Last Tuesday when I was firmly planted in the black hole of depression, my therapist asked me, “Do you write about the good days?”
Of course I do. Sorta. Not really.
I think I’ve turned into a pessimist who like to pretend to be an optimist. Being positive requires a fight on my end. After my diagnosis, my dreams shrunk to almost being nonexistent. I don’t get excited about things, not because I can’t, but because I don’t dare get my hopes up. Despite the fact that I push through everything, I still have an “I can’t” mindset.
There is a tiredness at the root of all of this. The kind that breeds all of that “I can’t” thinking. Some of it’s legit, such as I can’t stay up past 11 and not regret it the next day. I’ve tried. Some of it is out of my control and the result of depression.
A lot of it, though, I think is just my brain trying to get me to wave the white flag and surrender. Often it seems like a good idea, but I keep saying no. It’s not always a loud no, sometimes its just a teeny, tiny sign. Sometimes its a no out of frustration. Sometimes its a no because I’m fighting to get my old self back.
I knew when I was diagnosed I would have to fight to keep going. I did not know that I would have to fight to keep my hopes and dreams. I didn’t know how much I was going to let myself give up. I had no idea how much fear would come with this–how much “I can’t”
I was always the girl with big dreams. I let that slip away and then let it consume me. So I stopped writing about the good days.
I’ve always balked at gratitude lists and the like…they always seemed stupid. But maybe I need to do my own version..one where I start writing down the good things that happen, and my dreams. I need something to help me say no. Something that doesn’t sound like “This is awesome but…..)
So here we go.
- I was accepted to present a poster session at a huge conference for my field.
- I get to play my flute at a church this morning (something I really miss) AND I’m getting paid for it.
- I have plans with friends for the 4th of July.
- The next major event (the biggest I’ve ever been directly involved with) at work was my idea, I wrote the grant to make it happen, and I’m planning all of the activities.
See. I can talk about the happy things.