Hope

I had an amazing weekend and things have been better since I got discharged from the hospital. I’ve started Electroconvulsive Therapy and have had my meds adjusted. Things are looking up and it’s been a while since I could say that.

I feel better than I have in a long time and I have this tangible hope that I haven’t felt in a few months. When I went back into treatment this last time, I was at the end of my rope and I couldn’t tie a knot in the end to hang on. I felt worthless, hopeless, useless, ugly, unimportant, and unlovable. I can’t explain to you why I felt that way because my kids and husband do need me. They do love me and I know that. Depression tells you lies until they become your reality and I believe that maybe that is why I felt that way.

I got home just in time to make Thanksgiving. I told my mom who is still staying with us while I recover, that I wanted to do the turkey but wasn’t sure what else I’d be able to manage since I’d had ECT the day before and was very sore and tired. I figured making the turkey was a pretty big goal all on its own. I accomplished that goal. I made a really great turkey and stuffing!

Goals is kind of my new thing. In inpatient treatment they ask you to make a goal for the day. It can be as little as taking a shower or as challenging as making a difficult phone call to a loved one. Most days my goals were something like showering (you have no idea how big of a goal this actually was for me), making it to all the groups, trying to socialize more (also a huge goal since I’m so shy and introverted), and trying to nap less (probably the hardest goal I set for myself the entire time I was in the hospital), etc. I didn’t always achieve my goal for the day but I tried my damndest every day.

Since coming home I’ve decided I need to set a goal for each day. It doesn’t matter how big or how small but a goal that will give me some satisfaction once I complete it. Making that turkey was a huge goal and I was so glad I accomplished it because my sons love my turkey every year and my oldest said he was worried I wouldn’t be home in time to make it. I made it, buddy, barely but I made it.

This weekend was a successful weekend. I got tons of business from my in-home business I run which entailed tons of invoicing, packaging, and shipping. I went to the mall with my mom, bought a new book, and a new Michael Kors purse (hey, I felt I deserved that after what I’ve been through and the strides I’ve made the last month or so), and I made dinner! Homemade meatballs and they were delicious! I haven’t made dinner in over a month. My mom or husband has been doing all the cooking so this was a big undertaking.

Setting goals gives me a sense of purpose when I felt like I had lost that. It gives me something to work toward and I enjoy sitting down at the end of the day and determining if I met my goals or not. One day during this past weekend, I was ambitious and set 3 goals (wear makeup, get out of the house, make dinner). Two out of three isn’t bad. As much as I love makeup I couldn’t bring myself to put the energy into that task.

Anyway, my point is this, if you are overwhelmed by things easily like I am, set one tiny goal for the day. Seriously, it can be tiny (although it may not seem tiny) like sitting in the living room with your family for a few minutes. You will feel so much satisfaction when you accomplish it. The next day you’ll want to make a new goal, maybe just a little bit more challenging, like showering or brushing your teeth (isn’t it amazing how the most easy and mundane when not depressed become such a big deal when you are suffering with depression?). Each day your goals will become greater and they will feel easier. I promise you.

Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert by any means. I’m going on my own experiences and putting it out there for anyone else who has a mental illness (remember the tag line of my blog? I’m just a “depressed and anxious mom who wants to help herself while helping others.”)

The fulfillment of these goals and the challenge of setting one each morning has given me something I haven’t felt in a long time; hope. I have hope. Hope that I can beat this damn monster called depression. Hope I won’t have to be anxious every time my phone rings or I get in a car. Hope that I will get better. I have this hope because I’m seeing the changes. They may be ever so slight but they’re a step in the right direction.

Give it a try. Set yourself a goal (start small) and as you accomplish them, make those goals bigger until you’re functioning as you used to before depression took the upper hand. It will give you hope just as it has me. Hope is never a bad thing to have so I figure I must be doing something right.

XOXO

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