A Year of Self-Love: 44/365

Fifteen days ago I felt the beginning of a depressive episode beginning to form. Just prominent enough for me to know it was there lurking in the shadows, but not debilitating to the point where I can’t get out of bed.

I’ve tried ignoring it, waiting for it to pass, giving in and accepting its presence, doing a ridiculous amount of research on holistic ways to treat depression, purchasing US$125.00-worth of essential oils and an oil diffuser, listening to meditation music for depression, listening to “happy” music for depression, listening to Christian music for depression, walking on the beach and, ultimately, eating (lots of) cake.

So basically, I’ve tried everything that usually works and then some.

Guess what?

I’m still depressed.

This is by far the longest depressive episode I’ve had since the SSRIs I’m taking “kicked in” a few months ago. It could also be linked to the fact that for three consecutive days I forgot to take my medication (what’s up with that?!) and I spent a weekend in the beautiful Bahamas drinking copious amounts of alcohol to the point where my body rejected it. It was fun, but now I’m definitely paying for it.

Beside all of this, I realise I haven’t done the one thing I promised I would do during my Year of Self Love; I haven’t made an appointment to see a psychologist. I’ve inquired about the best doctors available in the Cayman Islands through friends also working through depression and anxiety, but I haven’t actually picked up the phone. I’m not a frog-eater, you see. In fact, I’m more of an ostrich when it comes to making these sorts of decisions; decisions I know I need to make but don’t want to.

Like a parent fighting a three-year-old in a full-blown tantrum, my better conscience is fighting the stubborn bull-like rebel of my star sign, the Taurus. “But I don’t wanna!”

I just can’t get down with the idea of having to talk to someone else about all of the stuff I’ve been through and how it may or may not have led my depression. And then, there’s the depression itself … and how does your depression make you feel? 

I know I need to do this. It’s like finding a lump in your breast and pretending it wasn’t there. It won’t go away without treatment; it’ll only get worse.

So here goes …

I pick up the phone and dial the number to the doctor’s office. As the line rings, I make a mental note that I’m holding my breath. I ask to book the first available appointment and spell my name for the benefit of the receptionist. We exchange pleasantries before I disconnect the call.

There … done. The frog has been eaten!

Tomorrow, on the most celebrated day of love, Valentine’s Day, I will sit with a psychologist and give myself the ultimate gift of self-love: help.

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