I took on a lot at once. School, a new relationship, a few new outdoor sports and hobbies, and as always, the constant urge to reinvent myself to be better, better, better.
This urge comes thanks to my own particular genetic makeup and my childhood combined. If I can be better, I can be more lovable. If I can be more lovable, I won't be alone. That is the drive that almost constantly steers me toward improvement and overdoing it.
I recently went to the Portland Tedx Talks for the second time and the side effect I left with again was the feeling of not good enough. Those people who spoke onstage were wonderful and inspiring and yet my takeaway is I'm not good enough and I'd better start working on improving since I have such a long way to go. I'm not brave enough, or strong enough, or smart enough or passionate enough.
Along with all the not good enoughing myself and everything else I've taken on in my life, I decided to try reducing (very slowly) my anti-depressant dose (not my smartest decision in recent times!) I'd been at 25 mg for a few weeks when I hit a wall. Everything seemed hopeless, irritability was sky high and everything felt personal and hurtful. Overwhelm was the word and the emotion that kept slamming around in my brain. I've had to put on the breaks and go back to basics. Back up to 50 mg, and eventually maybe 100 again. More alone time to recharge, more exercise, more self-care, and much less self improvement.
How could I forget for one second how much Dave's death leveled me? How could I lose sight of how much rebuilding takes out of me? How intense it is, just on its own? How could I think that I could be the way I used to be when the way I used to be is extinct? I feel robbed. I hate that I'm this delicate, vulnerable, exhausted, overwhelmed person now. I fear I'll never be able to be a mom or be a healthy partner for my guy. How could I possibly handle all of that?
I'm guessing that after a few weeks at a higher dose of meds I'll begin to feel more capable and less overwhelmed and hopeless. I'm also guessing that the lack of serotonin in my brain is the reason for my thoughts of my own hopelessness and not a reflection of the truth.
I'm trying to reach back in my memory for times when I felt more balanced to access those thoughts too. The thoughts I have in a depression are usually terrible lies and not to be trusted. They feel so true, though. They make giving up seem so reasonable and sensible.
Hopelessness and apathy are easy to lean into. Hope and joy are so hard to access. I'm looking forward to the days when they are easier to find. They'll be back. I know that.