A few months ago I told my therapist "I am worried I might be falling into another depression" expecting her to be as concerned as I was about it. Instead she said "Your probably going to heve to pay attention to that your whole life" CRAP!
I guess depression is like weight loss. You don't get to go on a diet, lose 25 pounds and then go back to eating like you did, you have to watch what you eat and be active forever to keep the weight off. So my depression is like that too. I have to take my medication, excercise and eat right, go to bed at a reasonable time, be social, think in a healthy way and stop myself when I start thinking self-hating thoughts, and avoid triggers.
I have screwed up on two of those this week. The other night I spent 2 hours reading a profoundly sick girl going crazy on some random person's website. It was really facinating, the way watching serial killer documentaries is facinating, but I shoudn't have done it. Staying up late to read a website is bad enough as it is, expecially when I had an early show in the morning, but reading something like that is what a therapist would call "a trigger."
I am blessed with strong sensitivity and empathy. This is something that will make me a good parent and a good friend. Unfortunately, however, it, if not tempered with strong boundaries, makes me really vulnerable around sick people. I have the ablilty to feel another's pain, and I am good at imagining myself in another's shoes, but when someone's brain is really twisted you should not put yourself in their shoes, becuase your brain will feel twisted too.
I learned this lesson already, twice. 5 years ago one of the things that pushed me into my suicidal depression was pro-anorexia websites I spent hours visiting. Reading this girl's crazy rants seemed like innocent entertainment at the time, but for an hour or so after reading them I felt sort of paranoid and vulnerable. I felt so aware that predators like her are all over the internet. It was scary to imagine that someone like her could be reading my blog, so I felt like I didn't want to post anymore!
I am over the whole "scared of the internet psychos" phase, but the repercussions of staying up so late are still here. I ended up staying up late last night too, and I woke up this morning (if you want to call it "morning") and feel sluggish and lazy. I need to pull myself together, hit the gym, do some cleaning, and eat better foods.
Thats whats pissing me off too. I am SO TIRED of paying such close attention to what I eat! After starting the Risperdal I am the same weight as I was before i started it, but I am so much more cautious about my eating now. I wish I could see some rewards for my good habits instead of just not-gaining. (And yes- Risperdal has been worth every pound- generalized anxiety disorder feels like a noisy tape player is playing the same shit in your head at all times, not letting you think of anything else- the weight gain is so worth it)
I have come very far. Besides a messy room and a lazy streak I am not much different than the average college-dropout, which is saying a lot comparing myself to the girl who wanted to kill herself because she couldn't get a college degree. I'm not the person I want to be yet, but isn't that what life is all about? Trying to become a better person?
Okay, enough laying in bed navel-gazing. Lets get to the gym!
--Oh and side note...this is a lesson to me, if I persue a degree in Psychology, I have to remember I am not cut out to be a therapist (to adults anyway) Can you imagine me trying to treat the crazy girl from the website? I would be a mess!