Tag Archive | change

Fear of Loss and Regression

There are few things scarier as the spouse of a person with severe and clinical depression than a regression or a “slip up” on the new life patterns.

Thankfully my current and more recent experiences with these “lapses in change” are few and far between, but it happens. Add in work stress, deadlines, someone at the office quitting suddenly and equally quickly I see Ken slipping into old patterns. Chores undone, choices in chores a wee bit wacky (he seriously is the only person I know that, when he falls back into old destruction choices finds himself a BIGGER chore to avoid the ongoing list). All I see is a great big red WARNING sign.

MY frustration is quickly felt as household promises fall to the wayside in favour of work and stress. After all, part of Ken’s therapy is the realization that (as long as it won’t endanger the household) it is not appropriate for me to swoop in and do something FOR Ken. That gives him an out, like a child who does a chore badly to get out of it (and I HAVE experienced that, I might add). Rather, I have to (equally frustratingly) sit back and leave the chaos to rest until Ken comes round to the mental and emotional realization that he must stop running from that particular responsibility.

This is all something which, when Ken is in the moment, he DOES NOT SEE. And there is a balance there too, I can’t just scream out DO THE CHORE the second day on, he has to have the opportunity to become self aware (little heads up – we are NOT there yet… quite). Self awareness is a tricky thing. Do we ever clearly see our own actions when emotionally compromised?

There is always, in the back of my head, a little voice saying – “keep aware, be diligent.” I know I have mentioned this before and talked extensively about being the “healthy one,” but sometimes it is a hugely frustrating endeavor. I am not sure WHEN I will ever assuage myself of the guilt of missing cues. Why didn’t I see the spiral earlier on? Why was I so blind to the now obvious suffering of one of the most important people in my life? So there is the additional worry that I will be hyper vigilant or accidentally take to “calling wolf.” (are we all familiar of the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf? If not HERE)

Luckily this newest roller coaster (mini as it was) was over messes at work that were not the fault of himself, and deadlines and crazy hours (like skype at 3 am… kid you not, darn international companies!). What is utterly amazing is that every phone call, ever little WORK related deadline or promise was hit, met and exceptionally dealt with. Just don’t ask about the dishwasher issue, the pictures that need to be hung where tall people live, or the room we tore apart to paint… oops.20170214_210130

Resolutions Vs Change

I have to admit it, I don’t make resolutions. Don’t believe in them. What makes the 1st of January the do all and be all for change? Arbitrary date really. Besides that, how many people can say they follow the resolution through to the end? Do you spend a full year determined, set and committed to something you state out loud on the first of the year?

No, I don’t make resolutions. Rather, I make changes. And they are not set on the 1st of the year, of the month. When you come up to a roadblock of efficiency or health it is time to sort that out. Last year in the summer it was to be at the YMCA AT LEAST 4 times a week. Look at me, over 6 months later and I practically live at the place!

Earlier this month I decided it was time to branch out on my crafting again. Pull out the cross stitch. And here I am 2 weeks later alternating. Finishing projects long ignored. My track record is my own, but it is a change not a resolution. I have made the other crafts more accessible. Remind myself often that I need to do this. And BANG change is going on.

Not tying these decisions to the word RESOLUTION or a specific start date makes me feel more committed. I don’t get to slough it off because no one keeps to a resolution. Add in posting my progress on a social medium like Instagram and I feel a bit more accountability. I do this with my gym time. I am sure no one else really cares about those pictures of my miles and calories and silly coloured yoga pants, but I am committed to putting it out there. It feels more important.

Really I think once you label something with a finite title like – “New Year’s Resolution” you limit its strength. I am not trying to make a year long pact, rather a life long change. So why not pick a random day and change something? Add in an activity, make a chore more readily done, try something new… it could be worth it!IMG_20161109_152736

The Reality of Living…

is that if you are in a state of constant balance and rational thought process one has to wonder if you are truly living outside your self made limitations. I know I have talked previously about expanding past what you are sure you can do and into new terrain (right now I am deep in my recorder lessons with the intent of moving to the piano eventually!) –HERE-. There is a level of discomfort when we step outside and try something unknown.

The reality of life is that safe is truly NOT safe. We are created for change, for challenge and for growth. To sit where we are safe and rational and completely in the know is to ignore these realities.

In fact, sometimes those feelings of safety and careful comfort are masking a greater problem. I am not suggesting you run out, quit your job of X number of years, join the foreign legion and start a new, that is just… well… insane? But, to sit there in the comfort of constant familiarity and ease for ALL facets of your life is neither stimulating nor healthy.

A challenge can simply be reading a book that expands your knowledge base or makes you think. Extending out of comfort could be trying for that promotion you are not quite sure you will get. It can be adding something new to your routine, trying to meet new people, attempting a new skill. It is bumping you out of your absolute norm and finding something to stretch you out a little.

The reality of life is that we are not rational and calm and balanced, we are full of doubts and fears, joys and celebrations, anguish and tears. We are silly and stubborn, cuddly and prickly, we are opposites rolled into one being. This is somewhat of a balance, you can’t just be silly… cuddly and joyful… that would make you a kitten. But at the same time a lack of balance creates opportunity.

Ken explained to me that with Depression there is a huge amount of uncertainty and discomfort. Things are not balanced, they are way out of whack. BUT there is a drive to distract. This is where you convince yourself that the reality of life is calm, collected, rational. This all leads to further UNHEALTHY lack of balance. So we have to balance our lack of balance… be rational in the midst of irrational thought… embrace it all and make sense of the combination.

Definitely easier said than done. I know that I have my moments (and I am considered the balanced and “healthy” one). Tears over the dumbest, most random things… and I don’t mean pregnancy hormones cuz – NOT POSSIBLE THANK YOU. Unsettled thoughts of worry and angst go hand in hand with a yearning for a balanced and easy/rational/simple life. Remove the idea of scripted/created drama and I have to admit – I am yearning for a farce. I don’t truly want easy balance in all facets of my life – I want to stretch and grow. I want to learn new skills, teach my children new things, do one outrageous thing every so often (ok outrageous to ME maybe not the cooler masses). I want a basic structure of security and balance but, well, too much comfort makes you complacent.

Complacency in and of itself can lead to even more problems. When we get into a rut, into a cycle we often don’t see the total picture. We don’t come across opportunities with the same mindset, and that is a shame.

So basically, life is flux and yet not. Change and stability fight for dominance as we try to figure out what we CAN change and what MUST stay the same. We will always be figuring out how to live in the reality of life with depression. There will never be a “cheat sheet” full of easy solutions. And that is ok. 

The reality of living is that we don’t know what is going to happen, we can’t control all the variables and we really don’t have all the answers. BUT we can get the tools, build a support system and accept the challenge. img_20160908_192031