I am always early.
If I am on time, I feel like I am late. Waiting in the parking lot for my therapist to arrive, I have scrolled through more Facebook than I usually do in a week.
I had to decide whether to drive home from work just long enough to turn around and go back out the door or be very early. Had I been able to leave a little earlier from work, I would have gone home first.
So, I am spending some self-care time sitting in the parking lot, waiting for my therapist to arrive.
There have been a few people driving by. My therapists’ building is among other medical buildings, which, at 6 PM, are mostly empty. Out on the street, I see two people standing at a respectable “social distancing” space. She is leaning, kind of, against what turned out to be her car. He is on the road but blocked by what turns out to be his car.
They may have been observing “social distancing,’ but from my vantage point, their body language implied they were much closer.
Were I in the storytelling business, I would flesh out the scene and create backstories for each? For instance, why are they meeting on the street? What is their true relationship? Co-workers, lovers? It is easy for me to let my mind wander and imagine all sorts of possible scenarios. Maybe she has a kidney she is considering donating to his Mother. I can scroll off the page very quickly.
READ MORE: Seven journaling topics anyone can use
But instead of going down the fortune-telling path of unhelpful thinking about this couple, I flipped back to the first page on my tablet and worked on my list of topics for my therapy session.
My list included four areas to discuss:
- The upcoming first anniversary of my hospitalization for MDD (Major Depressive Disorder)
- How my wife and I are handling each other?
- My role as caregiver for my Mother, and the role my siblings have taken on
- Self-care and how I am using that
We were able to cover all four areas in the 50 minutes I had.
This was very helpful to me, to talk out some of what is going on. Covid19 was broached in relation to every topic I had on my list. Also, I spent time talking about my relationship with depression as I approach my first anniversary.
I can relate to that. I have worked very hard to be mindful of how I view depression. Being careful about my attitude has also kept me from all the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” stuff I might get involved in. In fact, I have made a conscious effort not to put energy into “shoulding” on myself. There is no ROI in that, and it only depletes my stores of energy, the energy I could use to move forward.
My goal is to not make depression the enemy but to make it just a part of who I am.
I cannot escape depression, but I can minimize its influence. And the more I focus on not having depression, the more it focuses on pulling me down towards the abyss. So, I am re-writing my internal scripts to just accept depression, without reinforcing its dominance in the pack.
I sing I eat, my hair is turning gray, I am a manager, I have depression.
All of these are facts. Making more out of any one of these can change how I view myself. I am not going to let depression have the satisfaction of dragging into its secretive, unhelpful thinking. I can recognize what is going on now and change my attitude towards that type of thinking. Now my mind is racing.
I want to be early to the landfill, taking over our trash and recycling.
So, I will stop here. I don’t know why I feel I must explain my actions to anyone reading this, but for some reason, I feel responsible for how this blog post ends. I want it to end as a recognizable ending, not simply an “I’m done writing” kind of ending.
I’m sure I will have more to say about that later.
READ MORE: Today I wish I was sad
And, I want to write more about the bumper sticker quote my therapist gave me. Seeing depression as “not the enemy” is going to be a bit of a challenge, but then again, I have gotten through almost 12 months facing depression. That’s got to count for something, doesn’t it?
I have depression, depression does not have me!
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.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.