This is going to be one of those thinking out loud kind of posts. I find writing helps me figure things out. As you may have read in the last two paragraphs of my Guess Who’s Back post, I feel like Sarah in the junk heap obstacle in Labyrinth. Sarah eventually remembers why she needs to get to the castle, to save her brother Toby, but I can’t remember why I need to get to the castle (if I ever knew in the first place) so I just linger with my distractions. I need to determine what I’m working toward. I need to get to the castle, grab what I came for, and tell my depression, “you have no power over me.” It sounds great but, in order to get to that castle, I need a good reason and I can’t think of one.
I suffer from identity confusion thanks to past trauma and feel like I don’t know myself or what I want on a deep level. I feel like I have decided because I own a home and have children that I have to work a corporate 9-5 job but, I felt like part of a herd of sheep every time I was very slowly making my way off the train platform with the rest of the crowd. It used to drive me crazy. Was that the real me screaming out? If so I wish I knew what I was really screaming about. Could be that I just hated my job that much. Maybe it had nothing to do with the business casual, 9-5ness of it. Maybe it was just that job that drove me nuts or maybe I should be doing something wildly different.
I think I am thinking way too big picture about this right now though. My therapist once told me that I can’t worry about the pie in the sky stuff until I have the basics down pat. She was referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This was after I had an existential crisis because I couldn’t figure out what my purpose in this world was. I still don’t know but, I moved on thankfully. She told me that I’m not getting my base needs fulfilled so I can’t be aiming for the top of the pyramid. She was right too. I wasn’t eating right or enough, I wasn’t showering, I was dehydrated, I was a mess…still am really. So I think I need to take her advice here. Start with the most basic needs and work my way toward the rest.
So at the end of my labyrinth is probably something that I had for a very long time until recently, a routine. My routine was going great and I was eating and sleeping and exercising and showering and brushing my teeth and picking up after myself. It was perfect and I felt proud and productive but, it didn’t make me feel happier, it didn’t help me out of depression as I’d hoped it would. Maybe I was looking to get too much from some simple daily tasks. Now that I know they aren’t the cure for depression maybe I can get back on the ball with lower expectations. I will end up well fed, active, hydrated, and clean. That certainly can’t hurt my search for the end to this awful period of my life.
How do I do it though? I’m currently in such a depressed state that most days I sleep until noon. My vocational coach (through my long term disability provider) wants me to start getting up at the same time every day. This was supposed to start last week but, it most certainly did not. I have been staying up a lot later though and that is the problem with starting a morning routine by itself; if you don’t have a bedtime routine it can make it very hard to do your morning routine. I suppose I need to make both then and I am going to start tonight because I am tired of being tired and I think the more I resemble a sloth the more sloth-like I become.
If I can stop sleeping all day despite my depression I suppose that is a way of saying “you have no power over me.” So it’s back to my original plan with lower expectations for it to cure me I think. Do you have as much trouble as I do with self-care or do you have that nagging question always in the back of your mind “what do I want?” If so let me know in the comments below I would love to hear from you. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.