Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Perfect Storm

In the atmosphere of our fair planet, weather systems move around.  They ebb and flow, bringing rain here, sunshine there, snow over yonder.  Sometimes the weather gets testy and a storm develops.  Sometimes, angry weather systems get on a collision course with each other.  And when they collide, Bad Things(tm) happen.

It is often, but inaccurately, called a "weather bomb".  That's the new term meteorologists made up to have it all sound very menacing.

You may have guessed that I am in the process of using analogy to make a point.'d be right.  Recent posts have alluded to my attempts at staving off a Major Depressive Episode (MDE).  It's been nipping at my heels like a starved wolf, trying to get in.  (Ooh, more analogy!  This post is clearly symbolistically overloaded.) (symbolistically - It is so a word!)

Yesterday the weather bomb dropped.  It almost made an audible SPLAT as it hit me.  It was all a collection of little things, mostly, that all accumulated and slammed into each other.  And me.  A bad day at work.  Finding out that something I did wasn't up to standard.  Finding out that it happened several months ago and a couple of people have had a lesser opinion of me ever since...but yet no one told me, or gave me a chance to make it right.  A friend was hurt by something I said in an offhanded way.. and of course I didn't ever mean to hurt anyone's feelings.  Someone I knew years ago, and am not even close to anymore, de-friended me on Facebook.  Valentine's Day was this week..and as we all know.. I'm a bit lonely these days.  There were a couple of other small items that dropped in the Weather Bomb Mix, and before I knew it I was nose-deep in another MDE.

Then the Bad Thoughts came.  The dark and sinister ideations.  The crazy plans to quit my job.  The plans to move someplace else.  All the instant "running away" urges that are, I know deep down someplace that at the moment seems faint and distant, utterly ridiculous.  These urges must be stopped.  Like many jobs, mine is stressful and tough at times... but it's not THAT tough... I have to remember that.

But it's hard.  When the depression is swirling around me like a tornado, it's easy to fall off course.  The bad ideas come roaring in on the disturbed wind and set up shop in my mind before I can say, "what was that"?

It's hard.  I try to remember the CBT techniques I learned.  "STOP the bad thoughts."  I try to remind myself that I am catastrophizing.  I try and repeat over and over again like some pleading mantra, that I am a Good Person.  I have a Good Life.  I Will Make It Through This Period.  And for a few minutes, it works.  Then it all comes roaring back like some other violent weather-related phenomenon.

Oddly, when I started writing this post, I felt shame.  Embarrassment.  I had come so far with my journaling and blogging and enjoying the moral support of my new blogging friends.  How could I have this bad of a backslide?  (I am not fishing for anything here... just admitting the strange emotions that overtake me)

OK, so it's reality check time.  CBT skills ahoy.

  • I am in a temporary state of crisis.  It will not last.
  • I have been journaling for mental health for less than two months.  To expect instant and permanent and lasting success is unrealistic.  This, like any therapy, takes time and work.
  • Bad things happen to good people.  None of the things that happened are permanent, and I have the power to make them better.
  • No one is going to judge me harshly for falling into the pit again.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Shame and embarrassment are unnecessary.
  • It's not my fault, but I can make it better.
  • Amazing that all the self-convincing I have been doing pales in comparison to the therapeutic value of writing this down.  
On the real-and-not-catastrophized down side, it is apparent now that my depression is having an effect on my work.  I thought I had it pretty well under control when it came to my professional life.  In fact I had believed, until yesterday, that work was the ONLY part of my life I had under control and functioning properly.  I need to work on that.  Immediately.  The tricky part of that process is: how much is true.. and how much is my mind playing dirty tricks on me.  the truth lies in the middle, I suspect.

It's a long weekend coming up.  I've got to use it to my advantage and relax, decompress, and heal.

This too shall pass.

1 comment:

  1. Depression does affect a person quite severely in their day to day life and activities.

    And you're right, you can convince yourself yourself, that the rain and the thunder will pass, but while it's there, it's scares you shi*tless. =/.

    Hopefully this episode does pass, and you are able to have a lovely weekend.



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