Self-Assessment

***Meme is via Facebook***

Last week was not the greatest week for me. I have already detailed the difficulties that T and myself faced. I talked about how I fell ill. I did not tell mention that I spent my weekend wallowing. Feeling down and out, unmotivated, lethargic and not me. I was at a loss.

Sunday dawned and with it, a general feeling of well being. I awoke happy, energetic and optimistic. Wait? What? Optimistic? Had I missed something? I gave a mental shrug and began my day. Had been going to take another lazy day but as I looked around the clutter, the debris (not garbage but lego, dishes from the previous night) the laundry needing to be done, began to gnaw at me. I scrapped my hair back and set to work. An hour and a half later, my house was clean and I was again, feeling great.

I went for a walk and thought. Not about anything in particular until a scrap of memory came to me. My doctor and me had been talking awhile back, and I was giving him my self-assessment of how I had been doing and how I had been coping. Abashedly I paused and said or at least that is what I think. And my doctor looked at me and said, you know yourself the best, and you have a very good grasp on your mental state and how things affect you.

With a sudden start I realized that these last few days were not about my feeling ill. It was not about being lethargic or feeling useless.

The not feeling well.

In the last several months, when I have not felt well, it is my body’s first line of defense saying that I need to slow down and take a break. And once more I ignored it. Not willfully but due to the fact that I have only just realized the correlation.

After three weeks with me, T left for his week with his dad on Saturday. A day early as they had a wedding to attend.

My home was suddenly silent after being filled with little boy sounds and smells. I wandered around, a little bereft and the cats followed me, curious as to where the little one went. But at the same time, a small part of me was looking forward to my downtime. So now I added guilt into the mixture of feelings swirling throughout my body.

And my holidays were coming to an end.

I had had a wonderful two weeks, unwinding, recharging my batteries for work, reading, being with T and now it was over. To make matters worse, the weather has gone from late summer heat to fall’s crisp air and warmish temperatures. A rather sudden change for this beach bunny. Moving from the summer wear to my winter wear of hoodies, yoga pants and socks! Egads, I had to put socks on twice on the weekend. That is just plain wrong.

Add in the monthly hormonal issues and I am surprised that I was not sitting in the corner rocking myself back and forth. Instead, I had withdrawn and fallen back into patterns that I should have realized were detrimental to my well being. I was sliding down the rabbit’s hole, to wallow and be melancholy.

In other words, I had myself a little slip. A halfway slide down the slope of sadness. Guilt. Fear. Worry. Insecurity.

The voice that sometimes weasels its way free of the gilded cage I keep it in, whispering that I am not good enough. Not smart enough. That I am deluding myself with visions of grandeur. It found an inch and tried to take a mile before I was able to slam the cage door shut and relock it. With chains. And nails. And crossbars.

Since I began retaking my meds six months ago, life has been blissful. I have been doing so well. No sadness. No ruing my actions. No yelling. No screaming. T and me had been getting along so well. But the last week of holidays, it was old times all over again. Only I was unable to see it. And I am so good at putting on a face and smiling through my tears, that those I have in place to be my check point, were not even aware of what was going on with me.

My texts were brief and non-initiated. I did not face anyone so no one could read my face or my eyes. And I have been living with depression since I was a teenager. I know how to act so no one sees my pain. No one has to listen to my woeful complaints of loneliness and despair.

I do not paint this picture of myself to gain pity. I want others to understand that this illness sneaks up on you. It is not a matter of just taking medication, learning coping mechanisms or going to therapy. It is not even a matter of being aware and doing self-assessments so you know where you are at in your mental and physical well being.

Depression will drop over unannounced, settle into the comfortable spot on the couch and decide to stay awhile. I am lucky that it was a brief visit for me this time.

 

Author: Jay-lyn Doerksen

I am a single hard working mom in her 40's. I have always written poetry and I love words. I live with depression and its ups downs. This is a space where I can create and write all that I need to.

2 thoughts on “Self-Assessment”

  1. Not to be surprised given the changes that happened ie T gone for a week, weather, and loss of a friend seem a reason to be lethargic. Don’t be so hard on yourself but glad you are able to correlate the ideas ad feelings.

    You go girl!!!

    Did my first long walk today at 7000 steps…back on track.

    Love you mom

    Sharon Tu amiga de Chicxulub

    ________________________________

    Like

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