I’ve made a pact with myself to have no New Years resolutions for 2008. Which that in itself is a resolution, of sorts. If you want to get technical.
I set myself up for failure each January when I vow to: a) get in shape, or “find my waistline” b) get my house in order, and c) get involved in a Bible Study and stick with it. There are usually more, but those are the top 3.
I’ve been reflecting quite a bit about this last year, and what I’d like to see myself accomplish in 2008. And it comes down to this.
I want to be happy in my skin. Where I am. That’s all.
And that, my friends, has been a hard lesson this year.
I was sitting in my gynecologists office earlier this year for the annual scraping of the cervix. I’ve been with her through 3 births, so she is acutely aware of many of my “issues.” She was asking me how I was doing. Pre-exam, of course. While I was still in possession of my clothes. And dignity. I talked to her about my ongoing relationship with depression.
I’ll pause here to say that I’ve really never talked about this before. In a serious manner. And while I’ve never been officially diagnosed with “depression”, it’s something I’ve dealt with most all of my life. My mother did as well. It seemed to really reach a fever pitch after Emme’s birth. This was also only a few months after my mother’s unexpected death. So, to say that I wasn’t dealing with life well, was an understatement.
This was a time when I should have sought help, but was too afraid, and proud, to speak up. I just prayed that it would pass. Eventually, it did. Depression, or the blues, or whatever you want to label it, has a way of ebbing and flowing.
So, sitting there in my doctor’s office, talking about my feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, and general all around crappy feeling (a medical term) I also had pangs of guilt. At this time in my life, if you look at it on paper, I have absolutely no reason to be depressed.
Which made me feel worse.
My doctor talked to me about counseling, drug therapy, and exercise. Pffft. Exercise. Whatever. And in the back of my mind, I remembered reading how exercise releases endorphins which are mood elevators. Plus it helps with all the hormonal upheaval. Blah, blah, blah.
But, a funny thing about depression is that when you’re in the throws of it, the last thing you want to do is ask for help. Much less sweat. On purpose. It was a fluke that I was even discussing it with my doctor.
She highly advised that I begin exercising, and if that didn’t work, seek out a licensed therapist. As a last resort, she wrote me out a prescription for an antidepressant and even gave me a sample. Wrapped in an unobtrusive little brown paper bag. I assured her that I wasn’t going to rush into taking the drugs without exhausting all other measures.
I wanted to pop a pill the minute I got in the car. I mean, don’t we all want a “quick fix.” Drive thru therapy? A magic pill that makes us feel better? Even better, a pill that will help us lose 14 pounds of unwanted fat. In two weeks!
Just exactly who is the sucker?
I stashed the pills and prescription on a way up high shelf and mulled over my options for a few days. Then Fiddledaddy looked up the medication online to see what the side affects were. Possible side affects include weight gain, nausea, vomiting, and in some cases, can lead to suicide.
That’s going in the wrong direction. I got rid of the samples and the prescription. And waited. Waited until the depression did the ebb and flow business and I had a moment or two of clarity.
That’s when I started getting up at dark thirty to be at the gym by 5:15 am. I’m fortunate in that I’m not doing it alone. I wouldn’t do it alone. I meet up with my 3 SILs’ and 2 adult nieces and we work out for an hour. Four days a week. Sometimes it’s just Trish and me. Sometimes it’s all 6 of us.
And it’s working. I’m feeling stronger every day. Not just physically, but mentally. A few of you have asked me about the DVD series we’re using. I want to go into more depth about that later in the week.
All this to say, I know that more than a few of you are dealing with depression, the blues, the blahs, whatever. You’re not alone. I know different therapies work for different situations. Medication has worked for many. Under a physicians STRICT supervision, of course. Therapy or physical exercise is another great source of help. Just talking to a friend can also be so very healing.
And then there’s blogging. Which has done wonders for me.
And a whole lot of prayer. That mostly began with, “Oh dear God, help me.”
As this year draws to a close, I will vow to begin the New Year just taking one step after the other. Going forward, instead of looking back. Seeking the humor, and getting comfy in the wrinkly skin I’m in.
I believe it was Scarlett who said, and I paraphrase, “Fiddledeedee. Tomorrow is another day.”
Life is a journey. I’m awfully glad to be on it with you all, my blogging friends.
Have a happy and blessed New Year!