|Photo by Simon_sees|
I'm rapidly becoming depressed (and anxious about flying). I know what to do, just struggling with the ability to even do.
You see, it's not as easy as it should be - simply knuckle down, "put on [my] 'Big Girl' panties", and apply all the other wellness tools about which I preach here and teach my peers on the job. If it were that easy for me, consider it done!
Rather, it's a weight bearing down - an invisible suit of lead. Or a cage - a dark tunnel with only a lit match to guide me out.
At one family night, back when I was in addiction treatment, another group member's wife was on the verge of tears, asking her husband, "I don't understand - why can't you just stop? You see what it's doing to you and our family."
He had no answer for her, but I chimed in:
It's like being at a pool and watching all the other swimmers dive in and successfully swim the length of the pool while holding their breath. It's your turn. You think, 'Piece a cake.' You dive in and only a few meters out, you need to breath. You keep on going, saying to yourself, 'Knuckle down. Just do it. Everyone else did...'; but with every stroke, the urge to breath is stronger and stronger until it's so overwhelming you come up for air. You pop up, and everyone's disappointed in you. You're disappointed in you.
So you try again...and again...and again, and every time it's the same. In fact, the more you try, the shorter the distance before you need to breathe."
And that's the way it is too with depression, although not so much an urge to do something, rather an inability to do the very thing(s) that will help.
The need to do something (addiction) or inability to do something (depression) is so ingrained in your wiring, it's almost fully unconscious. It's like the urgent drive to patch the hole with your finger before the dam bursts, or the instinct to seek cover from the hailing storm. You just do it, all the while maintaining the face of "normal" to the rest of the world. You mask you're illness until the disparity between your inside and the outside becomes too great and you explode or implode.
Often, the only way out, is to learn to breath with an instructor, and it can't be family. Most of the time, it can't even be friends. Sometimes the only way out is to leap into the arms of a professional and trust that they'll guide you eventually to the other side of the pool.
So, I guess I just solved my own dilemma. Calling my therapist today.