Because I want to be wholly improved, feel as though I should be completely cured by now (time has past, money has been spent on retreating, medicating, analyzing, and so on), I continue to be surprised by signs that I am not. I find it nearly impossible to get out of bed in the mornings. I can’t fall asleep at night. My dreams are filled with nightmares. I feel a weight on my chest. I manage to make it through the motions of the day and get home at 5pm, 4pm, and collapse. Just getting through the day has drained me. The exhaustion is total. Everything irritates me. I can’t focus. I can’t function in the way I expect.
So many things remain undone.
I’ve been doing all of the healthy recommendations to move past debilitating depression and anxiety: I’ve seen medical doctors and have had batteries of tests; I’ve gone away for a relaxing technology-free break; I take walks; I practice breathing; I eat flax seed and whole grain bread and vegetables; I take herbs; I burn aromatherapy oil; I lift weights; I sleep in; I see a psychologist; I take Xanax. And yet.
Tonight, I’ve decided to try drinking. If nothing else, surely it will help with the insomnia. Alcohol has fewer calories than ice cream or chocolate, so I figure it will look less glaring on the daily log where I keep careful track of my nutritional intake, as part of the set of healthy recommendations I am following to try and get better. I admit (here, I mean, not to the nutrition diary) I ate an entire chocolate bar a few days ago and neglected to write it down. I told a friend about it. “One of those little mini candy bars?” she asked. No. An entire large chocolate bar. (For those unfamiliar with tracking every nutritional data point, a entire chocolate bar has around 500 calories and 40 grams of fat, around one-third the suggested daily intake of calories, and just about the entire daily intake of fat for someone such as myself for an entire day.)
I feel like a jerk. I have so much more than so many. And yet all I can do is complain. A friend said I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. That maybe I have the foundation and the tip of Maslow’s hierarcharcy of needs, but I’m missing the middle. Can you have self-actualization without love, belonging, and safety? And from a logical perspective, I really have safety nailed down too. I guess I just don’t operate as though I do.
Every night, I think: tomorrow I will have the energy to do that. (That being everything from making a five minute phone call to completing a two week project.) And yet I don’t. And part of the problem is that I have no sense of perspective, no depth perception, no way to know who to trust, what to believe. Every step is into the unknown, into darkness, no way to know if I’ll land on solid ground or fall into the abyss.