Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Other Side of Everything

I am standing in a line, dressed in white; waiting. The room is hot. The scent of incence is soft in my nostrils. I'm underwhelmed by the solemnity which I am supposed to be feeling. Behind me, there is the heavy breathing of a person struggling to walk.  And I realise that if life hadn't turned the way it has, I could well be in the same situation.

Hell Week is nearly at an end, I have made all of my commitments, enjoyed most of them, participated with gusto for the most part and now see that I can rest soon. Well, at least relax in the knowledge I don't need to be anywhere in the evening for a while.

The meltdown of last Friday has also sent ripples into life, providing different perspectives and challenging insights. As much as I hate knowing I suffer from periods of mild depression, I'm almost grateful for the chance it gives me to look at things in my life, and make some changes. Nipping it all in the bud early just means that things get to move a bit quicker. I'm also glad, so glad, I've taken the alternative route for dealing with this. Counsellors, psychologists, dream group all keep things in check. I don't think I'd get anywhere if I was medicated - not that I am critical of anybody who takes this path - I've just fallen into the other side of depression treatment - ant thankfully it works for me.

These insights really started kicking in when I was at my mason's meeting, listining to the person behind me heavy breathing, knowing she was to be barely able to stand for the time required - I started to fret. Was I ever like that? What that what life was going to be like for me in twenty years if I hadn't remedied some of the symptoms and causes? There are a few in the group who are as large, if not larger than I was a few years back. I watch them struggle. I feel their pain - and then count my blessings.

Following the meeting was supper. I try not to stay for supper at these meetings, but there are times when it's unavoidable - like it was on Monday. Supper is lethal. I'm not great around food late at night as I really do have no willpower late in the evening. They put asparagus rolls, the best home made vanilla slice in the world, plates of backlava and curried egg sandwiches in front of me at ten pm - all of my favorite things - and I just hoe in like it's my last meal. Rather than get depressed about what was eaten, I'm learning to just schedule in another run and eat properly for the next week. I no longer get angry with myself when this happens, which now is not that often. Live and deal - it's taken me forty years to get to this. So much better than being angry with myself.

Other insights are flowing - a little harder to fix than getting angry when I overeat late at night. Things I don't know how to fix. Like how to fix being alone? What to do about work? What to do about the fact that friends are morphing and changing?

One thing I do know is that I never make firm decisions when I'm coming out of these cycles. I caught myself thinking, "Gee, why not go internet dating again? What would I put in my profile? "Young 41-year-old, emotionally crippled over acheiver seeks similar"? "Running girl, sick of running away, seeks a stable rock to hide under"? "Nice man wanted for cuddles and more. Players, mummies boys, co-dependents and ferals need not apply"? After a few minutes of pointless pondering, I got rid of this thought very quickly - don't make any rash actions in the time around these cycles. (My forays into internet dating are for another blog - depressive spirals are not the time to hash over the joys of the aforesaid mummies boys, co-dependents, ferals, bogans and the eponymous Boring Richards.)

I just know that things are coming good. The sound sensitivity is fading. I'm smiling more, talking more, getting back into life.

Card of the Blog: The Sun: Freedom, self expression, life force, clarity, optimism.

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Kilometres walked since 29 January: 143 km
Kilometres run since 29 January: 84 km
Currently reading: Celebrity by Andrew O'Hagan, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes
Weight lost since 29 Jan: 1.6 kg


Kath Lockett said...

As someone who also suffers from depression but for whom the medication does work, I really admire you.

You may not know it when you're in the 'cycle' but even the smallest observations about the woman finding it hard to stand behind you can be enough. A decent curried egg sandwich - even if eaten way past your bedtime - might also be enough to make you smile and realise again that willpower isn't always everything.

Keep running, keep thinking, keep searching. Go back online if you think you need to; but don't kick yourself too hard, okay?

Pandora Behr said...

The smiles are coming more frequent. Reindert is back in Australia next week - my manager said he hadn't seen me look so happy in ages. Thanks for the support - the worst is over. I'm rather enjoying being nice to myself too.