Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Never Underestimate Your Own Power!

Please forgive the shameless self-promotion - just wanted to share this shirt with you. This is my theme of the day!

Oh, crikey! I'll fill you in on why after my appointment with my {brilliant!} psychiatrist - which I'm about to be late for!

{i'm back}  I love this shirt {now}. I bought it for myself at Christmas, when my soul had begun to pour back into my body, and my spirit started to flicker back to life like the tiny little lights on our tree that had spent a year tucked away in the dusty attic. Christmas time for me was a time of awakening – and a time of reckoning.

The medication had brought me to a place were I could begin the work of recovery. I don’t think I realized it at the time just how much work it is to recover from depression and anxiety disorder - nor could I imagine the amount of effort it requires every day to stay on track. 

TM and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Fast forward to last week: recovering from a step backward, it ended up being one of the most successful weeks of my last decade! Not because I won any “major award”….

but, because I experienced a personal triumph over fear and isolation.

Though I am a big proponent of being open and honest, the thought of seeing my colleagues loomed large and heavy on my psyche when I returned to work in January - the what-will-people-think factor. My therapists at PHP {and in alcoholism recovery} tried to bolster us with identifying and correcting our negative thinking with things like, "it's none of your business what others think" or "you will never know what others think; focus on that which you can control" - all well and good when you are sitting in the warm, embracing arms of group therapy, but hard to remember when it's road-tested!

Because I now work part-time in a different department, I haven’t seen my former colleagues all that much, and when I’d pass them in the hall – especially my boss – there would be an awkward but polite exchange between us. This awkwardness has been gnawing at me for the past month, and I knew there was unfinished business needing attention – literally and figuratively.

Last week , when I headed to an all-staff meeting, I saw my boss again and we both said, Hi.  I proceeded to the meeting room, but stopped dead in my tracks. I turned around and walked back up to him. With a little humor and a smile, I told him that I'd been meaning to stop by; but we've not been at the office on the same days. I asked him when might be a good time to catch up about the past several months of my illness, and to follow-up on some remaining work issues. He was very pleased to chat and very supportive…and the next thing I knew, we had a lunch date scheduled for next week!

I headed back into the meeting room feeling a whole lot lighter. Facing the fear, and moving through it, did wonders for my confidence! The remainder of the week was stellar! I got a lot of school work and work work done, AND I reached out to friends that I hadn't spoken to in years! I now have a date to do coffee with one of my best friends!


RECOVERY LESSON #1: To break through the wall of depression / anxiety, you must take your sword to the heart of the beast - even if you can barely lift it. You cannot go around the beast to win the battle. You must move through the fear, move through isolation – even if it feels like it will burn a hole in your stomach! The rewards for doing so are too rich!!

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.


UPDATE (3/1/13): The one thing I failed to take into account when blogging...be careful what you say - your words will haunt you. I am struggling a little today - trying to accept my "disease", that it even is a disease in the first place, and I am struggling against the pull of the vortex. But then I thought about my own bloody words, "...you must take your sword to the heart of the beast - even if you can barely lift it." Guess I better lift the damn thing...if only to maintain my blogging integrity.So if nothing else, I'm doing it for you, dear readers.

No comments: