First I learned that depression will go away and I am not always depressed. When I am depressed I think I have been like that forever and I will remain so until I die. Jeff always tells me this is not true, but I never believe him. Recently my therapist asked me if I could just see the depression as temporary and when it happens just do what I need to in order to get through the day and make sure I still do a few things I enjoy each day. Well, she and Jeff are both right. This does not last forever, and in fact it is pretty predictable when it will happen. It always happens the same week each month and it always happens during big transitions, like moving, which we did a week ago.
|The sun will always rise after a depression.|
The second thing I learned is that I really need to track my moods better. Since the depression is so predictable, tracking my moods means I could often know before it is going to happen and put in place some extra precautions so that it does not get as bad. I can even mentally prepare myself for it so I do not get into thinking I will be depressed and miserable forever. I can rearrange my schedule to have less to do that week. I can ask for more help. I can make sure I have no excuses not to eat right and exercise.
The last thing I learned is that I am actually sick. You see, despite my blog and all of my openness about my illness, I still revert to thinking I am just a bad and weak person who cannot control herself. I think I should just be able to stop being depressed, force myself to exercise, and almost beat myself up mentally into being a better person. When I do this, I am not really understanding that I am sick. The reason I can't just force myself to stop being depressed and manic or be as perfect as my husband is because there is an illness in my brain. I am not a bad or weak person. When I recognize my illness and take it seriously then I can plan better for it and use my treatment plan more effectively.
While this bout with depression was pretty bad, I am grateful for all of the things I learned this time. I am hopeful this will allow me to better manage the next depressive episode that comes my way. I am especially grateful for the people who kept helping me learn these lessons even though it took so long for them to stick.