Having MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) sucks. I absolutely hate it. The last couple weeks have been particularly awful, as evident by my previous posts. I have been in absolute misery – suffering through each day – with a lot of calls placed to my therapist, if I’m being honest. So why did I make myself feel depressed yesterday?
Yesterday started out as a very good day. I woke up at 12:30pm and didn’t nap for the whole day! (I can barely believe it!) I ate food and then went to sign up for a membership at the Planet Fitness near my house. I joined a gym when I was away at school, but never went. I’m hoping, since I can take someone with me with my membership, that I will go more often. I am determined to go more often. I better, because my contract is for a year! At any rate, I signed up for a membership then worked out for about 10 minutes. I only worked out for 10 minutes because I haven’t worked out in so long that my body is really not used to it. I need to start slow. But the 10 minutes felt good! I even signed up for a Design Your Own Program hour at the gym for later this week so a personal trainer can help me design a program so I can reach my personal goals in fitness. I’m actually excited about it!
After being at the gym I went home, showered, and went out to dinner with my mom (who I live with). While at dinner I had a couple thoughts. The first was: “I feel better than yesterday, but not good.” The second was: “I feel happy, but I don’t know how to enjoy it.” For some reason, I didn’t want to admit that I was in a good mood at first. When I finally did admit it, I realized that I didn’t know what to do with it. How was I supposed to enjoy feeling good? I had no idea.
My good mood lasted for quite a while: all the way through dinner and into a movie that we were watching on television once we got home. I knew I would continue to feel good if I stayed in the living room with my mom, yet I chose to isolate myself in my room and think about depression and how I’d been feeling the last couple of days. I think I did this for a few reasons. The main thought I had was: “I need to be depressed so I can call my therapist.” I think I made myself depressed for three possible reasons, maybe a combination of the three, maybe only one or two of them.
Reason 1: I was already feeling a little depressed in addition to feeling happy and so wanted to call my therapist but didn’t think I was “bad enough” so made myself more depressed so I could call her to help me feel better.
Reason 2: I was lonely and wanted to call someone and knew she had to call me back.
Reason 3: I was just feeling really happy and didn’t know how to handle/react to it and so wanted to call my therapist and work it out, but didn’t think I was “bad enough” so made myself feel more depressed so I could call her to make me feel better.
The point is, I made myself feel more depressed. After I did this I did call my therapist, who had me to a Chain Behavioral Analysis from Marsha Linehan’s DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets. She also had me fill out a worksheet about observing and describing emotions. For the behavioral analysis there was a lot of steps, including a vulnerabilities section and prompting event and then listing steps of what happened before the problem event. I sat right down and did it right after I got off the phone with her. The emotion I chose to examine was dislike or disgust, directed towards myself.
I was having all these thoughts like “I’m a terrible person,” and “it’s my fault I’m depressed and not getting better.” I just wanted to go to sleep and avoid everything. I wanted to tell myself that everything was my fault. I just felt so guilty about making myself feel depressed that it resulted in this disgust. I challenged those thoughts the best I could, telling myself that in reality I do want to be happy, that there are many factors that contribute to my depression – it’s not all my fault. After filling out that worksheet I felt a little better about myself. I felt more proactive. I felt sad that I had made myself feel depressed, but more positive about the future.
Today I had my therapy appointment. We spent most of it going over the analysis and worksheet that I filled out yesterday. We also talked about climbing out of Hell and how when climbing out of this “house” one has to go through the fire, which is painful, so sometimes people climb back down into Hell. This is counterproductive and prolongs pain and suffering.
Towards the end of our session I felt I had to ask a question. I tried hard not to judge my question and to just ask it: “Did yesterday make you [my therapist] think differently of me in a negative way?” When I asked the question I teared up. It was my insecurities showing through, but my therapist handled the question in a great way and gently and genuinely responded that she was not here to judge me. That made me feel a lot more secure and comfortable.
I have resolved to try to keep climbing up the ladder and out of Hell and eventually out of suffering and pain. I want a life worth living – a happy, positive life. I’m determined to get there. ❤