Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Taking Charge

I think the hardest part about Depression and Anxiety is the feeling that the two conditions, particularly when they team up together, are in control of you, your activities, your capabilities and how you feel every step of the way.

I think the best thing I did for myself was refuse to let it control me - I think I gradually learned to coexist with my conditions, and I learned to leave it in it's rightful place. I took the approach at first to fight having it - In fact, I fought really hard to convince myself that even if I was depressed and anxious that there were totally logical reasons for it, and that anyone in my position would feel the way I did. I still believe this 100% with every fibre of my being, but I think the time finally came around February or March of this year when I decided to let it be. Accept it for what it was and focus my attention on the things in my life that made me feel better.

Part of that was the medication - I took it religiously. Another part was hormone replacement (this was temporary for me, but I found that increasing my estrogen/progesterone [bioidentical] levels really helped me to find the energy to combat the other stuff). If it did nothing else, at least the placebo affect of including hormones (bioidentical) in my regimen helped fortify me for the fight. And the final part was a realization that life was short - and I better start enjoying the things I have rather than fight the things I couldn't change.

Life altering would be an understatement. Within weeks I felt human again. Skeptical and cautious almost to an extreme, but human...and it had been so long since I felt human, that it actually meant I felt brand new at the same time. I'm afraid I may never feel that way again, but there's always hope.

Since then, I've returned back to work full time, and I continue to work on growing my own small wedding planning / wedding florals business, and I'm still volunteering with the local Mental Health support system, and I've even taken on tutoring for the school where I earned my wedding planning certificate. Some may think that I've really gone looney taking on so much, but I feel like all the energy that my full time job drains from me, at least a portion of it gets renewed and replenished by the other three...and finally, if you don't know where you're next step will land, how do you ever find out, without trying on the shoe first? So this is my approach. Not to overwork myself right into a grave, but to give myself the chance to formulate a corporate exit strategy with a menu of options I would have a tough time choosing between. I truly believe that nothing worth having comes to anyone without having fought for it and without having poured blood, sweat and tears into it. And for me, this means letting each piece of what I enjoy, grow organically until I know I have woven myself a new safety net.

I'm interested in hearing other stories as much as I'm interested in sharing my thoughts with the great abyss of blogspot...Does anyone have any similar stories to share?