Monday, April 14, 2008

Moody Monday

Get a sneak peak into Douglas Cootey's mind.

(cc) Douglas CooteyI'm feeling a bit blue today. OK, I've been feeling a LOT of blue lately. I realize blue is my favorite color, but in recent weeks it seems I've redecorated my life in wall to wall blue. The carpets. The counters. The drapes. Don't forget the matching towels. I've even painted my ceiling blue, but the only clouds I painted there were storm clouds. I guess I've been going for that Post Modern Somber experience, figuratively speaking of course. My "Things to Complete Before I Die/Turn 42" list has had the opposite affect on me, since I'm focusing far too much on what I haven't accomplished - as if this list represents the sum total of my being. Silly stuff to you normal folks with healthy self-esteem and happy dispositions, I'm sure.

Now, I do realize that many people, especially some over at Beyond Blue, feel that I do depressives a disserve. Some feel I cannot truly be Depressed because I deal with it without medication. To them I'm obviously not in pain. I'm not suffering. I'm just hunky dory. You see, nobody's pain can compare to theirs. No Depression is as bad as theirs. And if I can manage to fight Depression off with nothing but a bit of cheek and a healthy dose of humor, then I can't have been very depressed at all.

Except that I DO suffer from Depression, and sometimes it gets the better of me. Sometimes no amount of positive attitude can fend it off. Sometimes I just have to ride it out. Get some sleep. Hug my kids a bit more. Drink a lot of chocolate milk. Gain weight. Hate myself. No, I'm just kidding. I don't really drink a lot of chocolatey good milk. That would be silly, but I do try to get more sleep.

I certainly slept well last night and it made a world of difference. I feel like recarpeting with Copenhagen instead of Indigo. I might even paint a puffy, white cloud or two on the ceiling, but no prancing, white unicorns. I have some dignity.

In all honesty, I have been fending off a serious bought of Depression. March was a mean month; not sure why. So I have done a few things over the weekend to make sure April isn't a mean month as well. I started rereading Terry Pratchett's "The Color of Magic" (I was feeling pretty stoney through the first few chapters, but he's warn me down and I'm giggling out loud now). I'm playing more upbeat music. I'm forcing myself to tackle some depressing piles of clutter. I'm not allowing myself to wallow. I have shaken up my routine. I've started working on my current children's book again. I've reorganized my lesson syllabus for my students and made it more exciting. And I'm writing in my journal again. I'll leave you with my latest entry because I am going out rollerblading in a few minutes with my 13 year old and I'm determined to shed some gloom along with the excess baggage around my waist.

Never give up. You are not your Depression, or, as I like to cheekily tell myself, it's all in your head.

14 April 2008
Monday - Entry 171: My heart is heavy today. This seems to be an average state of being for me lately. Perhaps a steady diet of focus on my failures isn't the perky pick-me-up I need.

So starting today I am going to add some fiber to my diet - something for my soul to chew on. I'm recommitting myself to daily scriptures and morning prayer. I'm also going to actively think "Can Do" and maybe smile at myself in the mirror more often. I know that seems like empty calories, but at this point being so positive would be akin to chugging Cod Liver Oil. After a full diet of bitter pills, optimism will be almost too sweet. However, I'm, as I wrote above, committed. I'll just have to gag all that positivity down. Maybe even like myself for desert.
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