I had to go back and read my last entry to remind myself of where I was on my journey.
I was exhausted. Depleted. Demoralized. Defeated. Afraid. Angry. Desperate. Overwhelmed.
At no point has giving up on myself been an option. I am doing absolutely everything I can to feel better. I’ve continued my therapy sessions, I diligently complete the tasks in my workbooks, I take my medications without fail, I reach out to my army as soon as I sense negative thoughts (and with them negative feelings) coming on. Sleep has become a priority, and there has been MUCH improvement thanks to the benzodiazepine I have on hand now, and my less wacky work schedule.
I am giving this everything I’ve got.
And it’s actually working.
I have now gone two weeks without crying, and I have been sleeping at home (for a while, I was staying at my Grandma’s) alone (I’ve also had friends and cousins stay with me at my place).
I have more energy, I am laughing again, I am feeling more like myself again.
During our last session, my therapist told me that she is starting to see my true personality shine through, and that she can tell that I have a great sense of humor and that I love to laugh. Ugh – it’s flooring when strangers notice these things about me! Yes! Laughter is so important to me, I love making others laugh, and I love being around those who make me laugh! What wonderful medicine… welcome back!
One of the people I laugh – and sometimes simply giggle – with is my coworker (now friend) Cheryl. I don’t typically see much of her at work, and when that is the case, we tend to call each other or hang out at the end of the week just to catch up. Last weekend, we went to see her brother-in-law, a local musician, play a benefit show at a brewery on the outskirts of the DFW area. Yesterday afternoon, we were on the phone with each other for over an hour! On both occasions, we laughed and laughed and laughed. We commiserate over work, because we can’t help ourselves, and over all the shit that life continues to throw at us (I won’t reveal her details, but personally, I was the victim of identity theft last week… Joy!). And then we just laugh about it. I was seriously on the verge of tears yesterday! A different kind of tears. 🙂
I already love that lady.
There have been other little things that have been bright points on my journey recently. The hospital radiologist meeting my brother and saying to my brother, “You have an awesome sister,” or something along those lines. The emergency doctors both thanking me for my hard work all throughout the week. Having been able to help my friend Julie with tasks that were insurmountable for her to do on her own (more about that in a later post). Staying at my Grandma’s this weekend not because I needed to, but because she needed me to (my aunt and cousins who usually stay with her were out of town).
It all felt good.
Unfortunately, because life is life, there was also darkness last week. No, not the stupid identity theft (although if that had happened just a couple weeks ago, I may have fallen apart!), but other news. Another mass shooting at a school and a member of our social vegan group being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
There is a common suggestion in the books I have been turning to as I navigate through this bout of mental illness. I have come to expect it, entire chapters or activities dedicated to it. Turn to religion and spirituality, they all say.
Well, I’m atheist. Religion is not my thing. I sometimes wish that I could believe in a god. That would totally make things easier. I get it, I get why people believe.
But it’s not me.
I then saw a post on Pinterest (addicted, by the way) stating that Buddhism is not a religion, but a practice. Hmmmm – this is something I may actually be able to get into. Many pins and two books downloaded onto my Kindle later, I am giving it a go. It may be another piece of the puzzle towards getting better.
I decided to start with one simple task: stop, close your eyes, breathe deeply, focus on someone, send them your love.
My love is being sent to Florida and to a local cancer treatment center.
Peace and blessings, my friends. And love. Thank you for joining me and for your support.