I wrote my therapist a letter several days ago of an epiphany I had. I invited her to tell me it’s bullshit. She didn’t. Here’s what I wrote:
I’ve had an epiphany. It’s probably bullshit, but that’s for you to tell me, that I’m out of my damn mind. (I know I am, but sometimes it takes an outside opinion to drive home the point.)
I would like to be “reasonably content.” Not “happy.” “Happy” is a character in Snow White, not a state of being that lasts any mentionable amount of time. I know, with an attitude like this I’ll make a great therapist. But. I dropped my class, so, I’m not MFT bound at this moment. Anyway. Maybe, what I need to do, is be content with a life tinged with depression. I don’t seem to have much of a choice in the matter. Depression comes. And makes a fucking mess. And I’m assuming the mess is as bad as it is because I fight it as hard as I do.
If I could learn to live with depression, instead of against it, I wouldn’t need to be stable to go to school or work. I could do school and work depressed, stable, or hypomanic. Hell, if I could do that, I wouldn’t even need meds.
Really, though. What good is all my anger doing me? I’m mad at what I’ve lost with this episode of depression, but as mad as I am, nothing’s coming back. I dropped both classes. I think the Cymbalta is making me queasy. I’m isolating. Every time I try to text someone I stop myself. I won’t even call the psychiatrist. (But, apparently, I’ll email you and an old professor.) So I’m lonely.
My epiphany is seeming stupider by the moment. I’m too passively angry at depression to accept it. I’m too tired to actively fight it.
What did my therapist have to say about my epiphany? She encouraged me to accept the depression, as I proposed, and let go of the meta-feelings. I get stuck in fear about where depression will take me and anger about time lost to hospitalizations and more fear about how the future will be effected . . . all the while feeling very depressed. That’s too many feelings. Heavy feelings. Depression alone is more than enough to carry.
So when I start awake from nightmares of returning to the hospital, I will reassure myself, “yes, Annie, you are depressed. No, you don’t need to go to the hospital right now. You’re safe at home, where you belong,” rather than inviting an anxiety attack of questioning what the next twenty-four hours may bring.