Most of us are terrible at saying no. Squeezing more and more into our days, trying to, apparently, get the most / give the most out of them.
What do I expect of myself?
Do I have expectations that aren’t guided by someone else’s (actual or imagined) expectations of what Fiona does, who she is, and what she can manage.
Zoey just wrote about ‘managing’ depression. For me that is very similar. I manage. I get by. I tread water. Trying to stay afloat for that day when I can do more than that.
The day when it goes from struggling to tread water and keep my head up, to being able to float there, and perhaps even enjoy the swim. One day.
At the moment, I’m feeling myself stretch my energies too thinly. Leaving less energy to keep me treading water, and giving me more lapses. I have moments of forgetfulness, of slower processing, of not seeing a point to getting out of bed. I get frustrated with myself for not being able to function as well as I should. I get angry for putting myself in this position. For not respecting my own limits. For having those limits, but not thinking about them until I falter.
Bronwyn writes that accepting her own limitations has become easier with time. I still have all these shoulds in my mind. Like that I should be working full-time, and managing outside obligations, and have a social life and be happy and healthy. That I should be the Fiona that I think you all expect me to be.
So, my psych has started me on a DBT Diary Card (click to view) to get me tracking how I treat myself, how I feel about it, and any strategies I put in place to stop myself carrying out any urges (such as self harm, drinking etc). Interesting to sit there, only on day one, and rate from 0-5 “How strong was the urge to use, suicide, self-harm”, rating emotions such as shame and fear, and matter of fact things such as alcohol and prescription drug misuse. There’s even a place to rate how much you felt like dropping out of therapy!
I’m not yet up to knowing what the strategies to use are (aside from a little self soothing and distraction!) and won’t learn them all until I get off the waitlist for the more intense program in a few months, but I like having direction. Something concrete, so I can’t fluff about so much. Seasoned at the “oh yeah things are fine at the moment” because, honestly, when I’m in a good mood I can’t even IMAGINE what it’s like to have those negative feelings and do those things to myself.
Still working off the energy from last night’s Garbage gig. And from my afternoon therapy sessions. Struggling with some things, more practical questions of “what’s the best decision to make re x” but we’ll get there.
It was only AFTER that today that she then goes on to “so the quetiapine can cause an increase in appetite. Do you want to see a dietitian? But you know surgery can help reduce your appetite come back and I can give you a referral”
“so why are you on that again? because you shouldn’t be getting in under PBS unless you have Bipolar or Schitzophrenia. They audit you know”
So after THAT I get my repeat contraceptive pill script (you know, after she can’t get a good blood pressure reading because I’m crying after she so tactfully suggests surgery and pops me on the scales. Yah, I know I’m overweight. And I know a lot is recent. So one step at a time. A dietitian would be a good idea, but geez. Bedside manner??)
I’m pretty sure that one of my ways of coping with change or let downs, is to not get too attached or invested in something in the first place. It doesn’t always work that way, of course, but a level of indifference can help block some short-term pain, even if you lose out on things because of it in the long run…
Or, I’ll invest in the moment. In some ways I might be actually mindful of the moment, and live more in the present than the past or future than would naturally cause the levels of anxieties I have. BUT. But, it goes with the love me or hate me, love you or hate you, be totally excited in the moment but then even forget it happened. Knowing OF something rather than truly remembering it if it was highly awesome. Or, if it was totally distressing.
I “know” that I’m happy a lot of the time. I “know” I’ll get back to that state at some point. But that knowledge doesn’t always help when I’m trapped in a hell hole of a mood that I feel is infinite at that moment.