I have spent so many of my years with depression. I have often felt like I’ve been acting my way through life, adopting different roles along the way, but somehow always pretending to be something else. I’ve been who people needed me to be; a daughter, a caregiver, a student, a tutor, a problem solver, a leader, a follower, a devoted employee… I’m not saying that’s not how life works. I know that if I’m going to live in this world, I’d better be able to give something back to it. But for years, I replaced the word “something” with “everything”. I felt somehow, if I wasn’t giving all of myself, I wasn’t doing it right. Go big or go home, right? I went big. I had a pretty good run, but I crashed and burned. I ran out of fuel, I guess. That’s how it kind of feels. I lost my source of energy, and went off the deep end.
I need to find a new way to refuel. I’ve mentioned this in past journal entries. I guess they say older and wiser for a reason, because it took me this damn long to realise that I can’t run on autopilot forever. That’s when the robots win. I’m not going to be rocketed into outer space if I take some time for myself. I’m not so shitty a person that I don’t deserve a vacation now and then. I’m a person, just like everyone else. Can someone please tell me how in the sweet Jesus fuck I couldn’t figure that out until I was 31 years old? I guess I’m not the brightest bulb on the string, eh?
I have never taken it easy. And I’ve finally realised I am my own worst critic. Why am I such a bitch to myself? What did I ever do to me? Well, I did plenty to me, and I’m paying for it now. The mind and body can only take so much before it starts to fall apart. Like a car. Stuff breaks. And if you let it go long enough, more stuff breaks as a result of that initial break. If I’d just taken the time to check the rotors, I wouldn’t have had to replace my brakes twice. Yes, that happened. Shut up. By the way, I sold Ludwig. Have I told you about that yet? I’m actually still kind of heartbroken. What the hell is wrong with me? Ugh, at this point, the list of what isn’t wrong with me is shorter. I feel like an old car, ready for the junk heap. But instead, I’m going to take the time to restore this one… bring her back to her former glory. After all, at my age, I qualify as a classic. Huzzah! Of course, I’m going to make some adjustments. Some improvements. Victoria 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever, I don’t understand that shit. If I was a car, I want to be Lola, on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (if you get this metaphor without going to Wikipedia or IMDb, high five!)
Aaaaand, I’m calling myself an old car. Jesus, where does my mind go? The Marvel Universe, ultimately. Yay! Nerd.
Moving on. I had to walk away from this post for a day, because my brain was beginning to feel crowded with all the things I want to say, all the ways I want to explain how I want my life to change. Because I know they have to change, and because I don’t ever want to be back where I was. Those were dark days, and I still have them, but I can’t have people fighting for me if I’m not willing to fight myself. So I’m going to fight, but I am going to do it on my terms. For all those years, I was a good person in ways that other people wanted. I’m 31 years old, and I think it’s long overdue for me to be a good person in ways that I want. I mean, it’s not like anyone owns me and can tell me what to do. I used to think that way. I used to think I owed everything to everyone, and now it’s time to realise and announce to the world that I am not for sale anymore. I am no longer going to put my health and happiness second. I’m too old for that shit.
Here’s how it’s going to go down. I’m not sure how long it will take, because sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back, but eventually, I’m going to be able to have my shit together and I’m going to be able to really live for me. I think it’s key to managing my anxiety and depression. I don’t think I’ll ever be free of anxiety attacks, panic and that feeling of utter defeat, but if other people can climb out of it and tuck it neatly in their mental closet, then so can I? Why not? I’m a person like everyone else. I’m average in some things, but there’s gotta be something I’m good at, something I can focus on when it comes to managing my anxiety and keeping panic attacks to a minimum. I can’t possibly suck at everything. That’s the old way of thinking. I’m too old for that shit too.
Jeez, this post is turning into my one woman show over here. This is going to go on for a while, so here’s your change to go pee real quick and put the kettle on. I’ll wait. Okay, we good? We good.
