I’ve been okay lately. Still figuring things out and definitely not feeling the whole “New Year, New Me” vibe but I’m trying to be better. Waking up earlier. Going to bed earlier.
It’s amazing what sleep hygiene will do for depression and ptsd–and more baffling knowing that an awareness of that means nothing against the cold iron wall of an episode. Depression is kind of like rocket science disguised as addition and subtraction. Subtract poor eating habits, any triggers, cognitive distortions. Add quality sleep, quality food, medication, therapy. And after all the figuring, the answer is a fairly simple result.
Or it should be. And when you’re well, or just somebody who doesn’t have it and is looking in from the outside, that’s what it is. Then there is this giant, black hole, which turns all simple reason on its head. And your entire brain is that black hole. Simple principles go in and come out half-eaten alive and jumbled by your feigned, half-hearted but best possible attempts.
Depression and ptsd are forces of nature in so many ways. As somebody who hates it and lives at the mercy of it, I feel like a hypocrite in saying that, like any force of nature, as terrible as it might be, there is some beauty and meaning to be derived from its power. It’s frustrating to people who don’t understand the depth of it and the half-truths that yet, these simple steps do make a difference but, when you take the steps apart and look at them from a depressed mind, they’re Herculean at the moment when you least feel like a hero or even a decently operating human being.
I’m trying to remember that and to have patience with that scalded side of myself that yes, is subdued for the moment and does feel like somebody else. When I am feeling better and confident that this is the true me, and that side of me is an unwanted, parasitic visitor, I have to remember not to be so hard on her and not to view her the way the rest of the world often does. When I’m feeling better, I don’t have as much access to that depth of emotion and pain–which is what makes me more functional–so I can be overly critical and separate myself in a way that doesn’t prepare me for the next time things turn south. Because I am her and she is me. And I am the person writing this right now who is feeling more empowered. They’re two sides of the same person that can’t ever actually interact. They only know each other as intimate acquaintances from sharing the same ground they each periodically invade. When I am too hard on her, I take for granted all she had to do to get me here to a point of feeling better, despite some of the self-sabotage.