Yesterday was tough. I felt depressed from the moment I woke up. The night before I had been exhausted–eye lids heavy for hours exhausted. I didn’t get enough sleep despite my exhaustion, so I felt depressed and exhausted as soon as I woke up yesterday. Any I wasn’t able to shake it the entire day. Finally, I began napping off and on at 9pm and was able to go to sleep by midnight. I was up by 7 this morning, but I felt refreshed after my restful evening and uninterrupted sleep. I have done dishes, enjoyed some television, and handled some unusually high blood sugar levels with Ada just fine today. I am continuing to process and develop. Things are ok today.
I did, though, want to share some of what I was feeling yesterday. I was too upset to write a full post, and I didn’t want to throw out negativity without some objective reflection, so all I did was free write my feelings. I’m sharing them today, though, because I encountered some very familiar feelings yesterday–a mix of old depressive thought patterns and new scenarios based on Ada’s diagnosis. I felt trapped by my new circumstance, and lost without my freedom. Here’s what I wrote last night after a day of crying or numbness:
“I feel like I’m crumbling. I feel like a failure. I’m only scraping by, doing the bare minimum, and I don’t think it is enough. All day I’ve tried to get out of my own head to no avail. I hate the constant schedule the missed sleep, the forced injections. I hate that my life seems to be out of my control but all I can do is try to regain control over Ada. I feel lost in the shuffle, like my purpose is to be her nurse now. Is that enough? I will do it willingly, but is it enough to find peace, contentment, and happiness? It doesn’t feel like it. Before my life was dedicated to my own mental balance, now my life is all about Ada’s physical balance. And it changed in an instant without warning or preparation. Just do this now or else. It feels awful. I feel like I felt as a teenager–wanting my own control but being required to live by others’ standards, but this time I can’t buck the others’ points of view. They are right. Ada needs this care to survive. If I don’t do it, who will? If I don’t sacrifice my life, then she’ll have no life of her own. This is what it means to love unconditionally, but no one said it was always easy.”
I was so overwhelmed and exhausted. I was only able to fight negativity all day without any energy to find positivity, which means feeling very little at all. What I did feel at times was overwhelming sadness without much cause. I tried to put my words into thoughts above, to label this as a reaction to our new normal, but it all felt familiar. My brain wanted me to believe that I am forever destined to be trapped. If not by my own disease, then by my daughter’s. And even when she can care for herself, something else will steal whatever amount of freedom I have left.
That’s all a lie. My depression wants to take advantage of all this. I’ve built up a strong fortress to protect myself from depression, but, on days like yesterday, it can momentarily get through. The key is to keep fighting. I kept telling myself yesterday that I would feel better after some good sleep, and I do. But telling myself that it wouldn’t last forever helped me yesterday. I was able to keep using my skills–distraction, redirecting my thoughts, zoning out rather than allowing myself to chew on what my depressive brain was feeding me–knowing that I only had to fight this hard now. It could very well be easier tomorrow, and now that tomorrow is here, I can say that it is better.
Keep telling yourself that it won’t last forever, and I truly believe that when you find the right ingredients for your balanced health recipe you will feel better. I have mine in place–medication, mindfulness, meditation, rest–so that when I have bad days they stay bad only a day or two; then I can bounce back. It doesn’t have to be permanent even if it is a constant fight. Keep feeding yourself positivity. It is the ace up my sleeve. I practice positivity a lot–sick or well–and it makes a huge difference when I need positivity. I know how to look on the bright side, and even if I have trouble believing it, I keep trying to until I can again. Stay strong, keep fighting, be well. The journey continues with unexpected twists and turns.