Is depression remission even a thing?
And what makes me think that I am not doing ok with my depression? Do I really have a lot of questions about where I am? Should I be running to my WRAP plan (wellness recovery action plan)? Is it ok that I have not returned the call from my peer advocate from yesterday? I have more questions than answers.
I can tell I am not 100% and that my depression is distracting me.
Depression has made me second guess my intentions. But I shouldn’t be surprised. That’s one thing my depression is good at. Once it gets under my skin, it can get me to think about anything. If it takes weeks, months, or even years, it will needle away until I give in. Once it has me thinking about what it wants me to do, the stage is set.
Next comes the secrets, and the only true friend I have is depression.
Anyone one else becomes the enemy, or at least someone who is not to be trusted. My depression has been with me for my entire life. So, only my depression has the full inside scoop into what I really need. And its familiarity is almost comforting. Why should I think about changing when my depression makes things so easy?
All I need to do is let go and then depression takes over.
In an instant, I am no longer who I was. Now I am depressions best friend. And I can and will do what is needed to fulfill my end of the relationship. This includes turning my back on those who would help me. And ignoring the warning signs I might have that something is not right. But the best part of my relationship with depression is there is no pressure.
My depression has all the patience in the world.
As I said above, it will patiently wait until its ideas become my own. Getting me on its side is the goal of my depression. Knowing that all it must do is drop hints, gives it an edge. What harm could a suggestion be? Should I really run the other way just because my depression suggests a different way of looking at something? That seems a bit unfair, to not consider every possibility.
Of course, there are places where I do not let my depression take me.
The whole suicidal ideation component of my diagnosis makes me uncomfortable. Over the years, I have come to use mindfulness meditation training as these thoughts appear. Instead of engaging with a random thought of suicide, I immediately see the thought on a leaf, in a stream. As I watch without engaging with it, I see the leaf taking the thought down the stream.
In a few moments, the thought has rounded the bend and is gone.
I have not had one of these thoughts in months. Except, when I made the decision to stop a project I had started. Paying for help in re-writing my job search training, I suddenly had this thought that I had done this before. It’s as if my depression thinks things are going well. My depression must bring in something to reinstate its importance in my mind.
Getting me to see that my depression is only looking out for my best interests has been a theme it has used many times before.
How could I not trust something that was only looking out for me? Why shouldn’t I trust my depression over everyone else? It has been with me my entire life. No one else can say that. And much of the time, my depression has not been visible. I can think of many chunks of time, where my depression was on holiday.
My depression at one point, took almost 15 years off.
And then, once again, it saw how well things were going. It found a crack in my thinking that it could begin to exploit, and soon, my depression and I were reunited. My world slowly got narrower, and I became much more secretive. Eventually depression and I were alone, and I had given up my independence.
Worse, I would use my relationship with depression to push away any help.
By asking “why should I listen to you,” I could hide behind my depression. Only my depression would make sure that I could, in this case, trade commodities full time. Of course, the reason I was doing this was to help my mother. But in reality, this was only a cover for my depression to set me up.
And when the bill finally came due, my depression had already left the building.
The same thing happened when depression saw how well I was doing 5 years ago, it began dropping hints about early retirement. Once I was on board, the same scenario played out. I became more secretive and pushed away anything that was not the plan depression and I had concocted. Yet I was once again surprised when the bill came, and depression was not there.
This was when I made the decision to stop doing what I had always been doing, while expecting a different result.
I have been working on identifying what I do when depression comes calling. And more importantly, I am working on how to recognize my depression before I am all in. I feel that I can be more balanced (thank you Smart recovery) if I can see the role depression has played in my life.
So here I am, wondering what’s next.
Will I crash and burn, giving in to my depression? Or will I continue to see where my depression and I are headed? This can help me choose a different path, one that doesn’t become all or nothing. I believe that I can do this. I am certain that I do not need to give in to my depression to have a balanced life.