Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Depression Confession

You know what totally stinks? Figuring out you're not perfect. See, I had this whole idea that if I started this journey of digging myself out from underneath a landslide of grief, sadness, over-whelm-ed-ness (yes, I make up words) and lost-ed-ness, I would immdiately get a job, lose 30 pounds, never eat another bad thing for me, run 18 miles a day and meet a great guy. "When you name it, you claim it." So there I was in my apartment, day five into doing anything and everything I can to get out of this damn funk and... I was still chunky. No guy knocked at my door. I ate garlic bread... a lot of it. There might of been chocolate too, but that memory is unclear - DUE TO ALL THE WINE I DRANK. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME? Oh, yeah... I'm not perfect.

Everytime I set myself up for perfection, I fail, beat myself up and where does that lead... THAT LEADS TO BED. And not in a sexy way.

I had the best example for perfection growing up. My Mom. She held down a full time job, went to Church twice a week, did everything in the house that needed to be done, volunteered endlessly (she used to take a blind woman for ice skating lessons - can you spell SAINT?) She could be freaking out at us for something we didn't do two seconds before we walked into a party but the second we walked through the door, the pagent smile came on, then the wave. It was like she flipped a switch, "EVERY THING IN MY LIFE IS PERFECT." But it wasn't perfect. She lost her own Mom to cancer at 19, my Dad had spent at least 20 years of my life sick - he had a heart transplant and years later a kidney transplant, my cousin Michael died when I was fourteen and David died just two years ago. But she was perfect. I can't remember her crying through any of it.

But that didn't last for long. My mother... and I'm really not trying to be flip here... literally, blew a gasket in December. All that perfect, all that stored up, pent up emotion exploded just days after Christmas. We took her to the hospital. We debated committing her. She was babbling all her family secrets because in her nervous breakdown state, there was no edit button. I said to my sister after: "She has spent our whole lives keeping all that in. And now, in ten minutes... it's out." Amazing. It made me sad to know she has been holding down the pain all along, all alone.

So here I am. I'm not perfect. And I AM TRYING SO HARD TO GET TO A PLACE WHERE I'M OKAY ABOUT THAT. If I harness all the time I try to be perfect and x (times it) by the time I beat myself up for not being perfect, that equals A LOT OF TIME where I could be doing something sooooo much better. Like blogging. Like reading the sweet replies people send me to let me know they are digging my journey. Ooo, and for cup cakes. Okay, maybe not cup cakes... a bath. A bath with no negative, beat-me-up dialogue going through my head. Because hey, I'm not perfect so why would I waste my time on that?


Anonymous said...

Progress, not perfection. That's what my therapist says. I literally have to tell that negative, harpy voice in my head to shut up -- I catch it and make it says something nice to me. After a while it really helps. Hang in there, lady.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and I love it! I'm currently over coming depression myself and it is so comforting to know other people have similar struggles.

It's difficult to reprogram your mind and know that its okay to be imperfect. In today's society, everyone wants to be the best. We're constantly striving for more. It's nice to slow down and remember that no one is perfect. Including ourselves. It's an ideal that cannot be attained. Why beat yourself up about something you can never reach?
Oh, and I read through your other entries, and I'm just curious to know what are your ultimate goals? I know how your life was before, and I can imagine the things you want to restore- but what are the specific goals you hope to accomplish? Work, love interest, hobbies?

I think you're doing great on your journey. I look forwrd to reading about your progress. <3

Anonymous said...

I smiled reading your blog. Like you, I lost my job, my boyfriend, rejected by grad school and had a health scare in a span of 8 weeks. After lots of crying, eating, and too many bad episodes of "Tyra", I realized that I needed to take care of myself and slow down. The essence is to live for the moment and not become obsessed over the future. This was totally 'freeing'. I've been a runner since grade school and programmed to measure distance/splits/personal records. Today, I skip the treadmill and opt to run outdoors so I enjoy the autumn breeze. The upside of falling into depression or dealing with any disappointment is that there is nowhere to go but up. A return to the 'simple things'. Thank you for your wit and sense of humor.

Bex said...

Wow. Someone put a link to your blog on craigslist and I found it (somehow). I will say that I am really enjoying reading it. It's well written and meaningful to me. I do have a question that without the answer I'm not sure I'll sleep tonight...who is David? You said that he died two years later but I cannot figure out who he was.

Answer me here or on my blog

I've been depressed before and have an impressive ass myself, so I feel you. Keep writing. You're good at it. Bex

adventure grrl said...

Bex, Thanks for writing in (and I sure hope you did sleep). David is my cousin and he was killed in... a tragic accident is the best way I can put it. I will blog about it very soon. Today is his two year anniversary and I'm thinking I'm gonna be kind to myself and maybe NOT GO THERE today with the details. We'll see! I'm trying to break the stigma of depression so feel free to send the link to some girls so WE CAN DO IT TOGETHER!!! :)

adventure grrl said...

To the Amazing Anonymous Poster Who Is Looking Deep Into My Soul,
You asked what specific goals I hoped to accomplish. Hmmmm... hmmm. A topic that stumps me is so intriguing, I think I will have to blog about it. Thanks for blowing my mind. Answering that question is definitely going to be the key that guides this journey. :)

Anonymous said...

Today I searched the internet in desperation.. I have slipped into a state of depression I'm afraid I may not be able to recover from.
It's a 7 year long sad story that got me here.. 2000 my wonderful husband of 5 years had a massive stroke which left him partially paralyzed.. I retired early from my dream job to care for him.. It wasn't long before I realized I wasn't equiped to take care of him.. I went back to work another job making half of what I had been making.. In the meantime my husbands business partner had run his company into the ground. I had to use my life's savings to liquidate. I had to put my husband into an assisted care living facility. 2 years this Christmas he was diagnosed with cancer.
April 2006 he passed away with me by his side.. i lost my job due to layoff this June.. I spend my days surfing the internet looking for a way out of the lonely life.. Somedays I accomplish things.. But most of the time I continue to ask myself over and over again "what's wrong with me?" How do I start digging myself out of this hole??

adventure grrl said...

Dear Anonymous, I am so sorry for your loss. After my cousin died, I went to Compassionate Friends and I know my aunt and uncle joined support groups, too. You have gone through so much and you deserve a shoulder to lean on. I swore after my cousin died, with everything piled on top, I would never be a happy person again... but now I see that isn't true. I hope I can throw you my little glimmer of hope and it will guide you to summon the courage to ask for help. It's out there. xo