Since I have last written, I have made some efforts to care for myself. I had become so overwhelmed with school and work, I got to a point where I couldn't bear another day.You guysgot me through the darkness-I just hope that my experience may help to inspire someone else out there.
I have been diagnosed a low dose ofantidepressant/antianxiety which has made a huge difference but it makes me pretty sleepy. Not that I ever had much energy but this is not the same drained exhaustion.
Patience has been my friend. It was difficult for me to await change, I wanted to be better over night.Now, finally,six months after my emotional summer landslide, I have something to look back and be thankful for:
If I hadn't broken down, who knows if I'd be enjoying my life so much today. I probably would have never begun practicing Bikram Yoga three times a week. I have never been so challenged, so sweaty, and so invigorated in mylife! Ihave significantly built my strength, my energy, and my posture. Every practice is a small achievement of what I can do and every practice is a small gift of healthand quality of life to myself.
I definitely would have never adopted a totally vegetarian, mostly-vegan diet/lifestyle. I have always been a compassionate person andtheUS"farm" factory manufacturing ofmeat and dairyproductsreally breaks my heart. Now I feel confident enough in myself to make the change and ride out the difficult cravings with enough self-discipline. I also feel confident enough to take the stand and speak my mind on the choice and reason. It feels good to do something good for the world- for something more than myself. With my diet choice less animals will have to live and suffer for my meals and the planet will be less polluted. Even iftheloss of one person'sbusiness isinsignificant number in billions of mouths to feed to a giant unethical company,its a matter of life or death significance to hundreds of animals I will never eat. I consider that a positive victory. I can control some good!
I wouldn't be volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans this summer because I would've been way too concerned about leaving work. I realize that I am not helping anyone if I stretch myself too thin. I need to take time for myself to do what I want in order to have a healthy, productive relationship with my work and my school.
Those dark days of uncontrollable emotion, panic, and anxiety were a product of biology mixed with years and years of not listening to what I needed. My mind finally screamed at me loud enough that I couldn't ignore it. As a result, I am healthier, more confident, and happier than I have ever been. Even happier than my first uphill battle with depression when I was cutting and deeply suicidal!! The most important lesson is to continue to take care of myself, even if everything is great. Life will never be easy for me as long as I have depression. For the rest of my life I will have to work to continue to keep my happiness in check and maintain my ability to take care of myself.
My message to my fellow depression tribe readers: whatever you're going through, hang in there. Religious or not, there is a reason you are going through this pain right now. Find the faith in yourself, in your higher power, accept that there is only so much you can do. But what you can do, along with whatever the purpose of this pain, will have a tremendous outcome to brighter days. Believe in yourself. You're worth it!