I’m writing now from a workout bike … i’ve been thinking a lot lately about my lifestyle now, how it has evolved since taking this job in January, and what I want it to look like. I’m thinking about health, both physical and mental (which has a physical basis of course), and how I can be more healthy.
You see, I fell into another clinical depression this summer, known as a double depression for a dysthymic, and after feeling it’s pull for sometime, I began looking around for new information, for new approaches that might allow me to at least avoid falling into depression annually.
I felt myself falling into negative thought patterns that I had not experienced since my bulimic days more than 7 years ago – getting trapped inside my head and doubting that even those closest to me, such as Husband, wanted to listen to my worries or help me find ways out of them. I felt so unsure of myself it became difficult to ask for help for basic things. I slept more and more, by the end often more than half of the day on the weekends. I let the mail, dishes, bills, clothes, and clutter pile up. And I struggled to get out of bed on weekdays and get to work on time. I would always stay late and work on weekends to make up for missed time, but my bosses started showing displeasure at my late arrivals.
So I cast about, wondering if there was some way to stop this cycle. I finally got sick of it enough that I found some energy within to try to make a change. I downloaded some books on modern approaches to depression and dysthymia, and I started to think that maybe if I learned more I could construct my lifestyle in such a way as to ward off full-blown depression.
Just beginning to believe this made a difference. I knew that one of the strongest things I could do was to exercise regularly, but trying to start a new exercise routine was intimidating. So I started with Kinect (Your Shape, Adventures, Sports, etc) and just did 15 minutes at home on Saturdays. Even that left me sore for a few days, but I kept it up and felt myself getting stronger.
This slow change has been enough to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am gaining momentum – reading about yoga, meditation, and mindfulness-based stress reduction. And Husband is on board now too. So, where will this lead? I look forward to finding out.
- Too Little Exercise, Too Much TV Tied to Depression (nlm.nih.gov)
- Dysthymia: Fighting the Gloom (blogs.wsj.com)
- Dysthymia of the Damned (svindigo.wordpress.com)