December 20, 2011

Today was a good day; what gives?

Today was a really good day. I don’t know why exactly, but it was.
Never mind the troublesome fact that having one good day is blog worthy. That probably means I have a long way to go in fully recovering from a crash-and-burn episode of severe depression last summer.

Yet that’s a blog for another day. Let’s get back to today. It was a whistle-in-the shower, think funny things, eat chocolate and enjoy life kind of day. Seriously.

Since I reverse engineered a bad day in an earlier blog, let’s walk back through today and see if we can identify what made it a good one. The fact that I didn’t have to go to work today surely is a factor, but I promise you I have just as many bad days on the weekends as I do during the work week—sometimes more. But in the interest of full disclosure, I was off today (work, that is).
  • I ate a healthy breakfast. I learned in a partial hospitalization program that good nutrition is key in battling depression. This morning, I had a wheat waffle covered in peanut butter. No syrup!
  • I went for a brisk walk. I’m a runner at heart but can’t bring myself to run hard again just yet. I’ve lost my edge, lost that eye of the tiger with this soul-sapping illness. But instead of lying on my ass today, I got it moving. I made two personal phone calls that I needed to make while walking, one to my mom and one to my brother.
  • I did not drink alcohol last night. Back when I was a heavy drinker, the next day or two (okay, three) were often brutal. My anxiety would go through the roof. My depression would worsen. That was almost a guarantee.
  • I took some time for myself. I went and got a massage. I’ve blogged about the benefits of massage before. It really helps me. If you are screaming through the keyboard that you can’t afford a massage right now or don’t have the time for it, fine. The point is I did something for me and me only. That’s pretty rare for me but it’s critical in recovery.

Today wasn’t perfect. But what day ever is, even for “normal” folks? Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to simplify a complicated illness. Some days are brutal for those suffering from depression no matter what we do. Truth is, today was a good day because of choices I made today, yesterday, and the day before that and probably even the month before that. I’ve been taking my meds and making my appointments with my therapist, for example. 

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I write to cope and, hopefully, connect with others who suffer. If you had a bad day, take heart. Keep fighting. It will get better.