I understand I have depression and the world is experiencing a pandemic.
My new normal is to live a balanced life with depression. I expected up days and down days, that is life even without depression. The only thing that stays the same is that nothing stays the same. But that thinking can be countered with, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Any way you look at it, life is a series of ups and downs.
Some of us, myself included, have gone much further down than others. And some have risen much higher than others. But for everyone, it is never a straight line. We may see the success, but never see the work or sacrifice that created their success.
My thinking is more about what life looks like going forward.
My goal, based on all I have learned, is to lead a balanced life with depression. There are many tools I have learned that are helping me achieve this goal. Yet even with over 365 days of learning and practicing with these newfound skills, I am not consistent.
Depression is still slipping me notes under the desk.
It is still lurking, just out of sight, searching for the opportunity to remind me of it’s presence. Sometimes, it will throw me a curve ball, out of the blue, just to see if I remember how close we have been in the past. Sometimes, I will grab the ball before remembering it is a trap set by depression to win me back over to the dark side.
Now, life has gotten even more complicated with coronavirus streaking around the globe.
While I admit I am very competitive, piling a pandemic on top of MDD seems like a bit of a handicap. Of course, I will just roll with whatever life puts in my path. At the end of the day, I only have so much energy to commit to things. This means I can and DO choose where I devote my energy and focus every day.
Having control of my attitude towards the events is the one thing I can have power over.
Now that doesn’t mean I am not following CDC guidelines. As an essential worker, I am wearing a mask at work. Part of my responsibilities are to ensure social distancing. Our team is constantly wiping down surfaces throughout the facility and beginning next week, anyone entering as a customer must wear a covering over their mouth and nose (a mask).
Following the CDC guidelines is a no brainer, but not everyone sees that.
People toss out objections concerning their rights and civil liberties and I get that. I lived through 9-11 and the changes that occurred in the name of protecting America from terrorists. Now, we are giving up civil liberties to stop the spread of this deadly virus. There isn’t enough time today to get into my thoughts on government, but I am concerned with how individuals vocalize their frustration with what is happening.
Some people lash out because they feel they have lost control.
Instead of thinking about what they can do, they yell at others about what they cannot do. Only thinking of themselves, they blame others, sometimes lashing out with the most hurtful comments. Doing this helps them justify their anger towards a person, when in reality they are angry at the situation because they do not know how to process it.
Their frustration leads them to attack others, validating their misdirected anger.
Recently, I reviewed a months worth of my blog posts. I was concerned then that I was way too negative. It turns out, I had more good days than I remembered. And even the OK days far outnumbered they bad ones. Depression and unhelpful thinking still has me minimizing the good, and catastrophizing the bad.
I have made a conscious choice to only listen to or read about COVID-19 for 15 minutes a day.
This gives me the highlights of what is going on, without having to slosh around in the whole mess. It frees up my mind to think about other things. I can focus on building a better relationship with my spouse, my children, and those I come in contact with daily.
Having a positive attitude and seeing possibilities, not problems, gives me an edge.
I am not committing my limited resources to things I have no control over. Instead, I am concentrating on what I CAN DO. I can make a difference in many ways every single day. So I do not spend time on “shoulda, woulda, coulda,” or “whoa is me” or even worse, “the world owes me a living.”
Instead, “I love getting up in the morning because I learn something new every day.”
So these are the good old days. Let us all make the most of them.
And tomorrow we might not be togetherCarly Simon
I’m no prophet and I don’t know nature’s ways
So I’ll try and see into your eyes right now
And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days
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.If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share. And your comments are always appreciated.