At the age of 31 (jeez, I like saying that, don’t I?), I caught a good look at myself in the mental mirror. And the physical one too. I hardly recognised myself. And I didn’t like what I saw. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been able to talk to someone, or because I’ve been given some medication to try and bring a little balance to the chemical and hormonal mess that is me, but I could see a little more clearly. While I need to tighten the strings a bit when it comes to my diet, my exercise regimen, and my willpower (or lack thereof, all three cases…), I need to do those things at my own pace too. I’m planning a major overhaul here, and I need to do it at my own pace. I’m going to push myself, but I can’t be angry with myself if I have to lighten up a bit sometimes. I’m not this hard on other people, why am I this hard on myself? I couldn’t answer that honestly (there was some momentary “you’re an asshole and you deserve to suffer” mental talk, but I’m training my mind to talk to me in my mother’s voice, assuring me that I am indeed, not a shithead). I’m probably making no sense, because I’m trying to describe every thought process, and all the voices are talking at once. If you’re keeping up even a little bit, thanks.
I started walking. And I’ve been doing alright with it too, I must admit. I got me one of those fitness tracker thingamabobs (wow, computer dictionary recognises that word but asks me to change got to to gotta… what a world) and most days, I exceed the recommended fitness goal for it, so that’s something. Also, while wearing it in the kitchen, the Misfit Flash registers working in the kitchen as “intense activity” (which gives me more points for being awesome) so, yeah… that’s why I hardly go the gym… or never go to the gym (working on it Dwight!! I promise… baby steps though). I am le tired at the end of le day. (pardon my French)
I am going to go to an outdoor yoga class on Sunday (provided the weather cooperates). I like yoga. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to work up the will to set up the mat in the living room and reach for the ceiling. I’m using Sunday as my exercise day, and I’m hoping it will jump start something in my brain to make me keep going. Again, I sound like I’m a car.
My diet still kind of sucks, but not really. I eat a lot of healthy foods, I loves my food groups. I’m old school. fruits veggies, grains, dairy and meats. But I eat junk too, because… well, because I eat a lot (hence the booty). I’ve made peace with it, for now. I’ve got other things I need to focus more of my energy. Like learning how to let go of some of this panic and worry I feel about everything so I’m not driven into an early grave. I eat to cope. At least most of the time it’s something crunchy like celery and carrots, an apple, or crispy toast. But sometimes it’s something crunchy like chips or chocolate bars with wafers in them, and sometimes that toast is smothered in Nutella. I’m not sorry. Nutella is worth it.
I need a mental overhaul too. Again, baby steps (I like saying that even more than I like saying I’m 31… oops, oh well) Speaking of being 31, this revelation is the gift that just keeps on giving. In that mental mirror, I saw someone who was in her 30’s but couldn’t name one thing she felt she was good at. What the actual fuck? How does that even happen? How did I let myself fall so far? I feel like I should have seen this sooner, but I guess there’s nothing I can do about it now. I still have time, I hope. I’m going to go with that. My self esteem was pure shit. **I swear a lot. I should be sorry, and even I think I should maybe be sorry, but I’m not. It’s me. There are worse things in this world than cuss words.** Shouldn’t there be an ever growing list of things I’ve done, learned, said, thought, uh… tasted?… that make me who I am? I look back and the only way I can describe it as I felt like a robot, programmed to work, be upgraded, and perform based on those upgrades… and that’s it. No downtime. Again, why exactly have I been so hard on myself? Why did I think I was such a shit person to deserve that kind of assault for that many years? I guess I was more messed up than I knew. This is why it’s going to take me a long time to fix. I took a long time to break.
So, reboot time. New outlook, new me… but the beta version. I’m testing things out. Seeing how they feel, because I never took the time to notice these feelings before. If I don’t like it, I’m not going to do it again. Cancel that code, and rewrite it. Until it works. Now I’m not a car, I’m a computer. *sigh* *wtf*
Okay, this post is long enough… if you scrolled down to the bottom without reading: tl;dr Midlife crisis happened early, thankfully, no sign of menopause yet. There are no more fucks to give and I’m reinventing myself and trying to feel less like a firework about to explode. Wish me luck.