31 January 2011

A Comment on Recovery

"Depression Hurts...Cymbalta can help" I hate those terrible advertisements for anti-depressants that tell me that I will feel better when someone prescribes me some "magic pill" that will make everything ok again.  

I'm recovering from a bout of Depression that has pretty much made me have to start over in the "happiness" department.  Until I started working on this...I couldn't remember what it felt like to be happy.  So here we are...one day at a time.  

I hate being on medication...but I take it.  I'm currently displeased with it because I'm taking 225 mg of something that I didn't feel was helping: I still can't get out of bed in the mornings, I still have a fair bit of apathy about life in general (especially fun), and my eating habits are pretty out-of-whack.  

Well this weekend I discovered that it really works...I spent 2 days of my weekend trying to hide crying fits for no reason.  Nothing serious had happened, I was running late, or someone had decided not to come out with us for a mutual friends birthday, and I would try to hide the tears and go to the bathroom so that no one would see me crumple.  "What's wrong with me?" I would sob to a girlfriend, "Its not even that serious, I just can't help but cry" 
I unpack my things after coming back home (I was in Columbus for the weekend) and there are my pills, untouched in the bag all weekend...I hadn't taken them for 2 straight days...oops.  Well at least I know they work a little bit.  
But in those 2 days of randomly unexplained crying fits of Depression I noticed a few things that I think are worth noting...because really they're HUGE in the grand scheme of things. 

1. I could distract myself and find something to smile about.  
I remember the days when I was so depressed a puppy, a kitty, and a double rainbow couldn't make me feel better.  But a few deep breaths and I could put on a fake smile and eventually find something that gave me a real one.  That's right...I had been crying for no reason...and then I smiled...without medication...there is light at the end of the tunnel.  

2. I relapse like nobody's business.  
When I'm depressed my brain immediately goes back to destructive behaviors that I had when I was in a full-fledged I don't want to live depression.  I want to call the same people, do the same things, and hurt myself (mostly emotionally) in the same ways.  

3. Richard from Texas was right.
I just finished "reading" (it was a book on CD) Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat. Pray. Love.  Where she says 
"A Soul mates' purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, and make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life."   
 Well, Richard from Texas continues on this thought with the fact that a soul mate does this for you...leads you to the point you're supposed to be...and then...they leave.  In Liz Gilbert's case they're talking about the man whom she learned about her Guru from.  In my case, we're talking about the person that proved that I really could love like they do in the movies: passionately, with everything I have, to the point that you're desperate and have to change your life; and in both cases, you can't go back to them.  That chapter of her life, and that chapter of my life are both closed.  

And there it is: acceptance.  I've had to do a lot of that during recovery: accept that its ok for me to be happy, accept that if people don't want to help me be happy then I can't keep them in my life, accept that some things in life can't last forever, and accept and relish in the fact that I AM in recovery.  And that its all been and will be...worth it in the end.  

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