I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘Depression’

Can My Cycle Be Broken?

My life is fantastic. Until about 10 days ago, it was unbearable.

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I know all women experience some degree of mood swings, but I am starting to think that feeling like I have amounted to nothing and should just give up for half of the year is a problem, to say the least. It is January 27 and I am on track with my running goals and just played successfully in a recital. I just had a student at work sing with the All-State Elementary Chorus, and generally my students seem to be learning and enjoying music. However, depending on what day of the month it is, my life seems to be falling apart.

I have been getting good sleep and regular exercise. I can’t say that I remember it being quite so dramatic when I was at a lower weight. I don’t care to go on a lower carbohydrate diet, but I keep reading that it would be good for PCOS, which I was diagnosed with 15 years ago. I know I have a tendency toward anxiety and depression. I don’t want my running to slow (it’s slow enough as it is) because I’m not having so many carbs. What are my next steps? Nutritionist? Therapist? I feel like if I could have the feeling I feel on the 3rd day of my period all month long, I would be the most productive person in the world. It is difficult to enjoy being happy when I know that I am going to wish for the rapture by the 10th of each month. Like I said two weeks ago, I have no choice but to push forward.

 

In The Beginning Was The Word.

*looks up*

Forgive me, Lord, if I end up blaspheming in this post. I’m thinking really hard about what I write here. If I’m wrong about anything, please show me. Thanks for inspiring others to invent delete and backspace.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

Beginnings are a big deal. Not that you can’t have a great ending without a great beginning, but oh man, getting the beginning right often makes things that much easier. It is my duty as a Christian to constantly keep the Life-giver at the forefront of my thoughts. As 2019 has started, I am already finding myself overwhelmed and defeated, although I shared in my last post that I have no objective reason to feel this way. The thing about life is that you can have a great day but then you go to sleep, knowing that you have to set yourself up to have another great day. If tomorrow itself is not guaranteed, surely a great tomorrow is far from certain.

So what can I do to not throw in the towel on January 14? Resist.

I’ve chosen resist as my word of the year because I have found that when I choose not to resist, it is when I get into trouble. I must resist –

  • the temptation to overeat.
  • believing that progress is always linear.
  • comparing myself to others.
  • allowing the evil one to steal my joy.
  • minimizing my accomplishments.
  • not prioritizing my time.

I can only make one good decision at a time. When I pray the Lord’s prayer, I ask for my daily bread – not weekly, not yearly. While I can plan for the future, I cannot know what it holds. I want to honor God with my body. I want to serve others with my gifts, even though I feel so much of the time that I don’t have very much to offer. He can use anyone, even lil Joanie, to accomplish His will, and I definitely don’t want to be in the way.

This week, I have 16 miles on the calendar. It has been well over a year since I have run 16 miles in one week and I am terrified. I wasn’t too pleased with how slow my long run was on Saturday, but I am choosing to remind myself that practice for the big day isn’t always going to be pleasurable. I imagine that it’s quite normal for a workout to feel like WORK. It’s not even trying to pretend to be something else.

God is my light. I must resist succumbing to the darkness that has already been conquered. The war is won.

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Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

Out of Options

Would you believe January is practically halfway done? Like so many of us, I started the year with high hopes. Where am I now, you wonder?

I’ve lost a pound and have run 19.5 miles. I’m right on track to meet my goal of 1019 km in 2019. I just finished attending a professional development conference where I had a student accepted to an exclusive ensemble, reconnected with old friends, and learned things that I can immediately share with my students upon return to work. Coronation day was this week and I can actually chew on both sides of my mouth again.

I wish I could say I am happy.

I have this nagging feeling that I am not living up to my potential. I feel stagnated and like everyone else is moving forward except me. I look upon all my education and the faith my parents have had in me to achieve great things and I can’t escape the feeling that I am blowing it majorly. And you know what the worst part is? As miserable as this feeling is, I really don’t feel like working to change any of the circumstance I can. It just sounds like too much work. So not only am I failing, but I’m lazy on top of it.

That begs the question – why am I bothering with anything? I don’t feel I have any viable alternative. As long as I am living, I have to try to be healthy and do my best for those around me, even if it doesn’t amount to much. I don’t want to be a complete waste of space. As long as I wake up, I need to show up. It’s this morbid curiosity that keeps me going – perhaps it will be different one of these days.

Nineteen: Killing a Queen

I’ve always been really proud of my teeth. Each time I go to the dentist, I come back with a clean report. “Still in the no cavity club! 33 years running!” I use an electric toothbrush, I floss like a champ, and thankfully I have never had to have my wisdom teeth removed. Queen of Dental Hygiene, if you will. I am sure you can imagine my chagrin when a few weeks ago, I was chewing and the left side of my mouth was hurting. I called the dentist as soon as I was able. I had figured that my lifelong run in the no cavity club was coming to a close, but I was wrong.

I would need a crown.

Apparently, crowns are quite common, but because I’ve had such a stellar record, I’ve never paid attention to different kinds of dental work. My dentist had the nerve to tell me that sometimes these things just happen to people as they get older.

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Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

What an awful thing to say to someone. Not only am I going to need to shell out an unplanned sizable amount of my paycheck, but apparently I am aging as well? All this flossing and fluoride and technology is not preventing this? What is the bloody point?!

