Friday, November 07, 2008

Unstuck

As some of you know, I've been rather depressed for the past few weeks. I'm happy to say, though, that last Sunday I came unstuck from this down period - free - motivated once more. I did something that clearly got me there, but I'm not sure I should tell you about that yet. Don't know if you'd believe that the little email I sent to a bunch of people could lift me up so dramatically.

I recently read something about indicators of depression that can be there, even though you might not feel sad or down. Did you know that not opening mail, not paying bills, not shopping for groceries can be a sign of depression? And how very long that has been a problem for me! I've probably been depressed for a lot longer than I realized.

When I'm well and on top of things, I plan menus for several days at a time, make a grocery list, and go shopping. Instead I've lately not thought about what to make for dinner until dinner time is upon us and I find nothing in the house to make. I've been relying a lot on ready-made Costco items: quesadillas, chicken pot pies, pasta with ready-made sauce. Not like me at all. When I shop it's for only a few items at a time. I was unable to plan ahead.

I believe that one of the many things that brought on my depression was having my life spin virtually out of my control: Mom sick and in need of a nursing home; trying to promote a book; Living Room and the establishment Living Rooms elsewhere. Sometimes I feel like I should have an office. Living Room is beginning to be an organization. I also concern myself a fair amount with the needs of individuals. It's all part of being a Living Room facilitator - a shepherd of sorts. And I do very much love that work. That work has not suffered. It has been hard to keep the household going, though.

Though I'm now feeling motivated and no longer depressed, life is still out of control. But today I realized that what I really need to do is to start making some lists. I've been far too relaxed about that. When I think of all the things I need to do that I'm not getting down to: UGHH!!! I've even been forgetting that I need to have all the stuff moved out of Mom's apartment within the next couple of weeks. UGGH! And there is writing I've promised to do and been forgetting about. Bunches of emails flagged that I need to tend to and am forgetting about. UGHH! Then there's my blogging. I feel very bad that I haven't visited my bloggin pals for such a long time and that I'm not posting more. (I've been emailing friends instead.)

Thankfully, Mom is now in a good nursing home, but she still needs some care from me to make sure she settles in well. I think that's another thing that has helped me get undepressed. I feel at peace, knowing she's now only fifteen minutes away - nice and close. I can make frequent visits yet not have it take up a lot of time.

However, if I'm not careful and get things under control, I'll be headed for another depression. I need to take control. I need to make lists - a list of everything that needs doing and lists of things to do each day. I shouldn't go to bed without knowing what I'll try to do the next day. These are coping techniques I've always advocated and look at me now - I've totally dropped my good habits - relaxing too too much. Tonight I will make a good long list of every item that needs doing. I will prioritize and make plans when to accomplish the most important work.

Wonderful thing is, now that I've escaped the depression I feel motivated, more able to make those lists, more able to take control of my life. Thank God!!

Tomorrow or the day after, I'll tell you about the email I sent to all my Living Room friends, an email that gave me joy and gave me that final lift out of depression. And a very dramatic lift out it was! Stay tuned.

6 comments:

Wellness Writer said...

Marja,
Isn't it interesting that we both make lists to figure out how to organize our lives and get well?

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better, and that your mom is settled in a nice place close to your home. Can't wait to read about the email.

Susan

marja said...

Hi Susan,

I feel lists are the only way to go if you're going to accomplish anything. When I have a clearly laid out list of things I need to do I waste less time wondering what to do next. It takes away all the stress of worrying about things. You dump it all out of your head onto paper. Then you just tick each item off as you complete it. It makes life so much more manageable.

Interesting thing is that it seems harder to create lists when you're depressed. Harder to plan.

About the email: I just hope it doesn't disappoint after all this.

Nancie said...

So thankful to God that you are better, Marja. You are in my prayers. Thank God for enabling you to cope with the many challenges. Glad to know that your mom is now very near to you. Do pace yourself moderately. I am still learning to do so. I have also found writing a list helps greatly. Take care and may God grant you a restful and refreshing weekend and Lord's day.

Di said...

Marja,
So good to hear that you are doing better! God has anwered prayer!
Will now pray that the lists are all the help they need to be.
Hugs,
Di

marja said...

Thank you, Nancie, for the good wishes. I hope you're doing okay. Haven't checked your blog for a while. Sorry. Catching up with people is on my list of things to do :)

marja said...

Hi Di, I'm sure lists will help. They always do. And they will help me cope, no matter how busy I get. Thank you for your prayers. See you tomorrow in church.