Living Fearless

In a lot of ways, my life has improved immensely after being diagnosed with PMDD and going through treatment. Prior to that, I think I spent the majority of my days being terrified of everything. I was afraid to go to work because what if I had a melt down? What if I started crying at my desk and couldn't stop? I was afraid to be with my wife because what if I lost my temper and she got angry with me or walked out on me? Most of all, I was fricken' terrified of being alone because I didn't trust myself. I was so emotionally unstable and had such unhealthy coping skills that I was honestly afraid of MYSELF. That's kind of crazy when I think about it--actually fearing your own mind--but it's so real for so many people.  But that' s just how it is. I don't find myself fearing those things as much anymore because

1.) MEDS. I never ever ever thought medication would help me, but it truly has.

2. KNOWLEDGE. I actually have some one of an idea of what is going on with my body and it makes me feel a little bit more in control of myself. I think that was really the biggest part of it before--not feeling in control of anything. Since I have a touch of OCD, I truly appreciate control ;)

So great--less fear right? Except now, I find myself fearing other things that I didn't have time to care about before because I was too consumed in my depression.  I think the big one for me is my writing. For a long time I stopped writing because  I could barely get out of bed let alone motivate myself to write. But now, my head is clearer and I want so badly to do the things that have always made me happy in the past. Writing has always been this anchor for me- this piece of me that keeps me grounded, that allows me to pour the swirly galaxy of words in my brain into something else. But now that I've started again, that shred of self doubt always finds a way to hinder me. I'm afraid nothing I write is good enough. I don't know, for the life of me, how to visually create a blog that I think is beautiful, so it stresses me out and makes me not want to write. I don't know if people will like or listen to what I write--so I think what's the point? I submit my articles and immediately believe they will be rejected because I'm not good enough.

Fear. Is. A. Son. Of. A. Bitch.

The thing that happens is when fear comes and tells me it's not going to be good enough, I just don;t do it at all. Instead of trying to write, just giving it a try,  I miss out on the opportunity to create something beautiful. How do I call myself a writer if I don't write?

You have to want it, more than you're afraid of it, right?  So here goes. I am not saying I am going to get rid of that fear because let's be honest, that's just not realistic. If it wants to come along for the ride, fine by me...but I'm driving. Fear can take a back seat.


Am I Cured Yet?

If you were to ask someone close to me, like my wife, where I was three months ago compared to where I am today, I’m confident she would tell you without a shred of doubt that I am leaps and bounds better than I was.  If I look at the facts, if I look at this whole thing logically, I am mentally in a healthier place by far. Three months ago, I felt like I was stuck in that same familiar ditch I had been in many times before, except for some reason, this time I couldn’t see the light. I couldn’t see anything but darkness and that scared the shit out of me. I had always thought of myself as a fighter—confronting my depression and trying my best to kick it square in the teeth. When I lost that fight in me, I felt like I had completely lost myself. I think that scared me more than the depression—my desire to give up. Luckily for me, I can be reeeeeeeeallll stubborn and instead of surrendering, I asked for others to fight with me. I got help. That should feel like a victory in and of itself, right? Anyone who suffers from depression knows that our mind can be a powerful SOB. For me, learning to recognize my thoughts, especially the irrational thoughts, has been hard. My mind tells me, all the time, that I should be better. I should be farther along on my journey than I am. After all, I did SEVEN days of intensive therapy, am on medication, am eating right, exercising—shouldn’t I be 100% cured? Yes, friends, that’s my illogical brain talking and she can be a manipulative  bitch. Last week, I had one of the worst days I’ve had in a while. I was 10 days late for my period and was feeling the negative effects of my cycle being f*cked up.  That coupled with a particularly stressful work week was like the perfect PMDD/depression shit storm.  I was at work, hosting a company wide event, and had received a passive aggressive email that morning. Normally, I would mutter a curse under my breath, but I would let it go. But, my heightened emotions and hormones out of whack resulted in me turning into a sobbing, illogical, irrational mess. I unloaded on my boss, I cried in front of colleagues, and then for the rest of the day, I was so ashamed I didn’t even want to look anyone in the eye. Then the illogical B came and she was all “Everyone’s gonna think you’re crazy now! You’re probably going to get fired—might as well quit now and save them the trouble. You’re not better—you’ll always be like this.” Just like that, those thoughts threatened to erase all of the progress I’ve made.

I thought a lot about what happened last week over the weekend. I could easily listen to those thoughts and consider the PMDD episode as a setback—an inevitable failure. But, instead, I am choosing to take this as a lesson to reframe my thinking. Will I ever be ‘cured’? What does that even mean? I don’t think depression/PMDD is a curable disease. But, it’s treatable and I am working every single day of my life to learn to live with this. Will I have days that feel worse than others? Sure. But no day is ‘bad’ and no day is a setback. It’s part of my gorgeous, messy story—and I’m going to see it through to the end.