So I went out last Friday. Like, OUT out. Out with friends, out to a show, and out some more after that. But I was worried, because I hadn’t been looking forward to it. Not at all. And, while the night turned into something supremely spectacular, I had trouble getting in the groove.
The next day, I was thrashed. Even though my sister was in town for the weekend, even though I’d just had this great night in the city, I couldn’t enjoy myself. I was kind of reminded of that Phish show last winter, where, despite all efforts, worrying about how I wasn’t having a good time totally spoiled my good time.
That Phish show turned out to be kind of a tipping point in my emotional life, and I spent the better part of two months trying to get back on the right side of the tracks. And so I worried – would this be the same? Would this be the beginning of the next slide down?
Then, astonishingly, I got sick. Honest to God, fever and chills, DayQuil-chugging sick.
And I was like, oh, so that was that, then.
My therapist often compares living through depression to being very sick (“sick” in the “traditional” sense, which seems more respectable, somehow), and taking that for what it is. She suggests treating the oncoming clouds as one would the first symptoms of the flu, and knowing, you know, here it comes, it’s gonna suck, but I’ll get through it. The challenge with that, for me, is to stop analyzing my emotions to the point where depression becomes an endgame instead of a passing virus, to where the clouds become fog that settles over my mind for months.
When I mentioned my flat-affected Phish show in session today, my therapist said to me, “If you went to that show with a really bad cold, would you have worried about how you weren’t having a good time? Would you have worried about that, and then thought ‘oh, this is my life, and it’s passing me by’, and ‘I can’t REMEMBER the last time I had fun’ and everything that comes with those types of thoughts?”
And I was like, woman, how are you reading my mind. HOWAREYOUREADINGMYMIND.
“You know, you WOULDN’T.” She said.
I was speechless.