Thursday, May 05, 2011

Stupid, stupid neuro funk

Have I mentioned how much I love getting older?

I know my body so much better than at any other point in my life. I am in tune when something is amiss. I can use mental imagery to soothe many of my headaches. I know the little things that work on certain days, and the other things that work for ailments on others.

It's a wonderful place to be, especially considering that age brings many more of these issues.

This also goes for my neurological quirks. I have vocal tics that, I'm pretty sure, even my husband has never noticed. I have some motor stuff. Minor, and again - hidden from the rest of the world.

Despite my healthier diet, simplified life and destressification of as many things as possible, my dear friends Depression and Anxiety still like to hang out on occasion.

The last three weeks Depression has been in the house. Or, should I say, in my body. I can identify and label it quickly these days. This particular round has been due to a cornucopia of things, most of which are completely beyond my control. Yet, how I respond and help my body recover is completely up to me.

Oh ... and the things which work best to do this are the very things depression works directly against.

I have to move.

I have to make a "To Do" list of at least three things and then bribe myself to do them.

After I fix the ice maker, I can finish watching that movie.
When my bedroom is decluttered, I can catch up on blogs.
Once the showerhead is replaced, I can read for awhile.

Depression tells me to sit. I feel heavy. I feel a dark weight upon me. It's not laziness. I don't want to do ANYTHING, not even mentally. You would think that is when I get my best writing done, but nope. It fogs my brain. My body is sluggish, but my mind is racing (NOT in a productive way). It is a very specific chemical shift. The best thing I can do is to move - not do another project that requires sitting. I must physically be moving to shift my energy and change my brain.

I'm a big fan of the timer. I set a time for 15 minutes. I do SOMETHING that requires a physical act for 15 minutes ... picking up, moving something, sorting, watering outside, pulling weeds, cleaning out the fridge ... whatever.

I may have to do this several times a day. Once may be just enough to snap me out of it and redirect my chemistry to work for good.

I have accomplished my "To Do" list for the day. Now, I'm going to go out back with the girls and hoop. I'm gonna' learn to shimmy that dang thing up to my neck, if it kills me. I will move, even if it's pathetic. Hopefully, by tomorrow, I will be able to write about something else!



MommytoAJ4 said...

Weird. I'm in this place today. Today was the day I admitted it to the outside world, to the husband, to myself. Today is the day I Made myself get up and open the blinds and move to the dishwasher, that was my One Thing to do for the day. I completed my task. Then, I read your blog and a description of my current life. Weird. Haven't battled like this in over a year. Nice to know I'm not the only one. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Christine, Today you wrote about the very things I have been thinking and going through...again. It is so hard to push yourself to move when your heart feels like it weighs a million pounds. It is good, always, to know that someone else understands. Your writing inspires me! Thanks, Brenda.

Keri Harrison said...

Wow - you are totally describing the way I've been for 3 weeks now - still trying to decide if it's really just laziness. I absolutely want to do NOTHING - period.

Hmmmm - I like the timer idea - I'm going to try that.

Thanks for being so honest.

Ruth Chowdhury said...

I didn't know one of the signs/results/whatever of depression was wanting to sit and do nothing, and that it isn't laziness. I lost my baby 2 weeks ago (Easter weekend) and the first week was the denial stage and now I am in the depression stage for however long... Anyway, it's good to know that that's normal for depression. I actually felt great last night and today when I was up and moving. I gotta bribe myself more. I think that'd work to keep me moving more. If my kids weren't sick, I'd be outside today. It is lovely out. I'm finding it hard to have motivation for anything. Anyway, I guess all that is to say thank you. It helps to read that I am not alone, even if the reason is completely different. Thanks for the encouraging words and tips.

Becky said...

Well... we share something in common here - the need to make a "To Do" list. Darnit.

I think I will be adding that 15 minute timer to it as well :-)

Nobody said...

I can so totally relate to this. Probably the biggest thing I have done to overcome my depression and anxiety is to MOVE. I move constantly, and my TO DO lists are lengthy. Now I am physically ill, and both my body and the doctor say, "Stop moving! Rest!" At this stage of the game, I struggle with this most of all. It's like not being able to get my meds.

So I am now doing the opposite. Rest for fifteen minutes, and then you can fold that basket of laundry. Nap for an hour, and you can go out and clean out a flower bed. Just more lessons in the delicate balance that is a healthy, happy life.

Love you, and hope your happy cells start firing soon.

Elizabeth @ My Life, Such as it is... said...

I've been in this place for a few weeks now. I need to do exactly what you said - reward myself for getting things done. I know from the past that just getting up and doing something productive changes my mindset.

Kerrie said...

I'm having the same problem. Hmm. I couldn't possibly be mother's day, now, could it? Nah.

Lola Granola said...

Man, me too! I can't say this on my own blog, but last week my dad called to say that, after spending four ays with us and the kids at Disney, he thinks we are doing a terrible job. The kids are spoiled and ungrateful and we give them too much, and they're really just terribly behaved.
Then he asked how I was and I said, well, sucky, dad, you just told me I'm a terrible mother and he's all "I dint want you to feel bad! I'm trying to be constructive!" and I have this feeling like, oh, man, this is why I am the way I am.

Bryna said...

Thank you, thank you for sharing this! I am really struggling with the same stuff right now - Lack of motivation, inability to move or think, total "paralysis" leading to getting NOTHING done around the house let alone actual paid work. I've been struggling to figure out how much it's connected to depression versus my chronic pain condition flaring up versus my thyroid blah blah blah. I like the way you make a list of "To do" items that have rewards attached. I am going to try this. BTW I just friended you on FB, I don't know if you friend folks you don't know but given that you had the link on your blog as a big fan struggling with two traumatized kids of my own I decided to give it a try. No offense taken if you don't approve my request.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I have found you in the web :-)
When I read you I feel like reading myself... well... my English wouldn't be so good as I am Polish living in Poland :-)))
I am fighting depression for over 36 years now. I have better and worse times. I think my kids are giving me some strenght and keeps me alive. I gave up prosac and I work with myself in very similar way as you write about. I also have to move. I have to convince myself to move. I have to bribe myself no to think bad about myself... Strange but it works better than pills :-)
All the best for you and you family!
Hope to be a systematic guest on you blog :-)

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