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January 3, 2020

It is okay to ask for help.

Journal Entry #70

There are days when I am so disappointed in the progress that I am NOT making, on the timeline that I want, in the ways that I want, that I simply cannot even get out of bed.  I shiver, I recycle unhealthy thoughts over and over again, I ache and I stay immobilized.

I know better. I know how to get myself out of it. But…

It’s just so exhausting, and so much work to talk myself into wellness every day. Day after day.

I am content if I just achieve one goal a day.

Its better if I have a commitment or plan to do something for the day…I am getting really good at faking it until I make it.

Make-up does wonders.

I don’t like to leave the house.  I don’t like to drive.

I cry at the most ridiculous things.  Like funny puppet shows, children’s movies, Facebook posts and songs on the radio.

I struggle to focus and concentrate on any one thing.

It is easier to get lost in reading a book than to sit and journal my own shit.

I isolate myself. I don’t always answer the phone, texts, emails.  Sometimes, I hide when the doorbell rings.

I am moody, emotional and am trying to control things…that I know aren’t even mine to control.

My average resting heart rate is 93bpm.  A constant state of anxiety.

I’ve gained 20lbs since March 2019.

This is what depression looks like.

I can’t say that I am surprised that I have landed here again.  I experienced depression at 20 after my dad died and later Post-Partum Depression following the arrival of both Canyon and Faith.  And although there are similarities, there are also differences.  Regardless, it is where I am visiting right now.  I know it is only temporary.  I know that “this too shall pass.”  I know that I have tools now that I didn’t have years ago to help pull me up and out.

I know that it is possible to dig myself out.

In this place, when everything feels overwhelming, the last thing I feel like doing is digging deep to do MORE work.  And yet, I know I must.

Imagine a campfire that has been burning brilliantly, it is continually fed and burns brightly through the night.  When you wake in the morning, there is nothing left but ashes and a few coals.  If the fire is stoked, fed more fuel, breathed more oxygen, it will come back to that brilliant flame and source of heat.  If not, it will eventually snuff itself out.

I am the coals right now.

And I know that I need help to get fired up again.  And, help isn’t an easy thing to ask for.  It also means that I have to take responsibility for where I am, show the vulnerability of what I am experiencing and then commit to do the work that the help requires.  Because, clearly I know from past experience, that life cannot heal if I don’t participate.

I started to see the warning signs about 10 weeks ago, although it likely started well before that and I just wasn’t cluing into the symptomology.  From past experience, I knew I had to ask for help.

It is okay to ask for help. 

Dr. Brown and I decided that an anti-depressant is needed.  I am taking the non-addictive Amitriptyline every night now.  Which is a good start, but alone, this isn’t enough.

I am working with a Transpersonal Psychologist as well.  Discovering the depths to my thinking, learning to shift perspectives, learning to communicate with the different aspects of myself and have them communicate with each other.  Learning how to love the broken, severed and splintered pieces of myself that have been neglected or damaged for far too long.  It actually isn’t hard work believe it or not.  Since I’ve started this particular work, I have found it exciting to discover these pieces of me that haven’t had a voice or the attention that has been necessary for healing. As a whole, I am finding this process very helpful, educational and insightful.

I am using the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping) too.  On days that seem uber difficult, I do the full tapping regime, which can take considerable time to shift, but works 100% of the time that I do it.  Most days, I use the quick tap to shift into a new state.  I am so thankful that EFT came into my life a dozen years ago.

I am also using self-hypnosis, but will have another live session with Elliot in January.  The changes through hypnosis are subtle, generative and lasting.  Complete shifts in states of being are immediate, which in a process that seems to be taking TOO LONG, is a welcome happening!

I am also sharing what I am feeling with my husband, kids and friends.  If there is one thing I learned living through Post-Partum, was that shame need secrecy to grow.  And, I have nothing to be ashamed of.  Sure, depression isn’t something that gets talked about at dinner parties, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening to at least one other person around the table.  The shame dies when we speak it aloud, in safe places.  When I am feeling stuck, I often feel like the feelings are in control.  When I simply write what I am feeling, or talk about it with someone I trust, I take back that control.  I remind myself and the emotions that I get to choose what I am thinking and feeling.  E-motions are just “energy in motion”, nothing is permanent, there is always a flow, and sometimes I just have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel however I am feeling in that moment.  And talking about it, makes me feel not so alone.

I refuse to believe that depression is a life sentence.

I choose to believe that even though the progress I am making is slow, it is still progress.  And when I look back on the last year, I have come so far.

So very far.

I still have a ways to go.  My kidneys are not working the way I need them to.  The doctors and I will investigate this further in the new year.  For now, I just want to coast through the holidays…and survive.

Without wine, though.

It has been 303 days since I have had alcohol.

But who is counting?

I must admit though, that at this point I wonder if the taste of it is better in my head than in real life?  It’s been so long, I can’t remember.  I had a perpetual hangover for 6 months this year…why would I want to do that to myself willingly?  If you were to offer me a second chemo-cocktail, you would be met with a huge “hell no!” – but a Mojito I would take you up on!

The holidays are a hard time to be alcohol-free.  It is such a socially acceptable part of the holiday season.  Anyway, my plan is to lay low, offer to be the designated driver, and enjoy my sparkling water.  At least being a designated driver will make me feel purposeful and useful.  And it brings me happy to know that those I love are getting to where they need to be safely.  The flip in all of this, will be to talk myself into getting dressed and leaving the house.

I can do this.  I’ve survived it before. I know that I can’t complain my way into a new reality. I must stay focused in gratitude and positivity.  If I can survive microscopic bugs eating my flesh for months on end, I can handle depression.

The trick is to not let it handle me.

Onward!

Xo Juli

1 thought on “It is okay to ask for help.”

  1. Julie I admire your strength of mind.Being someone who battles an anxiety depressive disorder every day I understand every emotion that you have described.If you want to talk about any of those feelings at any time I am there for you.Talking about it is the best thing you can do.Last time I saw you (Uxbridge arena) I kind of thought there was something more going on.Love you

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