March 1, 2012

Today I feel empty

Today I feel empty. Empty and listless. I wouldn’t even use the word frustrated, because being frustrated implies feeling something. I wish I had the energy or the desire to care enough to be frustrated or, heck, even angry. Being angry would be more purposeful than feeling like I just don’t care anymore.

Maybe it’s the new meds. Just a few days ago, I felt ever so slightly more hopeful. The doctor changed my meds again since my last blog. I know the antidepressant hasn’t had time to do its thing, so my guess is a placebo effect made me feel a little better for a brief time.

I am so uninterested in life outside my family right now that it’s extremely difficult to stay focused or be motivated at work.

My therapist and I had a good session yesterday, but that positive energy I felt after leaving her office has all but vanished. It’s been sapped by this dreadful disease once again.

She encouraged me to think about things I’m grateful for each day, especially when I’m reeling at work. She told me to literally write down even the smallest achievements so I feel some sense of accomplishment. It isn’t working so far, maybe because I haven’t done it enough yet.

My anxiety is so severe at times it borders on paranoia. My self-confidence is so shaken that simple tasks seem overwhelming. My fear of mistakes is so paralyzing that I want to just crawl in a foxhole and do nothing. Only that’s not a viable option for a career…at least not for long.

So here goes. I will celebrate one little victory that on the surface seems quite pathetic. I had to craft an email yesterday for an important group of stakeholders. My fear of making a mistake, perhaps a typo, was so great that I put it off all day. Then I finally got the courage to draft it, prayed over it and hit the send button.

How ridiculous is that?

My therapist doesn’t think it’s ridiculous. She said following through and doing it despite my anxiety was actually “courageous.” Only I don’t exactly feel like Braveheart. I feel puny.

That’s what warped negative thinking does to us over time. We are working on my negative thought patterns, but they are so engrained it almost feels like a hopeless effort.

I will keep trying. I will think of a STOP sign every time the negative thoughts start.

What other choice do I have?