Sometimes I’ve just got to “write things down.”
I write things and leave out details about others. The truth is, I am only writing from my perspective about how I feel as events unfold in my life.
It is not fair to bring other people into it because they have a right to their own privacy. The bottom line is this blog is my way of working out my relationship with depression. My goal is to work through challenges, bumps in the road, relapses, or whatever I am calling it when I write.
For me, writing this down makes it clearer.
I can hear things and they don’t sink in. When I see things, I can get distracted. But write them down, let me hear them and write them down, now I can understand.
I was the kid in school who wrote massive amounts of notes. Often, I would hardly ever look at them again. The physical act of writing them down helped me remember them. It got me through high school and then through college.
The whole idea of writing out my thoughts in a journal (or blog) came to me before I left them hospital. On Friday afternoon, we had a visit from a local Chaplin. She brought note paper, cards and envelops. She offered us the chance to write a note to ourselves about how we were feeling. She offered to keep them for 30 days and then mail them to us.
I took her up on the offer.
When the card arrived, as promised, it took me two days to have the strength to open it. It was a connection to the hospital and represented my call for help, my finally saying, “enough is enough.”
The idea of writing came as a form of self-care. Journaling was recommended by one of the nurses to process what I was feeling. This proved to be a very helpful undertaking. Reading back to the beginning, to my arrival home from the hospital, I can see the progression of understanding about depression that I am collecting and acting upon.
I am also reminded how sneaky depression can be and how it gets into everything, not just the big issues.
This was probably what surprised me most about depression. After I came home from the hospital, I developed a simplified version of how depression had steered my life. I came up with four major incidences that now I see as major depressive episodes.
This was helpful in looking at the big picture of my relationship with depression.
In later months, I have learned how depression’s habits haunted and still haunt my day to day decision making. There are automatic thoughts and unhelpful thinking styles that I must be on guard about. I am excited about my progress, but I know I am far from this becoming a permanent change.
So, I am writing to understand my personal relationship with depression.
If it helps others, great, but the focus right now is still on me having a balanced life. I can see down the road there will be many, many chances to give back. But right now, I am in the Action Stage of Change.
The SMART Workbook says about the Stages of Change Model:
Action is where a person takes the plunge. Action can take many forms, from the controlled environment of inpatient treatment, to working with a professional counselor, to attending self-help groups, to working on their own – or some combination of these.
Here’s where people try new ways to handle old situations, uncomfortable emotions, urges, and other challenges. THIS STAGE REQUIRES THE GREATEST COMMITMENT OF TIME AND ENERGY, but also is where new changes start to be visible to others.
I am doing all the above and writing, too. I am so thankful to be on the path towards a balanced life.