“I’m Fine”…….

Im-Fine

Last week I went back to my GP asking for help with a sudden onset of a severe depression. At the time, she suggested that I might need some time off work to recover and get myself back on track and, true to form, I said, “No, thanks, I’m sure I’ll be fine; it’s just a blip”.

That was a tad optimistic to say the least and over the week and weekend it became patently obvious that I wouldn’t be “fine” and having wrestled with both the disappointment and stark reality of my illness, this morning I was at the Drs surgery at 08.15am waving the white flag.

I am now off work for 2 weeks. There is no doubt that I need the time out and we spent a good 30 minutes going through my mind-mapping exercise so that I can plot my recovery properly. Anti-depressants only go part of the way to lifting mood long-term and therefore we identified a number of things that I need to do over the coming weeks and months to secure success.

My biggest challenge? To be kind to myself.  My GP recognises that this is the crux of many of my issues and that with the high standards that I expect of myself  I live with constant disappointment. I have to achieve. It is deeply ingrained in my core and unless I am achieving something, however small and insignificant, I am a failure. I can’t just do something and enjoy it, there has to be a purpose otherwise, what’s the point?  I know that I have to work very hard on turning this ethos upside down and hopefully persuade myself that I can do something purely for enjoyment.

Challenging this mindset is going to be difficult, it has been part of me for almost half a century and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t collecting certificates, accolades, trophies, rosettes and badges for my efforts. I even have all the photos taken over the years to prove it but it is time to stop.

Depression the illness and the recovery is exhausting and I spent a few hours this afternoon asleep. When I woke up, the skies had cleared and the sun was out and whilst there is a stiff breeze, I went for a short walk around the village to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. I don’t want to spend the next 2 weeks in bed however tempting that may be at the moment so I am going to pump up the tyres on my bike and get cycling. That should help to clear the mind and gentle exercise will hopefully stimulate those endorphins to multiply exponentially!

005

Magnolia, Garden of Remembrance, Lubenham

Pied Beauty-Gerard Manley-Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things —
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced — fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

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6 thoughts on ““I’m Fine”…….

  1. It’s a sign of strength to ask for help and also very brave. This is just one step, they won’t all be like this. ‘All will be well. Stay strong – love and prayers.

  2. Perfectionism…yeah, it’s a killer. it’s been one of my depression factors for all my life but it’s only in the last two years that I’ve been able to do anything about it. My therapist spent months on “schema focussed therapy”, “unrelenting high standards” in particular. If you Google those terms, maybe you can find some stuff to help you work on the issue? I still like to get everything right, but I can handle “failure” a bit better than I used to. And, yes, I like to achieve stuff all the time. I don’t sit and watch TV in the afternoon because I haven’t “earnt” it yet. But I can watch it for as long as I like if I’m doing the ironing at the same time. *rolls eyes*. Maybe your crafts can help you there? Allow yourself a day to make whatever you want; the only proviso is that you’re not allowed to feel guilty about taking “me” time? And make something that doesn’t have a purpose. Don’t make something you need, or something to give to a friend.
    My therapist would set me completely pointless tasks. When I left my appointment, I had to open the boot/trunk of my car and then close it. I had to go into a shop and read the first three ingredients of a breakfast cereal. I had to catch a bus into town and then get on the next bus back home without doing anything else. I had to fill out a pointless questionnaire. I had to switch on the TV three times a day and write down whatever programme was on. I was amazingly resistant to these activities; the arguments in my head were unbelievable. But, after a few of them, I got her point. I still like to have a reason for doing stuff, but I don’ think it drives me as much as it used to.
    Good luck.

  3. Thank you this is really interesting and I’m glad that I’m not the only one! I will Google the information and have a read as it sounds like it will be helpful. Like you, I don’t watch TV/Film unless I’m doing something else at the same time but am making myself do just that. Thanks for the tips, much appreciated 😀

  4. “The Italian Job” movie helped me to stop lying. I learned that I’m FINE stands for “I’m Freaked-out, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional.” Yup, some days I’m FINE. My daughter got after me for lying all the time about how I feel so I hunted for answers. I explained to her that most people asking that question don’t actually want to know the answer. I am better at finding a phrase or something that reflects more how I feel. On really bad days, I may say that I am “Vertically challenged” meaning it is a challenge to stay standing up.
    I like stacey1979 suggestions. The one I used for myself was Sudoku. I did the really hard ones but I had two added rules. I could ‘peak’ at the answer and if I made I mistake I get to put a great big X across it. I may not go back and correct it. I will be honest with you. The first one that I had to X nearly caused a full blown panic attack. I kept reminding myself it was just a bunch of numbers in a little square. It was not the end of the world. It did not make me stupid or incompetent. There was this huge list of things that I attached to the simplest mistake. I am learning to do things just for fun. I am learning that not doing some things is not the end of the world nor does it make me a bad person. You’ll get there, in my opinion, it is a learned response. A book that taught me about having fun is, “Life’s Uncertain, Eat Dessert First.” I love that little book. 🙂

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