Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Keeping Watch

I've noticed my mood dipping down into the "depressed" category for a couple of weeks now, and I'm trying to figure out what to do about it. I broke up with Dr. Crazy Socks, so maybe I need to find a new therapist. My physician mentioned I might need a higher dose of my medication during the months when I suffer from seasonal depression, so perhaps that's something I should look into.

January and February, typically, are my darkest months of the year. And by "dark" I mean "I can't believe I continue to get out of bed every morning, I guess I can thank my endless need for others' approval for SOMETHING."

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the world who understands what this feels like. I suppose that in itself if a symptom of the illness, and it causes me to fold in upon myself, stay home, decline invitations, ignore phone calls, "hole up". It makes me cranky and generally unsettled and displeased with everything, although if you asked me to specify my displeasure, I'd be unable to do so because it's vaporous and slithery and not at all concrete.

But even now, as these dark fingers flicker on the edge of my vision, it's not as bad this year and for that I can thank my awareness of the problem as much as the medication I'm taking to avoid it.

Gray and I came up with a strategy to combat the dark thing, a strategy which includes "having something to look forward to" so we decided to take a trip and we bought our plane tickets (with cash)((yay TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER!)) all the way back in the fall, and now we are going on vacation to California in 17 days and THANK GOD because...well...just LOOK AT THIS PLACE. I have got to get out of here.

My dad and his wife live in southern Cali, and my whole paternal side of the family is within 20 minutes drive of each other. I haven't been to see any of them in almost two years, and that is just way too motherfucking long. Spending time with my family will be more therapeutic than even the sunlight and warm weather, and I'm hoping it gives me a boost and helps propel me along through the worst month, February.

I thought I'd take a look back at where I was one year ago and compare my mental states to see if there's been a noticeable improvement, so I pulled up this post from January 12th, 2009, when I was jogging almost every day and stinking the high heaven. And I remember doing laps at the community center on the track which was suspended over a basketball court, running around and around while I watched the volleyball practice below and listened to (mostly) Coldplay on my Ipod, and wondered if I'd ever be happy again. (Coldplay during a workout is the first sign of my impending mental collapse because, seriously? COLDPLAY?)

So in comparison I'm feeling FAR better this year, but I need to Stay On Top of That Shit and I should probably start working out again in some fashion, maybe, we'll see, and I should definitely try to focus my energies on the new classes I start this week and the week-long vacation at the end of the month and the plans we've made with the supreme California hotties, Kel and Jessica.

I'm also planning to do the Month of No Spending again this year, not only because it provides some much-needed blog fodder, but also because it should keep me distracted during the hours that I'm not working or writing papers for class. It takes physical restraint to not spend a dime for 28 days. It actually hurts a little sometimes, like you're being quartered by four horses named Your Checking Account, TJ Maxx, Chipotle and Amazon.com.

And I should definitely masturbate more often because there's no tax on orgasms.