Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Blue Day

Today is a gloomy, cloudy day. Even Pikes Peak has the blues.
But I don’t. And that makes me smile!

A month ago, the weather would have affected me and I would have been down in the dumps. But, my Vitamin D levels must be where they need to be and therapy is obviously working. I feel normal and engaged in life without any depression today. Hallelujah!

This doesn’t mean I never have a blue day anymore. In fact, I had one a little over a week ago on a sunny day. And I learned something from it.

When we are recovering from depression, a down day can make us think, “Here I go again, back into depression. Will it ever go away?”

My therapist explained that the brain remembers the path it’s been down to depression, and once it has been down that path, it’s easier for the brain to go there. But, it doesn’t have to stay there.

On the day I was depressed, I left my house at 6:00 a.m. to take a friend of a friend to the airport in Colorado Springs. I was a little bit anxious about driving because I hadn’t driven to the Springs airport in many years. Everything went fine and I was home by 8:00 a.m. I sat down and fell asleep, woke up at 9:00 and felt blah. Kate left the house to go somewhere with a friend. I felt a little more blah.

By 10:00, I was just plain depressed. I did the things I know to do to cope with depression. I ate breakfast and lunch. Took my vitamins and supplements. Spent some time with God in silence and prayer. Got outside and took a walk enjoying the sunshine. But, the cloud of depression didn’t lift.

I thought, “Okay. Today I am depressed. So, I’ll just be depressed.”

And that’s what I did. I gave myself the grace I needed to accept that I would be depressed that day. I realized that going to the airport early that morning threw me off and had made me anxious. Kate’s leaving when I’d thought she’d be home had made me feel lonely.

I did what needed done that day and didn’t worry about what didn’t get done. I felt the depression and lived with it. I didn’t make it out to be worse than it was and I didn’t panic because I felt depressed.  Later in the afternoon, I watched a movie, something I don’t do very often by myself. But I enjoyed it and didn’t lay on the guilt for watching it.

John came home from work and Kate came home. I related that I’d been pretty depressed, but I didn’t run myself down for it. Just said that’s the way it was. Hopefully, the next day I’d be normal again.

I got a good night’s sleep and woke up the next morning feeling fine.
Looking back, the one thing I would do differently is call a friend and go out for lunch. That may have helped my loneliness and bumped me out of depression.

Accepting a day of depression seemed to take the power away from the depression. If I accepted it, I didn’t have to feed it with feelings of unworthiness or worthlessness. I examined my emotions and understood why I felt the way I did and it is okay to feel that way.

A blue day can be just that—a blue day. Nothing more, nothing less.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Gayle! I have gone through some depression this last year. I am not in therapy, but I am learning how to deal with it with help from my doctor. It is so amazing how much you learn about yourself when you are aware of what is happening around you and how it makes you feel. I love that you can give yourself grace!