Monday, July 25, 2011


I'm still not entirely sure what that means (and I really am sorry about that, but seriously: RESEARCHING DEPRESSION IS DEPRESSING), but hey, why in the world should that stop me? This is, after all, my blog.

A few days ago, I had the chance to explain to a very dear friend of mine that I seem to be doing so well right now because I really am doing so well right now, and I really am doing so well right now because I am taking excellent emotional care of myself right now. It's not even a little bit easy to be fucking ecstatic every single day, but I am letting myself be tired -- and, when I'm tired, I back off and, you know, rest. I'm still 100% sober, so I very rarely put myself in situations where I would be tempted to drink.

And so on and so on and so forth.

*** I know I keep saying this (actually, I just said it a few seconds ago), but the whole "choosing to be happy" thing is not easy, but I am clearly doing a great job of it. Which is perhaps best exemplified at, well, my job, where coworkers (one of whom is my manager) have said things like this to me since I've been back from group:
   "You have a great attitude that's helping the store environment."
   "Well, I mean, there's actually a pretty good chance that the general improvement of morale at the store has a lot to do with you being back."
    "You have been so bright, shiny & new since you came back! I love the positive attitude & your customer connections."

*** Obviously, this blog is hugely helpful. Instead of just feeling my feelings and hoping for the best, I am talking about my feelings. That makes it so much easier to deal with them when they're less than pleasant. Especially considering all of the positive feedback I've received so far. People really seem to think this is an awesome idea.

*** As I said, I'm still 100% sober.
   There are occasionally moments where I think "You know, I could potentially keep this up indefinitely (as long as all the vodka in the world evaporated right now)." There are also moments where I think "Oh my God, he's still talking. Oh my God, he's still talking. Oh my God, HE'S STILL TALKING AND HE STILL HASN'T ACTUALLY SAID ANYTHING. I need a fucking drink." Mostly, though, there are moments where I think about how nice it would be to go out with Kristine and Sarah and Tuesday (or whoever, but those three pop into my head the most consistently) and eat a lot of Mexican food and have a margarita and/or some Dos Equis.
    The thing is, even though I made it through group and I'd personally be okay with drinking again, I'm going to stick it out for a while longer (not really sure exactly how long -- three months is coming up, and after that it's just ten days to 100, and after that it's just eleven days to 111, and I've always liked palindromes) because it just feels so great to know that whatever I'm feeling is nothing more and nothing less than exactly what I'm feeling. Which means that, if I feel something I don't like, I can change it. Whereas, before, my response to feeling something I didn't like would've been, "Let's drink until we can't feel feelings anymore!"

*** Another thing I'm not doing right now is dating. There are two reasons, one of which is that . . . well, it's like this: I've seen the future, and I'm gonna be fine when I do start dating again. There were things I did in the past, very very stupid things, that I won't do anymore because I know I'm stronger than Depression now. But I've been suffering from depression for a lot longer than I've been dealing with it, and I'd like to be able to look at just a little bit of the PAST and honestly say, "Oh hey, you know, yeah, I'm exponentially more level-headed now. We can totally date. I'll be fine (even if you do eventually start to, gasp, act like a boy). OH, AND ALSO, YOU'RE LUCKY TO HAVE ME 'CAUSE I'M FUCKING AWESOME."
   It'll happen when it happens, y'all.

*** When customers ask me where I've been, I tell them I had to take some time off to deal with family issues. Which isn't the complete truth, obviously, but it is also not, in any way, a lie.

*** I've gotten into this habit of doing 250 pushups a day. And also a varying number of situps. (I have embarrassing workout music. I'm not going to tell you what it is.)
   Because, you know, Depression thinks I'm fat.

*** According to Wikipedia, there are seven "elements of recovery," one of which, self, is defined as: "Recovery of a durable sense of self (if it had been lost or taken away) has been proposed as an important element. A research review suggested that people sometimes achieve this by "positive withdrawal"—regulating social involvement and negotiating public space in order to only move towards others in a way that feels safe yet meaningful; and nurturing personal psychological space that allows room for developing understanding and a broad sense of self, interests, spirituality, etc. It was suggested that the process is usually greatly facilitated by experiences of interpersonal acceptance, mutuality, and a sense of social belonging; and is often challenging in the face of the typical barrage of overt and covert negative messages that come from the broader social context."
   Clearly, I've pretty much got this down.

*** One thing I've been doing a lot is listening to music that encourages me in some way or another. There's one song (which I discovered during music therapy at group) that, possibly, encourages me more than any other.
   That song is this song:

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