Saturday, June 12, 2021

Freedom from Depression

I never thought I'd fall into it because I had my ways of coping. I also have a strong support system. I'm not sure when it actually started. I knew I had some anxiety, but I was always able to suck things in and face issues. My parents taught me to be strong and not give in to weird thoughts. 

I should have taken care of myself better by taking more breaks, resting and saying no in a firmer way. Needless to say the armor broke down and my body went bonkers. It was in early March when I felt I needed help. I would feel super anxious whenever I had to attend a meeting. I did not sleep well days leading up to the meeting. Aside from breathing issues, I felt horrendous mentally too. 

A friend recommended a doctor. I tried to book time with him after the PE was discovered in January. I did not push through with it because I thought I could still cope. By March I wasn't feeling good (brain fog is real) and I just felt unwell all the time. I called up the doctor's office and set an appointment. I also SOS'd to my long-time cardiologist for help since I wasn't getting better physically. 

Things started rolling by April. I saw the new doctor and recounted to him all that I've been through. I spoke with labored breathing. The doctor said what I feared most, I was going through depression. I guess I fit the checklist. I left his office thinking how I could get myself out of this hole. 

I saw my doctor again last week. It was our fourth session. He said my determination was noteworthy. He said I looked much better and was happy with my progress. He also admired the new quilted bag I made (haha). So I thought today I'd share what I did to slowly get out of the rut I got myself into.

Accept that you are in a rut - denial is an enemy. You just need to accept things to move forward. I had to accept that there were things I loved doing that were bad for me.

Understand why you're depressed - my issue probably stemmed from my medical issues. I also have PTSD which is common for PE patients.

Create an anchor on why you want to get out of it - I knew having a well mind would help me recover physically. I want to be well for my family. 

Target to be better at least 1% more than the day before - I stopped pressuring myself from recovering immediately. The pressure was digging me into a deeper hole. 

Get help - I was broken both mentally and physically that's why I SOS'd also to my cardiologist. I'm so grateful that my doctors are all committed to make me well. Also identify your support system. For me it's been my family and a couple of friends. I know who I can run to when I need someone to talk with. 

Do activities that will make you feel good - I slept and slept and slept. My body needed it to recover, but eventually I started to have more energy. I began doing more chores at home, started to quilt more, joined a writers retreat, re-started my garden and I started to exercise more. 

Get your endorphins working - I only exercised before when I went to see my physiotherapist. She left the country though and the gym and clinics were closed due to stricter measures. I had to push myself to take care of myself. I took it slowly and started with breathing exercises, then wall push-ups and lifting dumbbells. Now I follow the gentle exercises by Justin Agustin and we got an exercise bike. Whenever I feel down I just get on the bike and spin for 5 minutes. It immediately lifts my mood. 

Commit to get better - I used my anchor as my motivation. Whenever I feel down I do activities that will help my mood. 

I sleep better now and I feel I'm slowly getting my old happy self back. I think I'll graduate sooner than expected from my psych doctor. So grateful to my friend who referred him. 

CB///*Yr2/63  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/90 #StayHome #BeKind 


PTSD - post traumatic stress disorder  


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