Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We're the gladiators.
A few posts ago I admitted that I had been in a (one-sided) fight with my therapist. The absurdity of this statement doesn't lessen no matter how often I admit it. But I was angry. Furious. Because of my own absolute stubbornness. And, because he wasn't saying what I wanted him to say, he was no.1 on my grudge list. Who do you talk to about irrational fights when the person you're in a fight with is the person you go to? You wait. At least that's what I did. A month. no, two months went by before I got over myself.
I went back because at the beginning of our sessions last year he recommended the book The Depression Cure, and after scoffing for a good nine months at the title, I finally caved and bought it. ($6 at Barnes and Noble, I had no more excuses. Bonus: it was written by a professor at my alma mater. It has to be good. ;))
This book, with its heinous title and all, has been a game changer for me.
Let me explain: I have suffered from OCD my entire life, but wasn't diagnosed until I was 14. You can read more about that here. It's an awful lot like the chicken and the egg dilemma when it comes to my depression. Does the anxiety cause the depression, or vice versa? I know my triggers, and I know that the two definitely feed off one another. It's a mess, really. But at some point, it doesn't so much matter as how you got this way, as it does how to cope and beat it.
So this book, with its horrible title and all, (which allegedly the author hates as well...), definitely gave me some perspective I had yet to hear or come across in my research of my situation--which millions of others suffer with as well.
It talks about lifestyle changes, minor ones at that, and certain foods and supplements and habits that can significantly lower your depression. Immediately I bought the supplements, Omega-3, and you guys, I felt results in days. Days. I've also started doing some sort of exercise, for at least thirty minutes, three times a week. (Yoga is my jam!)  
I don't want to get too into it, because let's be honest, I'm not the greatest at explaining why these things work, and how etc., but the author has done extensive research on it and is a medical professional--and a professor at my alma mater, remember?!-- so I'll just direct you to his wisdom...
Of course, I had to go back to thank my therapist for the recommendation, and, upon doing so, I had a really great talk with him. I guess he did make a pretty good point. Our (one-sided) feud is up! Hoorah! ;)

My second grade teacher liked to ask us,
“How do you feel today, on a scale of one to ten?”
Ten always meant I’m super, thank you
and one was always not today, Mrs. MacAuley, not today.
But I never liked numbers, they would always
twist and rebel against my mind so I chose
to speak in colors instead.

January third - I am the color
of mint chocolate chip ice cream
but I’ve eaten all the chocolate chips.
I am calm.

February seventh - I am a bruise of
blues and violets today. I think it would
be best if I sat by the window.
These are unhappy colors.

April eleventh - I am turquoise, I am magenta,
I am every color in the rainbow.

April thirtieth - I am gray, I am silent.

May first - I am orange, the color of melting
creamsicles on a beach in July.

June twelfth - I am as yellow as the school bus
that will bring me home to summer. I am free.

Twelve years later, I still use colors.
The winter makes me feel cobalt blue, the ocean
turns me a seafoam green. Violets and purples
leave me uneasy and scarlet is a fever of fury.
Some nights I drown in shades of navy, denim,
and cornflower but other nights I meditate in forests of
harlequin and shamrock.

But you,
you leave me a blinding white followed by a soft yellow:
the color of sunlight after a period of darkness.

-Kelsey Danielle, “A Diary of Colors” 


Important note: please don't start taking supplements without talking to your doctor and reading more and seeing if it's right for you. I don't want this to come off as though it's taken me from super blue to perfectly fine. Honestly, some days are worse than others. Some hours, even. And while I still struggle tremendously, these few lifestyle changes have made a difference for me. I truly hope they work for you as they have for me, and I hope their effects are truly as long-lasting as research has found. Additionally, I do take medicine, which I won't go into detail on here, but it is monitored extensively by my doctor.
And, if you're suffering please don't hesitate to reach out. Also, this post can maybe give you some resources to contact if need be.
Title of this post is a lyric from Lorde's Glory and Gore, because I am unapologetically obsessed with her at the moment...
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  1. Thanks for this post. I once had a one-sided fight with my therapist, too, so don't worry, I understand. :) I'll check out that book with the horrible title since I already believe in its concept. I've suffered from anxiety/panic attacks for most of my life, which also causes depression, but like what you said, it's difficult to determine which came first. Anyhow, a few years ago, I watched this documentary on Kris Carr and her green juice diet. I started making myself green smoothies everyday, which includes a tablespoon of flax seed (a lot of omegas), and the anxiety lessened. I went from having multiple (could never count how many) small daily attacks to none for days, even weeks and months. Exercise helps, too. I trained for a half marathon last year and I felt amazing, like a new person, by race day.

    Anyhow, I hope things get better. And that you feel better!

  2. I love that piece, I think in colours and not numbers. When I write creatively colour plays a big part. I am pleased for you that you are working with your therapist again. The talking therapy can be powerful, slowly but surely.

  3. I suffer from the same as you - OCD, anxiety & depression. However, I think that my depression brought on my anxiety...& stepping into the mother role for two girls that desperately needed a mother as theirs was a giant piece triggered my anxiety BIG time. I have tried yoga & I loved that as well. Right now, my depression is horrible as I'm stuck in this freezing cold Wisconsin winter & I feel that I'm always crabby. I should really try to exercise again & maybe get myself signed up for a yoga class...

  4. I hear tricks like this work all the time. I, too, try to focus on eating right and doing exercises, because I know how that can affect things. I'm glad that book is helping for you. Stay strong, sweetie. <3


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