or taste again.
Now today, I am back to thinking that I will do whatever it takes to regain my sense of smell.
Depression has skewed my thoughts about life in general. I find myself pretending to be engaged in the day’s activities, but secretly, I am alone. I am faking interest, and faking caring. Much of what I do each day is muscle memory and I recreate experiences because I know what they should look like.
While I know people, who do not have depression can sometimes feel this way, I understand that they do not drag these thoughts around every minute of every day, for weeks at a time.
I am so tired of feeling tired. A year ago, I was tired of being the person with concealed depression. I called myself “evergreen.” No matter what, I had to have a positive outlook, and project that for everyone else to see. They had to believe I was fine, even if I secretly knew better.
So, I selected professional help for my depression.
And now, a year later, during the pandemic, I am choosing to spend time in a pity party for myself. I am going down the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” road which just makes me feel terrible and reinforces my “why try?” I do not want to go that way, but it is oh so tempting.
This morning, I got out of bed earlier than I expected.
After getting a cup of coffee, I found that I had enough energy to make a mental list of three things I needed to do before getting ready for work. First, I am writing. This journal (blog) is where I have been working out my relationship with depression. Second, I need to clean out the cab of my truck. My new tires arrived yesterday, and I do not want to be embarrassed when my staff gets in the truck to drive it into the bays to install the new tires.
Third, I feel like I could start organizing and cleaning up my office.
Wow, as I was writing points one and two, I was 100% sure I WOULD clean my office. Then, as I wrote it, I hedged my bets and instead wrote could. These medical professionals who say it is ok to feel blah are winning. I do not want that; I want to oversee my own personal future. Handing my life off to an unknown writer of an article seems crazy.
Unhelpful thinking is still following me around.
Getting back to basics about my recovery is essential if I am to start making forward progress again. Every day that I let pass, by just going through the motions, is a day I have lost forever. And while it is the privilege of youth to think I will live forever; I am getting old enough to see that this is not possible.
This leaves me with wanting to get the most out of the time I have left on this earth.
So do not let me off the hook. I want to take control of my life. I want to create my own crisis plan. And more than anything, I want to lead a balanced life with depression.
LEARN MORE: Wellness Recovery Action Plan
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.