I thought I had pretty much-gotten depression under control
I sought professional medical advice, I started reading books, working with a therapist, I’m going to all kinds of support group meetings. I thought my days of feeling like crap were over for a while.
Guess what, I’m having a tough day.
Now it may be just a single bad day. It doesn’t have to be the beginning of a death spiral back into the deep dark abyss. I know everyone has bad days occasionally. It could just be my sensitivity to the effects of depression that have my “Spidey senses” activated.
I woke up with angst.
I think that’s what I was feeling. Or perhaps it was just good old-fashioned anxiety. I have a lot on my plate today. And all of it involves being positive and upbeat for others. There is a birthday celebration today. And I am a big part of the plan.
Most of the time I enjoy this role. “Come on over and I’ll throw something on the grill.” “Let’s do the Labor Day family picnic at my house.” I like the planning, the anticipation and then the getting together with family and friends.
Today should be a fun day.
With a birthday brunch at a historic inn, an afternoon walk with the dogs on a nature trail, and then back to the house for cake and ice cream, it seems idyllic. This is all a surprise for the birthday girl. And even though she wanted to be surprised, that might be part of my worry.
Will she like it?
Will she find something she likes to eat at brunch? Will it be too hot on the nature walk? Did I do enough decorating for the cake and ice cream birthday party this evening? I do not remember being so concerned about things like this in the past.
Once again, depression is twiddling around with me.
It just isn’t satisfied that it has screwed up big swaths of my life. Depression wants to get into every nook and cranny it can find in me and throw all kinds of unhealthy thoughts at me. Today of all days, I should be holding depression at bay, not having it hold me hostage.
I am not going to let it win. Using the checklists I have collected and the list of questions I have, I can challenge these thoughts. I can ask different questions and look at this feeling from a different perspective. This exercise has been very useful recently. Having tools to think through my feelings has been wonderful.
So here I go, digging into what I am feeling.
Am I a mind reader? No, I am not. That is the first thing I came up with to challenge these thoughts about what the birthday girl will appreciate. I have done the best I can to think about what she would like and have planned out a day based on her hints and suggestions.
I will feel proud of my efforts and happy that we will have the day with our family. I will NOT imagine what she will think before it happens. This is what depression is counting on.
And in the past, I have played the mind-reading card. In fact, I have done it so well at times, that I can have the entire interaction in my head, and never involve the other person. What a waste of energy.
But today is about having fun with the birthday girl.
I will carry out my plan with the help of others and not let depression steal the enjoyment of the day. The tough start to the day doesn’t mean that the entire day will be tough. The only thing I can control is my attitude towards the events. So, I am deciding to have fun, enjoy the events and make this the best possible day for the birthday girl.
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