Because this blog is (supposed to be) a place of honesty, I’m going to be honest. It’s been a rough few months. Work has been demanding, and it’s been frustrating, and it’s been full of horrible hang-ups and technological trauma. Despite living with my best friend and working with people who I enjoy the company of, I’ve been hideously lonely. I’ve been terrified of the future and of the present in equal measure and seemingly numb to anything except the most deeply negative of emotions.
I can safely say that I hit rock bottom two weeks ago, using my carefully hoarded comp time to take a morning off to lie in bed and wallow in soft, pillowy thoughts of nothingness. I dragged myself to work at noon and managed four hours of staring at the computer screen before dragging myself back out the door and down the street to my brand new therapist. Though a seasoned professional, even she seemed a little stunned by the sheer flatness of my affect and kept me in her office for nearly half an hour over our allotted time.
A depressive episode, at least in the way I get them, drains you of love. I had no love for anything or anyone. I had no passion. I took no joy in a sunny day or a picture of a puppy. There’s a section in the Hyperbole And A Half book that expertly expresses how much of a toll this can take on a social life – you forget how to express the appropriate emotions, make strange faces, say the wrong things, make people angry because it seems like you’re not listening even though you’re trying to. Add this to my normally short fuse growing even shorter, and I turn into a robot who is programmed only to be sullen and irritated.
So this is where I’ve been at. It’s little wonder I’ve lacked any motivation to post. But slowly, carefully, incrementally I’m clawing my way out. It’s two steps forward, one step back, but at least I’m netting gains.
I’ve started cutting overly processed things out of my diet as much as I can (except for those pseudo-healthy cereal bars, like Kashi and Trader Joe’s, because they’re delicious and also great for breakfast when I’m running late and need something that’ll keep me full until lunch). I’ve been experimenting with green smoothies for more iron and more calcium (best recipe so far: two bananas, a cup of blueberry Chobani, and packing the rest of the single-serve blender with spinach). I snack on fruit. I briefly started yoga but it made the floor creak too much and I got unbearably self-conscious. But at least I tried, which is more than I usually do. I’ve also started walking more. The end game goal is to actually run, but for now doing a mile or two at lunch is a good match for my physical abilities. I don’t know if any of this is actually helping, or if the increase in positive mood motivated the life changes and not the other way around, but I like where I’m headed.
I made two huge steps forward today specifically. I bought plane tickets to visit a dear friend and I messaged a cute girl on a dating site (side note: removing “men” from my “looking for” makes things a lot less stressful on said site. I’m no longer anxious every time I sign on! I get about 10% of the messages, but that’s a small price to pay). Whether or not I hear back from said cute girl is immaterial: I put myself out there again, which is a huge personal victory.
I’m not going to pretend that I’m wildly happy. It’s a work in progress. But for the first time in a few months, I can feel some forward momentum, and that’s a big deal. Maybe it’s just today, and this particular Tuesday is bathing me in good vibes for no particular reason (unusual for a Tuesday, but I’ll take it). All I can do is keep moving forward, and hope the momentum holds.