The final change I made to help me get over my depression was to my diet. I stopped drinking—did you know alcohol is a depressive? That it disrupts your sleep? You wake up more times throughout the night than you would without it, and you don’t get as much REM sleep, the kind you need to wake up feeling rested in the morning. So now I don’t drink. If I’m with strangers, I tell them I’m taking a medication that doesn’t allow me to drink alcohol. And I sort of am. But what I’m really doing is avoiding something that could make me feel much, much worse in the long run. I’m doing something good for me. It’s not up to everyone else to understand that, and they don’t need to know why. As an obliger, it’s hard for me to not do what everyone else is doing, but in this case, worth it.
And, I started Weight Watchers again. For some reason, I was ashamed to admit this, like I shouldn’t need help to lose weight. But I do. I have only lost weight twice in my life—the first time with a personal trainer, the second with Weight Watchers. So here we go again. I am counting points and eating fruit like it’s going out of style. I’m trying a bunch of new recipes, which as you know, is fun for me, and I’m figuring out ways to make my old favorites a little healthier. I like the challenge, and the planner in me likes to know what I’m going to eat the next day, whether I’ll stay within my allotted points or not. So far the weight loss has been slow-going—I’ve consistently lost about a pound a week, which isn’t much. But to sustain this kind of lifestyle, I’m told that’s a good thing. So I will continue to trudge along, to eat healthfully, and reap the benefits to both my body and my mind.
I had an appointment with my psychiatrist last week and she did the depression screen again, and my score was a fraction of what I started with. My suicidal thoughts, which once occurred almost daily, have disappeared. My outlook on life is happier, my attitude more easygoing. Medication works, people. Talk therapy works. Exercise works. Taking care of your body works. I’m here to tell you that recovery is possible, and if you’re even considering making an appointment to speak with someone about how you’re been feeling DO IT. At first it will feel overwhelming but it will get better, I promise. Just remember, we’re in this together.
I’m looking forward to summer for the first time in years. I’m going outside and looking at the sunshine and thanking God that I now have the mental capacity to appreciate it. I want to go out more than I want to stay in. I want to go to the pool with the kids and get a tan and not waste one more second of my life wondering whether I’m important enough. Whether I’m good enough to take up space on this beautiful Earth. I now know that I am. That there are people here who need me and love me and depend on me. I am important to them. And I am important to me.
I am enough.