Saturday, January 25, 2014

I made it through the week

This past week, I exhausted every possible coping skill on my extensive list.  Well, at least, I did all the ones on my winter list – the ones I could on my own.  OK, I guess the list wasn’t that long now that I think about it.

I really tried to make painting work toward my advantage, this week and many times before then.  It seems so sensible – I’m having a bad day, so why don’t I sit down at my easel, swirl around some paint, and let the brush take me away to magical places of peace and tranquility.

But, I can’t…

No matter how hard I try, painting doesn’t come naturally to me.  I just end up getting so irritated and down on myself even more.  I was so irritated the other day that I even put everything away.  Boxed, shut, in the closet, and easel packed up and under the bed.  Maybe, if I am more intentional about painting rather than having it out all the time, I will actually do some creating.  I don’t know, probably not.

One day last week, I finally gave up trying to fix the problem, and I sat down at the kitchen table.  I received some lovely flowers last week from my mom.  They are so bright and cheerful and they smell so nice.  Looking at them is a little oasis from the dead, cold winter.

We have a really nice camera that takes really good pictures no matter how bad of a photographer you are.  I got out the camera and started taking pictures of my flowers.  Then, after the mini photo shoot, I put the pictures on my computer and edited them in a very basic photo program on windows.

The result?  The new header picture for this blog.

It represents more than just “time for a change”.  It reminds me that I can’t always be confined to lists and shoulds and oughts.  They have their place as well.  However, sometimes I need to just let myself alone.  I don't have to fix the problem all the time.

So, I can’t get myself out of this funk.  That’s OK.  It’s OK if I don’t do anything productive.  It’s OK that I don’t work.  It’s OK that I don’t have “the next big thing” happening in my life.  It’s OK if I don’t get everything done that I want to get done.  It’s OK if I don’t do anything at all!

Often times, when I am feeling more depressed than usual or I am having lots of tormenting eating disorder thoughts, I want to fix the problem right away.  If I can’t fix it right away, then I get even more down, more discouraged, and I end up making matters worse.

Since I’ve been through the worst when it comes to depression, I am afraid of going down that path again.  So when symptoms pop up and don’t go away, I freak out.  On the other hand, since I am aware of it, I know what the warning signs are and I won’t let myself get that bad again.  And neither will my husband, family, or friends let me go there again.

I am really blessed to have such wonderful family and friends.  I've had several great conversations that have literally got me through this week unscathed.  It's so hard for me to ask for help - I am blessed to have people in my life who offer their help without me having to ask.

I learned the lesson, again, that I have to be patient with myself.  I’m also reminded that I need to give myself permission to feel down.  I am allowed to feel sucky.  It doesn’t mean everything is falling apart.  It doesn’t mean I am having a relapse.  It just means that its winter and it sucks and I am allowed to feel sucky.


  1. You're not having a relapse because you are capable of having compassion for yourself. That's a big deal! The flowers are beautiful, and so is your painting. hugs!

    1. Thank you! I never thought about that. Having compassion for myself is a huge deal, you're right. In the past, when things were way worse, I had zero empathy or kindness for myself. Thank you for reminding me just how far I''ve come!