It has been a week since I let the ugly truth out about my depression. I have learned through out this process that depression is a roller coaster. Sometimes, it makes me feel bi-polar and I say that in the most light hearted way possible. I am not bi-polar, however, the good moments come and go and the bad moments make their appearances as well. I never know when its going to happen it just does - and I am just along for the ride. With that being said...I have decided I am going to write more frequent, shorter posts going forward. I want you to come along this journey with me both for myself and for you. I want to share with you what works for me and show you that its possible. That life will and can go on after this. My goal is to prove that to you, and to myself.
So what has the last week been like for me? First of all, it was so beneficial for me to put my feelings out there. Whether it was seen by 2 or 500 people, it was good for me to let everyone know where I truly stand. It was the beginning of my "quest for happiness". So this last week I set some goals for myself and I made sure that I stuck to those goals. They were not out of line and they weren't running out and saving the world. They were simple.
Wake up at 8AM
Drink Coffee and EAT BREAKFAST!!!
10AM GYM - NO EXCUSES
12PM - EAT LUNCH
Rest of the day - whatever the hell I damn well please which usually consisted of my daily errands and some work here and there
Right now, my focus is not on my work. It is on me, myself and I. Having those simple goals every morning, set a mood every day. There were 2 days specifically that I wanted to stay in bed and not do anything. I wanted to stay in my warm cozy bed and watch TV all day with my door shut. I was cold, in pain, and tired. I knew I would have those days and I questioned if my depression would stand in front of me. I made the decision ahead of time that I wasn't going to allow that to happen. I have also been texting a good friend of mine, who I met in my support group, every day. Danae, Thank you. Thank you for being who you are to me on this journey. It is people like you who inspire, motivate, and encourage others. It was such a simple thing to do, and I have thought of our texts every day. I didn't want to send Danae a text saying...bad day...didn't work out. I wanted to send Danae a text that said...Felt like shit today but worked out anyways, I feel better now. And so I did. I made sure every day she checked in, or that I checked in, that I was sticking to MY goals. Danae read my blog last week and told me we would check in every day together to push each other. We have done just that and I recommend you do the same. I can tell you it has been that extra little push I needed each day.
Aside from the gym, I started Acupuncture again. I also started doing some pressure point massage through my acupuncturist. I started taking a supplement called Intramax which is an amazing liquid supplement. Instead of going on antidepressants, I chose to take the more holistic route, though I am taking 5htp which is a natural mood enhancing supplement. As I learn more about these different options, I will share them with you. None of these are overnight fixes - its a process - one that I believe in and will continue to pursue.
One thing that I am working on is this. I am trying to go back to some of my old habits pre-cancer. I made this decision so that I could get a little piece of Jen back. That meant joining the gym I was at before cancer and start taking the classes I took pre-cancer. I am focusing on remembering what made me happy before I was diagnosed and I am going to do everything I can to bring those things back in to my life. I think it is so easy to lose yourself in the fog of cancer and to allow it to define you in some way. I decided I needed to rediscover those little "things" that I used to do that brought me joy - like when I did the "bird pose" for the first time in my gym class. Those simple "things". They made me happy. They made me feel good about myself and so I will strive to find those little things again.
I feel slightly better. Doing things for myself, sticking to a simple schedule, and reaching out to those who understand what I am experiencing has been very beneficial for me this last week. Meditation and breathing as gotten me through those moments of anxiety. Sure, I have still had my breakdowns, but I don't feel so lost right now. As much as I would never wish any of this on anyone...I was happy to see the outpouring of support from my readers. Your comments, emails, and posts on facebook truly mean the world to me. I received emails from people, totally unrelated to cancer, but in relation to depression, offering their advice. It really does mean everything to me. I felt so alone last week...alienated. It was YOU, my readers, who made me realize I am not alone, who inspired me to try different things to cope with this, and who have reminded me that there is an end to this. I believe that now.