Last week I commented on not remember how in the hell I drag myself out of a lukewarm, soupy depression (or “The Swamp of Sorrows”) once I am deep into it and I have been really beating my head against a wall about this. The good news is that I remembered what I usually do today. I just fucking do the work it takes to get out of it; it is as simple as that! Before I go much further here I want to make something very clear. I know my mind and I know my body. I know my mental issues well and have dealt with them for decades. If you are experiencing severe depression I strongly urge you to seek professional help! Please do not use what I do and say here as a self-treatment plan! I am not a doctor! Like I said, I know about me and my particular situation/illness and I understand it. I have worked with professionals, have been on medications in the past, and I know when I need to get help and if I need it I get it.
OK, disclaimer out of the way! So anyway, after going to that dinner last weekend and overcoming the anxiety and fear of rejection I felt before going I felt pretty accomplished and sassy. I have been wrestling my insomnia issue this week and finally decided to give melatonin a try. I am happy to report that the melatonin worked great! I am still adjusting but I am getting back on track and hopefully when I have my follow-up for the sleep apnea testing in a couple of weeks I will get my sleeping under control.
I had a wonderful visit with my dear friend Sharon this morning; I always feel so good after spending time with her. Have you ever known someone who just feels like a piece to your cosmic puzzle? That is what our friendship feels like. No matter how much time we spend apart, when we are together it is like we just saw each other the day before. After Sharon left and I had lunch my neighbor Angie and I went for a short walk. I asked her if she wanted to start walking with me yesterday and after a short discussion we decided on three days a week but let me tell you, when it came time for our walk today I just didn’t want to go! It is shitty and cold out there and it was raining that cold, soaky sort of rain Portland seems to specialize in… the idea of going out in it was really unappealing and I could have very easily canceled, but I made myself go. That is when the answer to this depression thing came to me. I just fucking make myself get out and do shit until I eventually I forget I have been forcing myself to be social and get exercise and it becomes part of everyday life. Silly me, I knew I was making things more difficult than they needed to be.
Spending time with Sharon today made me think of another of my goals for 2013. This one has actually been wearing on me for some time now. It seems there are stages in my life when I have had to step back and evaluate my friendships… we all go through this. I think the first time I did that was when I got out of high school and moved away. I know I did this a couple of times in the four or five years after my son was born and then again after my son’s dad and I split up. I think we all have millstone friend checks around 20 and 30, and I believe that may be happening to me now at 40. When I was in my early 20s I think the friend inventory was driven by the fact that many of my childhood friends continued down a path that I veered off of when I left the small town we grew up it. We were just different people and I didn’t want to be involved in what they were doing.
In my early 30s I was in a new and serious relationship, I had a career that I loved and my son was in grade school… I again stepped back and decided who fit and who didn’t. But at this age I have realized what the friend sorting is all about. I can’t claim to know what this is about for the rest of the world but I know what it is about for me.
It is about being around people who make me feel good about who I am. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking I mean that friends have to do something to make you feel good because that is not at all what I am saying. What I am saying is that if you don’t feel good about who you are after simply spending time with or speaking to a person then what kind of a friendship is that? Why on earth do we spend time with people that make us feel bad? Do we on some subconscious level think that we do not deserve to feel good so we keep people who drag us down just to keep our egos in check??? Well no matter the reason, I am done doing it.
I will not be spending time with people who make me feel bad anymore. Now that I am 40 I think it is high time that I give myself permission to feel good about who I am. I have no desire to be around people who are snarky with me for no good reason; who cut me down and tease me (in a non-joking way… seriously, people who love you know what is OK and funny to joke about and what isn’t), or people who dismiss me. I have no desire to compete with anyone, especially a friend, so I will not be spending any more time around people who feel the need to make everything a competition. And I absolutely will not be investing time in relationships with people who cannot get over their envy. This kind of goes hand in hand with the competition thing but warrants recondition on its own.
It is OK to be envious once in a while, I think it is only human to feel a little jealous when you see someone make a major achievement that you have been working toward or acquire something that you would like to have, I mean we are only fucking human for crying out loud! But a jealousy so consuming that you are unable to feel joy for another person is poison. This above all other things is not something that I need to have in my life as I forge a new path to my happiness and move forward on it. I regret the time I have spent on people who don’t make me feel good. I regret the time I have dedicated to unhealthy friendships. But the thing I regret most of all is taking this long to recognize this pattern of clinging to relationships that make me feel bad because I secretly thought I deserved a little punishment in life.