Thursday, June 14, 2018
making another comeback... rough year, lost a good friend to cancer, started a new job, moved... done feeling sorry for myself and making excuses and realizing that I've not felt like myself for more than a year. Yes, I'm back to my top weight, and would prefer to be more fit. But this is ultimately about managing my depression and anxiety. Last summer and fall I used an antidepressant for the situational stress and grief related to the death of my friend. (It worked, but I wanted off as quickly as possible). What I feel now is far less acute, and I'm highly functional... and most days are good (but not great). Just feeling flat. Like, not myself and a little lost. Finding that joy and peak experiences are beyond my grasp. When I have free time I've been "self medicating" with mindless phone app games and terrible netflix. And food. Always my old reliable.
I don't much like who I am right now, and I know I can do better because I HAVE done better. Casting about for solutions, and the universe (as always) put them under my nose. Articles, radio interviews and more... all reminding me that exercise provides literally a chemical ingredient to happiness and well being (let alone health). I remember how awesome I felt back when I was exercising regularly and need to push myself over the "getting started" hump (where depression insists that it's too hard, you're too tired, you don't have fitness clothes that fit, etc etc)... and fill my time (because I DO have time--depression lies about this too) with stuff that lifts my spirits, refills my empty bucket, and TRULY recharges me.
One step, which was honestly the hardest to do, was to admit that I need to set minimal, gentle boundaries with my newly widowed best friend (it was her husband who passed) when it comes to my "happy place." I love to hike, and all of last year, we hiked together at my favorite spot. I still want to hike and walk WITH her, but have recognized that I'm a loner, and my preference is to commune with nature alone, in silence, and at a pace that really pushes me to my limits. That's not the experience I have when we're together. And I need and deserve to have that (all to myself) at least once a week.
I'm on the right track. I've made goals, adjusted my work schedule, adjusted my kid schedule (with the support of my awesome husband), and bought basics to overcome the immediate "I can't work the gym in or be seen in my ratty old workout gear" objections. I also scheduled a weekday with my best friend--wherever we walk or hike, she's still a major priority. Just not my ONLY priority.
And last night, I hiked the happy place solo, and it was SPLENDID.