I haven’t been feeling like myself for several weeks. I’m tired all the time. My body feels achy. I feel stiff and brittle and like I’m stuck in the body of a little old lady. I don’t get around easily. It’s been monumentally frustrating. I finally decided to see the doctor, sure that there was something seriously wrong with me. Countless questions, blood tests, and an EKG later I got the one result I just wasn’t expecting: “Everything came back normal. There is nothing physically wrong with you. Your symptoms are likely physical manifestations of severe depression.”
My eyes instantly filled with tears as I searched my mind for something that we missed. Then it hit me. The signs. All the signs that had been there that I just couldn’t see. Or didn’t want to see. The ever growing to do list. The countless unreturned voicemails, emails, and texts. The bookmark in my book that hasn’t moved in weeks. The daunting pile of clean laundry that has been waiting to be put away. I told myself I was too busy but the reality is I just couldn’t bring myself to do any of it.
I was avoiding it.
Avoidance is my number one sign of depression. I don’t feel sad, or sleep all day, or start crying out of nowhere. I just avoid. I avoid things I don’t like to do and I avoid things I love to do. I feel like I don’t have the mental energy for any of it. I know this. It’s not the first time this has happened. So I start beating myself up for not seeing it sooner. I beat myself up for missing the signs. I shake my head at how obvious it all seems now. Then I remind myself to just…
I remind myself that I can do this. I remind myself of all of the tools that I have that will help me. I remind myself that I have an amazing support system. I have a number of friends and family that I could call right this very minute and they will be there for me. Almost as if they were waiting for my call. I remind myself of all of my blessings. And, most importantly, I remind myself to love myself exactly as I am. To have compassion for myself. To trust myself. To allow myself to be exactly where I am.
Trust the process.