I think a good sign of my current level of health is that today I had a really bad day, and I know that tomorrow will be different, and I could recognize unhealthy patterns today that in the past felt just normal, or felt like I had no control of.
Last night I remembered that since my therapist closed her city office, I would have to figure out the bus schedule to get to her suburban office for my appointment today. When I looked it up I learned there was no bus that went there. I planned to take a cab but realized it would cost $50 so I decided to rent a car. I was at the car rental office this morning and couldn't rent the car because I didn't have the $200 available on my credit card (the sad irony is I have a ton of money right now.) I called and left a message while the car rental people sweetly drove me home, and then collapsed on my couch and felt like shit.
I felt like a complete loser, not just disappointed, but like the most irresponsible person in the world. Dr. T noticed this behavior once when I was late for an appointment, so I was able to recognize that this behavior, and response, was not a healthy one, and although I didn't do much to change it, I was at least able to recognize the feelings as not reasonable, instead of thinking I deserve to feel that way.
I spent most of the day sleeping and eating, my house is TRASHED (partly because I have the bathroom taped for painting, so everything is in the livingroom) I know that I was making unhealthy choices by staying in the house and sleeping. It would have been healthier to go for a bike ride, eat only healthy things, and maybe to have called a friend or wrote a blog post about how I was feeling. I didn't do those things, but I recognize that what I was doing was part of an unhealthy pattern, not misery outside of my control.
And for the last of my unhealthy behaviors, I have stayed up late watching TV. I could recognize myself cumpulsively continuing to watch, when I so clearly wanted to sleep. Years ago I would stay up late like this, stewing in my own discomfort, and not see it as contributing to my depression.
I will now go to bed, knowing today was a bad day. Today was not a gloomy sign that the depression is back and I should just submit, because I have no control, I had a bad day, I made some mistakes in my choices, and tomorrow I get to start fresh.
My thinking has really been reprogrammed from therapy. Therapy works. It is not sick people who go to therapy, it is sick people who choose to remain sick. Healthy people go to therapy, they are the ones who are willing to change. I was willing to listen to my therapist when she pointed out errors in my thinking. It would be easy to say "you just don't understand how hard it is to live my life, to be me" or to proudly act like "I know what I'm doing", keeping my thinking patterns just to be stubborn, but I submitted as much as I could, becuase I trust and like her, and because when I started I knew my life depended on it, (a year ago suicide was still a secretly attractive idea to me.)
I have come very far, and I am very proud of myself. I am obviously not perfect, look at me, I made some irresponsible choices in planning for this appointment, and in how I reacted to the dissappointment, but my expectation of myself isn't perfection anymore. And I have fallen down and made some mistakes, but I am just going to learn from them and move on now, unlike before, when I would be so mean in how I would think about myself, I would beat myself up, but not anymore.
Anyone who just started reading my blog recently, look at the beginning of it (april 05 I think) I read it and see a completely different person. If you are reading this you might be a person who has issues with depression or another chemical imbalance, I can tell you, don't give up hope! Keep going, GO TO THERAPY and take your medication. Make tiny changes for the better and be proud of yourself. Make good choices, and remember you are always making choices. Don't expect things to get better right away, but know that if you keep working they will get better. Treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated, with KINDNESS AND LOVE. STOP hating yourself!!! It will work. I promise it will work.
Now, having made the healthy choice of writing about my feelings, I feel better! I wish I had done this earlier today! Oh well, there is a lesson for next time, I forgive myself!