Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Mental Malaise (I'm so Blue-ue-ue-ue-ue!)
These days, I have to admit, I am a very blue berry. I had several days in a row last week that were the epitome of ennui and a couple evenings that bordered on downright depressed. It was amazing to me how quickly my mind and emotions fell into old depressed habits. I fought with my husband. I cried for no reason. I yelled at my kids. And the thoughts were back. Over and over, "You're a failure. Nothing you do will ever matter or make difference. Everybody thinks you're stupid. They're laughing at you all the time. You can't fix any of it. It's pointless. You might as well give up. Suicide is always an option . . ."
I was fitful and restless and moody. I hated it.
Sunday morning I purposefully said to myself, "You can go either way here. You can choose to figure out what's bringing you down and change it. Or you can choose to deteriorate. What are you going to do?" It was a strange moment of clarity in which I was either channeling my therapist or the Spirit. Or both.
My sister and my husband had both asked me earlier in the week what my problem was. I always responded I didn't know. But as I thought about it there were quite a few things that were probably contributing to my mental malaise. I've been on my SSRI for almost a year and they tend to poop out on me around the prescription anniversary. The Little Cannoli was cutting back on her nursing which was precipitating a drop in my oxytocin levels--less contented hormone = a less contented mommy. The kids were sick and waking up more at night so I was getting less sleep. I'm stymied with my writing; nothing I have written to this point in my life has been what I wanted it to be and I don't know how to fix it. I hadn't been reading my scriptures or praying. I'd just finished a month of Primary Sharing Times and Cub Scout Pack meeting. Really, there were a lot of reasons and it was probably a combination of things that was pulling me down.
So Sunday, I decided to take it slow. Give it my best effort to tune in to the Spirit and let everything else go. I also decided to go back to napping in the afternoon for a week or so.
I feel better. I am not in that blissful state of mental health that I previously was, but, you know what, I'm not doing too bad either. This is my life and it's okay. My problems haven't changed--I certainly haven't solved them--but just being able to name them and observe them was helpful. My therapist used to tell me that I need to be the journalist of my own life. I needed to observe my life and emotions, figure out the story, and report it. I didn't need to solve. I just needed to note it. It's amazing how much that can help.
Well, that and napping.
What do you do when you feel yourself slipping? What helps you right yourself?