Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Indigo Files: Day Five

Is it really a happy pill? A magic bullet? Perhaps it slices, dices, makes julienne fries!

Day 5, May 17. Monday: 6am came too early today. Had a finicky stomach all day, and a racing heartbeat. I feel anxious, but don't know about what. I'm all over cold sweaty, too, but it's dang hot & humid outside so it could just be Texas in May. Just trying to keep a couple bites of food in my stomach, and keep doggedly attacking whatever comes next. I hope I don't have to give up coffee altogether. I'm about to switch to decaf if the heart rate doesn't settle down soon.

Got lots of blogging done today, but the housework is coming unraveled. Not too worried about it, but I do need to focus on that next. Unfortunately, the happy pill doesn't do the housework for you. Baby has been extra fussy today. It's going to start bugging me pretty soon, happy pill or no.

Bedtime: Turned my light out by 10:30, slept totally unconscious of anything until the alarm went off. And then 35 minutes longer until Boo came in to get me. She deserves an extra special responsibility award for getting herself up and dressed without me for most of this semester. I will have to remember that.

Between slumber and wakefulness lies a misty twilight world of disputable reality. As one emerges from this twilight into the light of morning, sometimes one can literally sense the fog rolling away.

So it was for me, that first week. I felt myself growing more alert, more present, as the haze of my dark night burned away. The sense of self returning seems so strange when you didn't fully realize you were gone.

And as I became more aware of my surroundings, one fact became crystal clear: my time to develop personal discipline is now. Depression has its roots in the physical, but mental state plays a part, too. The times in my life I have felt most depressed were times when I was not happy with my situation. And through the years I have come to identify my unhappiness as rooted in lack of self-discipline, also called self-control.

Ahh, self control. You are one of the noted benefits of the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives. Funny how physical is tied in with mental, which is rooted in emotional, which is based on the spiritual.

I know better than to think of this serotonin booster as my magic bullet to happiness. Life is much more complex than that. So my intent is to work with the pill: to use my energy boost to do the housework; to develop a daily routine; to set writing goals and work toward them; to eat well, exercise, get enough sleep.

Everyone struggles with this kind of discipline. Someone close to me shared their opinion of this pill: We do not indulge in a happy pill. It's a normal pill. It puts us on the same playing field as the normal people (not the perfect ones).

I can't share enough what a difference I feel in my outlook now. The housework is still there, but somehow I have the courage to keep going on it long after I would have six months ago. The kids still drive me to the moon with their bickering, but I find many moments when I am able to stop and take a breath to regain my composure. Again, everyone struggles with these things. They are part of life.

But I am not buried deep within myself, wishing the days away. I am finding enjoyment in my kids, marveling at their complexity and creativity. I have energy to invite friends over, to make plans to go out, to be more involved in my church community. Basically, I have my annual fall burst of energy, all the time.

The road may be long and involve more tweaking of the treatment as time goes on. It may sometimes be difficult. But overall, I feel so blessed at least to have had this window of time when I can recapture who it is I want to be, and write about it so that if I lose my way again, I can look back and remember why it's worth it to fight this fight.

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