I spent the week before my appointment to get my temporary crown fearing what the procedure would be like. I didn’t anticipate feeling any physical pain, but I was very depressed about needing dental work. I sat in the chair, feeling like a drama queen as I asked the dentist one last time. “Are you absolutely sure that I need to do this?” He assured me that he thought this was the best path forward to prevent an eventual root canal and that there was evidence that I had somehow fractured my tooth. Yikes. He anesthetized me and I waited as I felt my mouth get tingly. Out came his drill and I found myself wishing I were under general anesthesia simply to escape my thoughts. I watched the particles of my tooth being sanded away and all I could think to myself was that this was the beginning of the end. My journey from ashes to ashes and dust to dust was starting with the number nineteen – my sad little molar that I thought was gonna make it with me to the finish line.

As we wrapped up, the hygienist left me with important instructions, noting that I would have the temporary in for three weeks instead of the normal two. Favor your right side. No hard or sticky foods. I remarked that this would be a Christmas miracle, indeed – eating less over the holidays. On the drive home, I thought to myself, maybe this is why people have children – in a futile attempt to try to counter our march toward death. Granted, we can’t stop it, but it is nice to have someone around who (Lord willing!) is a bit further away from it. Someone with all of their unmodified, natural teeth. Makes you think.

What else can I say? At least the queen has a crown now…

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New Year!

I can’t say that I feel very happy right now.

Between now and the last 6 months I’ve posted, I have done the following:

  1. Taught in the same position for another half year
  2.  Ran a 10K and a 5K
  3.  Surprised my parents with a vow renewal

It doesn’t feel like I’ve done very much, as action packed and busy as it feels as it is happening. Perhaps I wish that I were nicer to myself, but I don’t feel I really deserve it, nor am I sure what I would need to do in order to merit treating myself better. As I think about the upcoming year, I want to do the usual – play more piano (including composing), lose weight, get faster. I have a few trips on my calendar but the only thing that really excites me is the idea of acquiring more things, which I feel is an especially sad place to be. I’m bitter because I’ve worked out 3 days in a row and I’m not feeling the endorphins.

I just watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time last week and ugly cried as I found myself identifying strongly with George Bailey. At times I feel like I’m not sure why I exist and that I’m constantly falling short of whatever my destiny is supposed to be. Perhaps I should stop browsing for things to buy and pick up my Bible, even though I don’t remember ever reading about the Clarence guy I wish would come visit me. I promise to write another post before another six months goes by…george-bailey-on-bedford-falls-bridge-1946

Just Another Day.

47 days to go.

I went to bed last night with a plan to complete both my bike and my run before I had to go to work. While I woke up on time, I felt pretty blah. Not just physically, but mentally. One of the great things about triathlon is that if I don’t feel like running today, I can do tomorrow’s swim and I often will feel up to running the next day. At the moment, the only thing I wanted to do was curl up in bed until I absolutely had to awaken. I made myself get up and do my run.

Whatever.

Yes, I’m glad I did it, but I’m not giving myself any accolades. I’m training for a race. I’m supposed to run. I’m trying to maintain/lose weight. I’m supposed to get out of bed to work out even when I don’t feel like it. As I was running, all I could think about was how I’m gonna have to keep doing this for the rest of my life and how age will bring about even less desirable results. I thought of something I’d seen recently –

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You know what I felt when I read that? Envy. I am envious of the person who can both acknowledge her progress and be pleased with where she is at the moment, despite where others may be. Just speaking of my physical progress, I am self-aware enough to recognize the place from which I’ve come. I started at 200 pounds last January, not even able to run a mile. I was bitching to myself this morning doing 400s, thinking to myself that my sprint is someone’s recovery day. I am not listing my pace only because I would hate for anyone not as fast as I am (logically, this person must exist) to read this and feel discouraged. I’ve registered for a Half-Ironman and it’s not implausible that I will complete it. That’s pretty significant progress.

Whatever.

I couldn’t help but think of the tragic death of Robin Williams yesterday. He has been making me laugh since I was a Girl J. Just last week, I was watching his special Weapons of Self-Destruction with a new appreciation for his brilliance and his willingness to put himself out there so honestly. I think of his great success, the love he seemed to have in his life from his close family, and it breaks my heart to think of how lonely and desperate he must have felt to take his own life despite his circumstance.

As the news broke last night, a recurring theme emerged quickly. “If you’re feeling depressed, talk to someone. Reach out. Know you are loved.” Sigh. When depression sets in, knowledge is NOT power. In a strange twist, the awareness of all the good in one’s life can play into feeling guilty for being depressed. Depression multiplies.

I consider:

– I come from – and have – two incredibly loving, still married parents,
– I have a full time job in the field for which I received formal training,
– I have no major health concerns,
– There are many people in my life whom I would call friend – and actually mean it, and
– There’s no reason for me to expect that any of the above will change any time soon.

Moreover, I’m Christian, which means I don’t even (read: shouldn’t even) put the most stock in the things I listed. My trust is not in Wells Fargo, y’all. And for the bonus round, I’m what many would consider physically attractive, and let’s be real, the world is kinder to prettier faces. Yet I was thinking to myself this morning that it would make sense to spend the day in bed. There’s someone who can do everything that I do better. I am never going to be everything that I can be.

THIS. This is why it’s so difficult to share these feelings with others. You see the blessings around you and you can hear the responses of your loved ones before they even open their mouths. “Don’t you realize all that you have? How many people would love to be where you are?” So you just keep your mouth shut and smile and laugh. Anything to get through the rest of the day. Just – another day.

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