Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Bump in the Road

It's hard for me to say I'm not doing okay.  But that's where I was much of today.  My depression and anxiety are lying to me.  I don't believe them, but it's still been a hard day.  I've been having negative thoughts about myself, overreacting to things, and I just wanted to hide in a corner somewhere.  And truthfully, sometimes in these moments hiding in a corner for a while is the best thing I can do.

I was already feeling a bit off when I woke up this morning, it seems it's been building up for a week or so with the stress and just feeling not quite right.  Being overly busy, which I have been for over a month, can trigger a mood like this.  Especially once I have a bit of down time like I have had this weekend.  Today at church was youth Sunday, which meant both of my sons would be participating in the service in one way or another.  One was leading the prayer and the other was playing his electric bass with the band and reading scripture.  It "should" have been a happy and proud moment for me, but when I'm feeling bad it doesn't really matter what's happening on the outside.  I am proud of my sons and they did a great job, but my actual experience at church was mostly one of self-judgment and social anxiety.

One of my sons was also having a difficult time before church and I didn't handle it very well at all.  I was reactive instead of trying to be understanding.  I felt the wrath of his anger for that one, which sent me a bit deeper.  During church I was thinking a lot about what a bad father I was, though my thoughts attacked me in other ways as well.   I know I'm not a bad father, but those thoughts are very real and powerful.  There were moments throughout the service, which I can objectively say was beautifully done, where I escaped the fog and enjoyed it.  The music was great and the teen who gave the sermon was inspiring.  But the negative thoughts kept coming back and after the service they kicked back in completely.  I've learned that, at these moments, it is best for me to just get away.  Of course, this isn't always an option.  So I stuck it out and then headed home once I was able..

Now that I'm home and some time has passed I can already look at the experience with a little bit of perspective.  It is very hard to be out in public and interact when I'm not thinking straight.  Battling negative thoughts and feelings while I'm surrounded by people connecting with each other is hard.  So is having conversations with people while my head is filled with negativity and heaviness.  One thing I've improved on in these moments is being less judgmental of myself.  I had the awareness today, even in the moment, that the thoughts aren't reality and they will pass.  I was able to get myself home and start getting myself back together.  I took a nap, went to yoga, and tonight I'm feeling a little bit better.

I still don't fully understand my depression and anxiety.  It has a mind of its own, comes and goes when it pleases, and I can't always predict when and where it will emerge.  Today was definitely a ride it out day.  I went through the motions, I did the tiring work of challenging my negative thoughts, and I made it through the day.  I don't like it, but it's part of living with depression.  Oddly enough, I'd call it a successful day.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

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