“No woman no cry”

My title comes from a Bob Marley favorite of mine.  Ok so I’m a bit of a hippie.

Tonight, my yoga teacher had it on her playlist.  As we went through the different poses, I continued to sing it in my head even as other music was playing.

I drove home, pulled in the driveway, gave my husband a hug for forcing me to go to yoga tonight and then sat down here to look up the meaning of the song.  This was the first answer that came up from my google search.

“he is tellin women not to cry. No women dont cry.”

Umm, okay?  I’ll spare you the other “deep” interpretations and tell you what I got out of it tonight as I tried to balance in tree pose.

Tonight my thoughts drifted through the events of the day, things I need to do tomorrow and things I need to do better.  After going through all of those thoughts my mind began to go a bit deeper.  Tonight as Bob Marley sang “No woman no cry” I just about starting crying.

Why?

Things have been really good lately.  I feel like for the first time in a year I am in a good place, a really really good place.  Our family life has been functional and normal.  My marriage is good, I’m settling into being a mom and I like where we live. I have a great support system.  I have good friends.  I have a wonderful family.   I have an understanding and loving husband.  I have a good team of doctors.  I feel hopeful.  So why the cry?

I wonder sometimes how long it will last.  I think about the possibility of crashing again into a deep depression and I feel extreme anxiety.  I feel like as long as things can stay just the way they are now I’ll be ok.  But take away my medications, therapy and the routine we’ve established and I’m afraid I’ll crumble.

As I listened to Bob Marley calmly hum his song in a peaceful voice, I felt that fear, the one I just mentioned surface in my mind.  I let my mind explore it and asked myself what if?  What if I feel myself start to go down again?  What if things change and we move and I deal with post-partum every time we have a baby?

Well….

No woman no cry.  I don’t need to cry.  If the worst case senario happens I’ve got people in my corner to back me up.  I’ve got doctors that know what they’re doing and I can call them up anytime.  I’m open with my friends and family about my struggles and don’t feel embarrassed going to them.  My husband is on my side and stuck it out with me when I was at my worst.  I have faith in God in directing me to the best possible resources that there are.

I reached the bottom and I came back up.  The most important part is that it humbled me enough to realize that having faith to get over this meant finding the angels on earth that could be God’s hands in helping me battle my depression.  It didn’t mean having an attitude change or praying fervent enough and serving enough that my depression would be healed.  It meant asking in faith for direction, recognizing my depression as a disease, just like any other disease and realizing that just like cancer, I needed the help of others to get better.  People with cancer don’t say a prayer of “bless it to go away”.  They pray for help to find the best treatments and that the chemo will work properly.  Establishing a good support system has been vital in reducing the fear of the ups and downs of depression.  Knowing that I won’t have to go through it again feeling completely isolated and misunderstood is SO reassuring.

There’s hope.  I’m going to bed and I don’t feel like crying.  I feel like as Bob Marley says “everything’s going to be alright”.

What can I say, I’m human!

If I had to pick my least favorite chores they would be:  Dusting, folding laundry, and picking up random pieces of food off the floor.  It’s funny looking back through past posts and seeing how inspiration came when I was doing the chores I like the least.  hmmm I wonder why?   It’s a way of meditating I guess?  I don’t really know.  I started this post in my head as I tried to pick dried cheese off of the rug.

It requires a lot of patience to take care of a home.  I find it particularly frustrating to finish cleaning everything up; dishes, laundry, garbage, high chair, toys, knowing that in t minus 8 hours it will be all undone and I’ll have to do it all over again.  The same thing over and over again.  Dealing with depression or not dealing with depression, this can be a depressing thought.  It can seem so mundane can’t it?  And the weather certainly isn’t helping at all is it!  Ok so you’re probably thinking, STOP whining already!  Well if you’re looking for some landmark positive statement this won’t be it.

I didn’t do so well today.  On a scale from 1-10 on being proactive about treating depression, I’d give myself a 1.2.   I went to bed super late last night, woke up tired, didn’t get ready for the day, and ate crappy all day long.  Ya remember my goolosh smoothie idea from my last post?  Scrap that today.  I ate lots of hershey’s hard shell easter chocolate eggs, a snickers, and some other junk.  I just felt like sleeping all day.  It seems I’m in a bit of a slump.  So why am I writing today?  To let you know that it’s ok to have down days!  You can have a day where you’re lazy and grumpy and off once in a while.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I remember one time in therapy telling my therapist how frustrated I was with myself.  I had felt like I was right on track for a month.  However, just few days prior to coming to therapy, I woke up and just couldn’t get out of bed.  I just laid there and cried and cried and just wanted to sleep and cry. ” I’ve taken 10 steps backwards!” I said.  “I can’t believe I let myself do that, I mean I had been doing so good!” I started to cry.  My therapist then said,”So what you’re saying is that unless you are productive and happy everyday you’re not on track?  That’s just not realistic.  Depression or not we all should allow ourselves at least 2-3 days a month to be off the hook.  It’s just as important to be un-productive as it is productive and allow yourself those times.  Nobody can or should expect 100% productivity everyday”.  At first I resisted the idea.  Why can’t I?  Why can’t I have the high expectation of being 100% productive 100% of the time?

Well here I am tonight writing and I’ve decided that my therapist was right.  Accepting that it’s ok to have 2-3 (or whatever # feels right for you for your situation) off days can make dealing with the off days a lot easier.  Why?  Well for example after a day like today I can go to sleep and say, “that’s ok, I’m allowed a down day, I do a great job most days and I’m normal.  This is normal”.  And I actually feel that that statement is true!  Before I thought that a statement like that might just be a way to encourage more off days.  But right now I don’t feel that way.  I feel calm.  I’m not freaking out at myself for being negative and unproductive today.  Saying that helps me realize that it really is ok.

Please don’t misunderstand this as saying that you can just lay in bed everyday and try and convince yourself that you need it.  That really doesn’t help, I’ve tried that before.  You decide what is best for you and what you feel is honestly going to help you.   I know that “allowing” myself a couple of down days has made them a bit easier to deal with in a way, maybe because I’m not beating myself up inside all daywhen they come?  I’m not sure, but I think that’s partly why.

Now I’m not just saying this to reassure myself (although this post may seem like that) but I really do feel that tomorrow will be better.  There you go, a positive statement.  I’m human what can I say 🙂