Thursday, October 03, 2013

the things in my head

The subject line seemed right today. We'll get to that later.

Last night I went to election judge training. There was a whole crowd of Q-tips there which surprised me and I was instantly overwhelmed. I had about fifty hand-outs in my packet and we were told many horror stories of mistakes made which resulted in lawsuits, what to do if a felon tries to vote, and what to do if a dead person is in the roster book. A totally up-lifting evening. That's a government job for you...not much fun and shitty wages. At least we aren't furloughed yet.

I posted this next photo on Facebook. Several people thought it was me as I have tights like that, and pointy toed shoes. It is also not inconceivable that I would have a drink in my hand. It is not, sadly, me in the picture but Regis and I think we can set one up like this and we shall.

Woodrow and Gus are a constant source of amusement around here. At the moment, Woodrow is galloping across Regis's desk and making a huge mess. Papers are flying, he got stuck in the kitty litter bag, and he is stepping on the weather radio to make it beep. He always uses the litter box for it's intended purpose but he also thinks it's a cool place to play. Regis tells him that turds are not hockey pucks. We hope as he matures he will be less entertained by this activity.

Here is where I sit in the morning. My coffee, my list journal, and my therapy light. I also use a little aroma therapy in the form of eucalyptus and rosemary. It's a peaceful way to start the day.

I have had some stuff going on in my head, my therapist thinks, for several years. She labels it depression and anxiety. I worked in the mental health field for all of my career as a teacher and thought I had a fairly good understanding of what that meant...depression and anxiety, but it feels different when it's inside your own self. It comes on gradually, so gradually that you don't even know how bad you feel until you start to feel better.

Another thing I learned is that neuro scientists have discovered in just the last few years that memories enter our bodies first and then travel up to the brain, making talk therapy sort of worthless unless it gets at the body memory. I have experienced, several times in therapy, what it feels like to let a body memory go. I know this sounds like voodoo but it's amazing...even if it is voodoo.

Depression and anxiety are not things you are, they are things you have. They are illnesses, not a mood you are in for a day or two. I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I progress through the steps to be healthier. I think you get better as gradually as you became ill so it isn't like one day the sky lights up and the depression and anxiety are gone. There is not one thing that caused it and there won't be one thing that fixes it.

It's almost too bad that the words depressed and anxious are in our language to describe brief moods because it leads to misunderstanding. Depression and anxiety are medical conditions. Ah, enough of that.

So, I'm working on healing in many ways. I think I am about 75% done with my therapeutic process with Mary. I'll continue to take the medication. I am sleeping better and that helps because then I don't have to spend so much time in the blanket fort during the day. I'm using light therapy. I am going to get back into exercise because I know that helps. I'm getting organized and getting rid of clutter and I'm scheduling activities for myself and for Regis and I together. Life is good, in spite of everything. Or maybe because of it. If we didn't have the rainy days, the sunny days would not be quite so glorious.

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