I’ve failed a lot tests in my nearly 42 years here on planet Earth. From the tests in the back of trashy magazines to the driver’s test (twice), I’ve never met a test I couldn’t fail. I’m not much of test taker. Drug taker? Yes. Tests? No, thanks. So it comes as no surprise that my recent depression screening was a bust too. Darn this program of honesty. Because of it I was forced to answer the questions truthfully and let my health care provider know that mentally I’ve been sort of blah lately. She then broke the news that really wasn’t news: I’m experiencing the symptoms of depression.
Wait– since I tested positive for depression, maybe it’s a test I actually passed! There’s something to be happy about. Anyway, as I’ve talked about before, depression is one of the things I juggle and most of the time it’s manageable. I walk alot and that helps. I try to help people and that helps too. Writing, reading, meditation all help too. I’m not on meds of any kind and I’m whatever about meds. I’d prefer not to take them but I am on other meds that work so who the hell am I to say that they wouldn’t work either? People in recovery can get uppity sometimes about pills but honestly I’m solid enough with my program that it doesn’t freak me out. What we decided is that I’d up the exercise regime for 6 weeks and then we’d see if meds needed to be part of the story. The other thing she suggested is journalling. I suppressed a massive eye-roll on this idea. I mean I write but journalling on my feelings at first sounded like some serious bullshit. Like “Dear Depression Diary, today I find myself somewhere between this guy
and this guy
But I got out of bed and didn’t cry so that’s good, right?”
As whacktacular as this diary sounded, I realized I do essentially what she suggested by writing this blog. Great. That’s something I can do that I enjoy. So I’ll be blogging more as well as journalling in a non-public format. After all, not all of my thoughts need to have lights put around them and turned into entertainment. I’ll even try with the exercise idea– ugh. Truly, the mere thought of it makes me exhausted.
I mean can’t I burn calories and manufacture endorphins by watching cheesy witch tv shows and a eating ice cream? No? Well fine. I’ll walk more and maybe start doing yoga again. The great thing about getting sober is it’s made me incredibly open to suggestions from people who know more than I do. I have no medical degree and I got out of the expert business years ago, honey. Therefore I’ll try it. All of it.
In my own backyard and on the national stage, suicide and depression have taken a serious toll lately. It’s truly devastating and yet it’s been an alarm clock for me. These events have forced me to ask myself, “Where am I on my own depression? How am I really doing?” Hence how I ended up in the doctor’s office, passing the depression screening with flying colors. And yet the silver lining here is that there isn’t a silver lining. Meaning that by just allowing myself to feel whatever I’m going through and then asking for help is HUGE for this addict who avoided anything that looked icky or hard or too real. Today, there’s no need to dance around or ignore what’s going on and that alone is enough to bring a smile to my face.