For the past week I have been working very hard at forgetting how great it is to be alive. I'm sorry to say I've been doing a fine job at that (if nothing else). Letting myself fall into old, damaging thought patterns and behaviors and generally frothing into a lather about why am I going downhill and how much I despise myself and my loser-ishness.
At the same time I have to admit to trying to turn that around (not a great success there).
It is NOT easy!
Anyone who has experienced Depression or depression knows that the one thing you cannot do is 'just snap out of it'. That's like saying to someone who fell into a 12 foot deep hole, hey, just jump on outtta there! Sure. No problem. IF YOU'RE SUPERMAN!
Let's clear it up: I'm not Superman.
I also doubt that Superman is reading this. (If I'm wrong about that, please let me know - and I'll start taking anti-psychotics, pronto!)
I've been trying all the little tricks I've worked up over the past 2 1/2 years, to only the mildest of success. But as noted one post below, I was getting the Drama Queen to leave... slowly. However, all my little feel better, stay healthy tricks (mostly talking to myself and remembering how much better I've felt in the past two years as compared to everything before that) weren't doing the magic they had been. Used to be I would just remember the night of my epiphany and I'd feel better - *ping* just like that! I got too complacent I guess. Keeping demons at bay is a job that does not allow for complacency.
(Okay, okay, I'm not Buffy either, but I'm closer to that than Superman... you know... we're both female at least.)
Seriously though, I always knew that just taking Zoloft wasn't going to make everything perfect... well... I wished it would, but I knew it couldn't be happy happy joy joy all the time. (sorry... couldn't resist) But considering how I felt before I started the medication it may as well have been happy happy all the time. It makes it a little harder when the bad thoughts hit ... because of the fear of not being able to get back to the 'happy place'.
Something I did forget in my past week swimming in the slough of despond was the kindness of strangers. And this from the kooky goofball who found hope through a total stranger. Go figure. I guess complacency and forgetfulness are human nature.
This afternoon I had a reminder of the impact thoughtfulness, total unadulterated kindness, can have.
A very sweet gesture from the charming Bella. I hope she doesn't mind the plug - she's getting it regardless.
She sent me a song! She picked perfectly too. It's Nellie McKay's The Dog Song and I wish there was a way I could upload it here for you all to hear... but I think that might be sorta illegal. Hmmm. Okay so I won't. But I'll tell you, it seems to me that ol' Nellie wrote this about me and my dog... of course in the song she walks her dog and my guy won't do the walking thing.... but still! The song, and far more so, the gesture from out of the blogosphere... very, VERY potent reminders of how lucky I am to be alive and how much I want to BE alive (and happy). And yeah, I've been there, done that. I'm not going to entertain my dark thoughts any more. Pushing them away may not keep them away, but this life is MY party and they are gatecrashing and will not be tolerated.
Oh I sound so tough, huh?
Catch me going through a box of Puffs like they were potato chips then tell me how tough I am!
But I feel like the despair is lifting - because I remember who I've become over the last two years. I like her, and I don't want that other me to come back (ssssh... don't say anything, but that other me? She's a big nut and a pain in the ass - she's SOO not invited to my party!)
Okay so am I miraculously 'cured' through the kindness of strangers? Of course it's not that simplistic. But do I feel immensely better? YES. Do I feel hopeful again? YES. Will I be back in happy land soon? Damned well better be YES.
I write this not only as an update for anyone who might be 'concerned' about my mental state, but also as a validation of the power we have to help each other. There is no way that Bella could have known how much that little song would help - unless she's a psychic (are you Bella?). But just imagine the enormous effects we can have on each other without even realizing it. You can do or say some little thing to someone and seriously turn things around for them. Let's hope in a positive way, of course. Think of the power in that! That's a power we ALL have. We don't always know it because we tend not to tell each other how much we mean to each other, or in the case of a stranger, or someone we barely know, you might never have the opportunity to tell them what they did for you.
I'm a firm believer in letting people know. Even if it comes out all mushy and nutty... and I have a strong feeling there are some people who do wonder just how nutty I am because of this... but that's another story. Because I think we all need to know how important we are, and how much power we have simply by being alive.
It's something I need to remind myself of as well.
So once again, a huge THANK YOU to Bella, the bold and brilliant for the generous reminder of how wonderful life is.
**Sadly the Drama Queen still has a key, but I'm working on getting the locks changed.