Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Smack Down Update: Feelin' Good

Darkest before the dawn.
Hafta hit bottom before you bounce up.
Last straw to tip the scale.
Pendulum swinging the other way.

What do these phrases (real and sort of made up) have in common?


That's right, dear reader. The pendulum is swinging! I'm bouncing! The scale has been tipped and the dawn is peeking out over the mountains. How do I know this? In the last 48 hours, I have put the smack down on the self-pity! I have unpacked and set up the entire Master Bedroom --including pictures (never mind that the peeling wallpaper strip at the top of the walls is unbecoming, because right now, I couldn't care less), and I have gone through all of the children's clothes and organized their rooms (with the children's help, of course). I have picked up the scripture reading pace, and my prayers are not rushed. I feel a sense of accomplishment, and it has been accentuated by flowers from a ward member (who knows of my plight), sweet emails from blogging friends, a visit to my nephew's birthday party, and a fabulous phone call with a friend who has finally returned home from vacation. And since she's reading this, she better know that she's not allowed to leave ever again. Kidding! Okay, not really. Don't ever leave again! ;)

Anyway...what? What was that, dear reader? You're reminding me that it's only been 48 hours? Who cares! Not me. 48 hours of happy productivity is a rare find around here, and I'm going to cherish it forever. Because I feel Better! So much better. Wait. What? Oh, no, dear reader. I'm not Cured or Fixed. I'm better, but not better. I don't think I'll ever be cured of this depression that plagues my life. It's not like the flu --but it is like a virus. It just keeps coming back. Yes! Like a virus! It goes away, life is good, and then it comes back. Especially since mine is very PMS and hormone related. It's like the worst form of PMS, though, because it can occur at different times and sometimes lasts longer than the designated week. But for the most part, it's very regular. However, it doesn't get "fixed" like a broken bone (or a dog! Ha!). And actually, I've been thinking about it a lot today.
I have asthma. It's hard sometimes, but if I take my daily meds, I do well. When I skip a day or two of my asthma medication, I can tell very quickly, because I can't breathe easily. And if you can't breathe easily, well, then it turns into not being able to breathe. And when you can't breathe, dear reader, you die.
But sometimes I forget, you know? Life gets busy, I don't pack it on the camping trip, etc. and there you have it --asthma attacks. Luckily for me, I've been really good about remembering the last few years, and so I haven't had a full-blown attack in almost 4 years. I hate those middle-of-the-night-where-the-crap-did-I-put-that-rescue-inhaler?-asthma attacks. Not fun. But I digress.
If I think of my depression as my asthma (or my period, go figure! Ha!), then I will know that it won't go away. It will always be there, lingering and awaiting until I'm the most vulnerable, and it will attack without warning or provocation. Not quite unlike an alligator. Or a cheetah. Or car sickness. In fact, I can see the pattern now: stressed, tired, hormonal Cheryl is suddenly feeling massive waves of self-doubt and self-pity (stupid self pity), and then suddenly she doesn't want to do anything or go anywhere or be anyone and she can't stand the sight of people, places, or things. Sometimes it lasts a day. Other times it lasts a week. Once, it lasted for 6 months.

But it's okay now. Because I am aware of this. I know how to cope and get through it. I know what works and what doesn't. I know when to eat the chocolate and when to take a nap. And honestly? This blogging gig has really gotten me through some of the hardest episodes. Writing has been said to be very therapeutic, and I'm not surprised, since it works well for me. And of course, there is all of the awesome support I have here --I'm talking about you, dear reader. You're priceless, really.

Anyway, the point? I feel good. And I like good!

Are you feeling good? Any good news from your neck of the blogosphere?


Leslie said...

This is a first...not only the first comment, but the first time I'm the first comment. Now...I'm happy too!

BTW...Hooray for you!!!

Annette Lyon said...

There's a lot peole w/ depression in my family (including me), so this really resonantes. Sitting back and letting it eat you from the inside out is the worst kind of surrender, not only for you but for your family.

Way to fight back!

Julie said...

I really like that you're recognizing it as in the same category as asthma. So smart.

It feels so good to have some unpacking done and have your room together, doesn't it? I'm so happy for you!!!

Love to you.

Grandma Rozla said...

Yea for you! Crossing things off the list is very therapuetic! I'm so glad for now you are feeling better! Don't you love tender mercies???

Things are crazy busy in my neck of the blogospere! But busy hands are happy hands. And next weekend I get to see the babies :)

Amber said...

So glad you're on the upswing again! One of the reasons why I was drawn to your blog in the first place is how honestly you wrote about your struggles and joys. Thank you for always keeping it real!

Jeanette said...

So glad to hear that you are feeling good! I actually thought about you the other day and was hopeful that you were doing good. The adversary wants you to feel that self-pity you talked about before so he is going to try all he can to get you to feel that way. Especially now that you have committed to put the smack down on self pity.
I am so happy to read this post!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Feeling better. Thanks for the listening ear. Sometimes Pity Smackdown is a team sport! :)

Anonymous said...

Hurray for you!

More spilling at my house, but mess free at least so that's good, right? Sigh.

flip flop mama said...

Glad you're feeling better!Hey its only been 48 hours but sometimes you got to take what you can get! I hope the good stays around for a while!!

JustRandi said...

I'm so glad you feel better. I have depression, too. It's a tough row, but I'm so glad you're fighting back!

RoAnn said...

Thanks for posting the good news!
High fives!

m_and_m said...

This is great. I echo the above commenter who appreciates your honest sharing.

And I really like the asthma analogy.

You go, girl!

FluffyChicky said...

Oh, I am sooo glad that you are feeling good!! Wonderful! I truly hope it continues. :)

Cheryl said...

You people are so awesome. You know that, right?
Thanks for being happy for me. :)

Becky, I have a cat said...

Late to the party, but I'm really glad to hear things are on the upswing. It makes me think of our conversation of everything finding its balance and equilibrium. Hope you have/had a good Canada trip.