Sunday, August 14, 2011

Crawling out of the hole...

There are lots of signs of depression and anxiety.  You cycle up and risk things you shouldn't - spending too much, eating too much, lottery tickets, bad choices, drinking, stressing over things you don't need to.  But you never realize you've fallen down the hole until you are looking up from the bottom.

For me, the constant sleeping is my biggest and most telling sign. I love to sleep; when I sleep I am as brave and strong and smart as I wish I could be.  I can travel, work, drive, go out, interact, and even gamble risk free.  I can face down my problems and keep them from overwhelming me.  The dreams lull me into such a false sense of reality that sometimes I'm briefly unsure whether the conversation I had in my dream was real or not.  But while I am sleeping the real world and all the daily things I leave while I'm living in my dreams build up almost to flood proportions, and I find myself stuck in a swamp when I wake because the dams are overflowing.

The most common tell tale sign for me is the half finished projects.  Staying focused and keeping to a goal has always been difficult for me.  Sometimes, guilt and shame keep me from moving forward when I feel I have failed.  But the person I fail the most when that happens is myself.  It has taken me a long time to realize that I am the only person to measure my performance against.  I am the only person I have been making promises to, and when I don't follow through I am the ultimate loser.  And when all those half finished goals sit gathering dust I am trapped in my own chaos again.   The view from down in the hole is pretty limited, and climbing out is aggravating.

Kicking myself in the ass and reminding myself is getting to be a more frequent occurrence.  "You promised yourself you would do this... so do it!  It's not for someone else! It's for yourself"!  And I drag myself out of where ever I have holed up, gather the bits and pieces and get things done.  One step at a time, one nut or bolt, one hole drilled, one bag of garbage out in the bin, one more picture hung on the wall...  One more thing to make my nest my own.  Yes, my own.  For the first time my space isn't in someone else's place, my clothes didn't belong to someone else because I purchased them with my own money for myself, my things are mine and mine alone.  My time is mine, my skills are mine, my choices are made by me and hopefully for me!  Perhaps that has been what I was missing in all the equations...  the realization that it really is mine!  For good or bad,  I am the only one who can choose, and when I let other people push me out because I am afraid, they will take what is mine, use what is mine, use up what is mine... and I don't want that to happen any more.

So now I get to stake a claim on "MINE"... it isn't silver or gold, coal or uranium... potash or diamonds... but I will keep "MINE" and use "MINE" and enjoy "MINE" and do what I need to take care of "MINE"...  No more squatters in my brain, time to show myself more healthy boundaries.

Oh, and I'll have a caffe mocha vodka valium latte to go, please...