I have written a great deal about happy; about how living out loud has helped me find joy.
But I want to make sure that I also talk about the dark days – the dark days are the days that my depression still gets the better of me – the days I feel like I am fighting a losing battle – the days I want to quit this whole living out loud gig and curl up on the couch and go back to my safe, secure hermit life.
I am on team keep it real and I realized I write this blog to catalog what happens on this journey to live out loud and that means that you have to see the flip side, too. Other people are on this journey, too or might decide to give it a try; and if they happen to read my blog they have to know about the hard days, too.
So, I have what I call dark days; days where my head roars with insecurities –
“You aren’t good enough”
“You have nothing to offer.”
“You are not strong enough.”
“No one cares what you have to say”
“Why do you even try?”
“You will never be thin – you are meant to be fat.”
Loud and incessant the tirade of insecurities barrage me. Now this is the thing; you know in the fringes of your being that these rants aren’t logically true, but some days, the dark days, you are just too tired to argue back. Living with depression means you live in a constant battle with yourself every day. You fight your own brain…trying to retrain it to believe you are worthy.
In the beginning when I first started this journey, I was dog tired; felt like I had lived two lifetimes tired. I couldn’t stand the fight any more. That is when I decided to get help – I knew I couldn’t fight my depression all by little old self any more. That is how you live out loud – no more hiding. I knew I had to arm myself with the tools to succeed.
So I went to my doctor six months ago, I told her how I was feeling and that I was just so tired. She said, “If you had a heart condition would you take medication to help your heart?”
My answer was “Of course!”
And she said, “Your brain has a condition. The chemicals inside your brain aren’t functioning the way they should be and I can give you a small dose of a medication that can help make sure those chemicals are at a more even level so that your brain will function better – what do you think about that?”
Well, duh – that is BRILLIANT – so of course I signed up for that and I decided I needed to talk to someone to figure out how to retrain my brain and try to end this internal war I have with myself. I have been taking medication for about six months and seeing a therapist for about the same amount of time. Tools…these are the tool for success…you need to be armed and ready for those dark days.
It’s weird doing the retraining after 30 odd years of hard wiring, but it is possible. And what I want you to know is that now even on the dark days; I am stronger than I ever have been. I remember that it is okay to give myself a break and watch TV instead of running. I remember that it is okay for me to have some peace and quiet me time. If things go wrong with the kids and I yell; I remember that I am human and I apologize. None of the above situations equal bad mom, bad wife, bad person.
Even though those dark days still bog me down a bit; the tools have helped me reach out instead of climbing back inside my own head and hide.
In the beginning the dark days would come and there would be no light at the end of the tunnel. Now I know that even on the darkest day there is light; there is always light.
Keeping it real –