On August 11, 2014, Robin Williams was found dead in his home in Paradise Cay, California. One of debatably the most funny and lovable characters in the film industry had literally ended his life in Paradise.
After his death, people began to question what our image of depression and suicide looked like. I mean this guy so jovial he was the voice of a magic Genie and made cross-dressing nannying look fun. And yet, he had a darkness inside him that was so inescapable he couldn't wait another second in this life to see if the light would ever show.
Today I came to a realization. I am struggling with depression. First of all, this is NOT something that I've experienced before. Anxiety? Sure. Anger? Sure. Overall lack of emotional intelligence? Absolutely. But depression? Me? Never. You're talking to someone who has so much energy she participates in sober dance parties at 7 am for fun and makes friends in taxi cabs. But over the past few weeks I've felt little pieces of myself starting to fade away.
It started with me withdrawing from friends. I found that the sun was up longer, work was less stressful, but I had absolutely no desire to see any of my friends or even talk to them. I'd just "stay in", "save money" or "spend time alone."
Then a sunny day came and I had the chance to ride my bike. This time I decided to sleep in a little more, instead. No big deal. Then one day became two days, and then three. Now I've missed about a week of bike rides that I normally would have been so excited to go on.
The diet soon slid to the wayside. Fast food. Beer. Soda. The list goes on. Finally, there came an urge that I haven't felt in years. The urge to self harm.
But it wasn't until today that I could finally put a word on all of these feelings: depression. I am struggling with depression.
Naturally, in true lawyer fashion, now that I have identified the problem, I am in the process of devising a way to "solve it" for lack of a better word. After all, admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it right?
First of all, let me just say, I have already contacted my therapist and will be seeing her at her earliest availability. There is absolutely no substitute for professional mental health services such as therapy, counseling, etc. But going to therapy will do me no good no matter how often I go, if I don't do the work on my own as well.
So, I've decided to take a test run at something new and what better forum than here to test it out. Making it public adds a layer of accountability and hopefully offers some help or guidance to anyone else who is struggling with depression.
The way I see it, there are four major categories to one's health. My theory is, by making baby steps to bringing life and balance back into those areas, my "old self" will logically and organically flow. They say the way to eat an elephant is by taking one bite at a time. Not that I'd ever eat an innocent elephant but the logic remains sound. Consistent little steps equal large results.
I'll be keeping an online "journal" of sorts during this month and update it weekly as an internal progress report of sorts. Below are the overall categories that, for me, are currently out of balance and need to corrected.
I've named this blog partially in homage to my beloved Mother of Dragons and partially because this is a war which will be comprised of several battles. The victory over this time of my life will not be instantaneous, and like any war, it may contain victories and losses. And that's fine by me.
Diet: No Soda. No Beer. No candy. No chips.
Exercise: Run. Bike. Gym.
Therapy. Journal. Talk.
Read. Write. Work
Church. Meditate. Hike.