Jesus was portrayed simply as having the courage to be himself under any set of circumstances. The Being of Jesus thus issues in enormous freedom. It delivers us from the need to impress, to win, or to protect ourselves. It calls us only to be the self we are, the deepest self, the most real self. (332, Spong, Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes)
I can be sad and still be myself in recovery. I don't need to hide. (me)
My doctor declared me, "normal," today, which makes me laugh. My energy is low again and I was worried that my depression was coming back, but he said no. "You don't look depressed and it seems like you're pretty motivated," he said.
Despite a lack of energy, I took care in my appearance, put on new clothes, complete with bright red lipstick before going out today.
I went to where I work and talked with a few people who are affiliated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). I just love networking and sharing with people my passion for wellness centered mental health. On the way home, I stopped and got my emissions tested. (Of course, I waited til the day before my birthday to get it done.) And THEN, I went to the bank and got a temporary debit card because of course, I had lost it a few days ago.
It wasn't even noon yet and I was exhausted. Nothing appealed for food - too tired to cook, but instead of just fixing a bowl of cereal, I found a microwaveable meal with protein. I've discovered that eating more protein and drinking more water really do help elevate my energy. I smiled as there was a time when a microwaveable pizza would have made me anxious about the calories and fat grams. Now I think of it as a source of energy that tastes good. I ate and then cuddled with my cat for a little while.
I had to leave just an hour later for the second round of "must do's." I saw my doctor and told him about my lower than average energy but also that I was dealing with the disappointment of breaking up with someone that I had really liked. It's no big drama and we hadn't dated long, but it had been a long while since I had felt so hopeful about a romantic relationship.
"I think that's normal," he said. "You're sad, but that's okay. Everyone gets sad sometimes. You still have motivation-you're not depressed-just going through some sadness. You're growing! Do you want to meet again in two or three months?"
Holy Sh*t, I'm just sad?! Hmmm...
On my way home, I stopped at the Kroger's that had the Georgia license tag kiosk and was delighted that despite my procrastinating, I am not going to get a ticket for no new tag. I took the moment to look for manager's specials and was able to score a few deals for dinner. At the checkout, I asked for money back to pay the neighbor's son for mowing my lawn a few days ago.
I got in my car with a big bravo - despite feeling tired and sad, I got every single of my mutha-f*ckin' chores done for the day! (my mind swears when I'm excited, apparently...)
Maybe that doesn't sound exciting or grand to you, but it is to me.
I asked a coworker a few weeks ago what recovery means to her and she surprised me by saying,
"it means you've got your sh*t together. You do what you need to do, whether you want to or not."
It may not be the prettiest definition, but I think she's right. Recovery is about doing what one needs to do, despite how one feels. It means not giving up. In order to get things done, we may need help, and that's okay. The point is that one does not need to self-harm or self-medicate in order to get rid of unpleasant feelings. You use your skills or call someone for support.
Now, okay, obviously that definition is a little simplistic. Recovery is a process and I don't want to insinuate that someone who does not get all their errands accomplished in one day is not in recovery. That would be ridiculous.
However: not giving up, despite how one feels. Doing what one needs to do, even if it's boring, even if it's stressful, even if it's tiring - that's recovery.
I'm no longer sad; I'm still romantically frustrated, but hey, that's life. I've got sh*t to do. Breaking down will just have to wait for another day.
Read the May Edition of the Hope Is Real Newsletter and subscribe! There are some metro Atlanta mental health events and info you may want to know!