I have felt so out of touch with myself lately. I know I have written many posts on how I feel and I am sure for some of you it has become redundant, especially because, even to myself, it seems like I haven’t done enough serious work on my self to warrant complaining about my situation. I feel like I am whining because most of my problems are things that I can change if I could just find the motivation to start.
I don’t know what is making me cling to this idea that I don’t know what to do to make myself better. It is just not true. I have read book after book after book about different methods of beating depression and they have covered a wide range of treatment methods. But I have yet to actually follow through on any of the avenues. There are a number of treatment options available that I haven’t explored in reality but they made sense in theory and yet I have not actually followed through on any method. I haven’t been doing the work needed to bring me to the person I want to be.
Dr. O. says that he isn’t convinced that there is much he can do to help me. He seems frustrated that I haven’t really found a method that appeals and makes a difference for me. He is a psychologist, as opposed to a psychiatrist who could advise me on the meds I take, and relies heavily on relaxation techniques and meditating to overcome the negative thoughts. I have definitely seen the benefits of learning to relax but I also still wake up with knots of anxiety in my stomach, sweating and dreading I am not really sure what. I have actually had two panic attacks in the last week, one I actually blacked out from hyperventilating. It’s scary, especially when you don’t know what the trigger was or why you are panicking.
In my session with Dr. O. today he gave me an assignment this week that I am terrified I won’t complete. He asked me to find something that makes me joyous. He wants me to find something in my life that I can do to take care of myself, to be nice to myself. The goal is to recognize that I deserve the empathy and sympathy that I am so quick to feel for others. I have this depressive mechanism that tells me that I am not good enough for all I deserve. I approach solutions or coping mechanisms with the attitude that it is a great idea for others but it would never work for me. I feel like happiness is something others can attain, but not me. No, never me.
There is this little voice in my head that I have yet to conquer constantly cajoling me into believing that this depressive state I exist in is just me being me. Maybe I expect too much and this is just what it is like after you have had spinal surgery, but another part of me refuses to believe this. My physiotherapist keeps saying that there are dozens of hockey players that have had this same surgery and they are back playing a high contact sport with their fusions.
Which leads me to wonder what is wrong with me and why aren’t I healing. I keep telling myself that I have done my best and done everything I possibly could to promote healing to assuage my guilt but I know deep down that it is not the truth, or at least not the whole truth.
I have haven’t been resting as much as I should.
I have haven’t been exercising as much as I should.
I have haven’t been walking as much as I should.
I have haven’t been supplementing my diet or eating gluten free with regularity.
I have haven’t quit smoking.
I have been lying to myself, and all the while I have been sitting in this ‘woe is me’ mentality that I loathe in others and abhor in myself. While the above statement is true, I am going to try to let go of the negative judgments I make about myself. I am trying to be easier on myself, I am trying to learn to be nice to and take care of myself. I don’t think I have ever really took care of myself. I am great at taking care of others but when it comes to me I don’t take care of myself, and I try not to let others take care of me either. I guess the crux of the issue is that I am trying to treat myself with the same love and compassion that I extend to others.
So with that in mind, I am not going to rage at what I have failed to do recently instead I am going to make a plan to remedy the problems. But what does that mean and where do I start?
I think that one of my main issues may be that I feel like everything needs to change and then I get overwhelmed by the enormity of life changes I have to make. The sheer number of habits, attitudes, routines, thoughts and perceptions that need to be changed is incredibly daunting. I feel like there is more parts of me that I need to change than parts I love. What I mean is there are more traits that I would rather not have than traits that I am proud of.
Actually, that is another thing Dr. O. and I talked about today… My self image. I don’t see myself as a strong person. I feel weak, I act weak. I judge myself so harshly that there is no way I could ever live up to the standards I set for myself. It is no wonder that I feel like a failure when I couldn’t uphold the standards I set, even if I was superwoman. (Which I am so not.)
What is keeping me depressed, outside the obvious situation, is my inability to keep myself motivated for the sense of accomplishment at the end. I feel like there is just a never ending list of things to do and when your to do list is pretty much self-sustaining with new tasks being added all the time it is hard to have any sense of accomplishment. But I am going to try. Instead of focusing on all the things I didn’t do I am going to congratulate myself for the things I did manage to get done.
With that in mind, I had a wildly successful day yesterday! I went to work for four hours and I swept the whole apartment when I got home. (Sweeping is actually really hard when you have a back problem. Next time you sweep, try doing it without moving your lower back, stooping or bending over. You will see what I mean!)
Today I have been successful already… I went to see Dr. O., I went to physio and now I am completing this post. I’d say that is a lot for someone in my condition. I feel good about what I did today……
Now I just need to hold onto that feeling.
xo – S.