When I first was introduced to narcotics anonymous I heard all sorts of buzzwords and phrases coined by drug addicts in recovery. “The Pink Cloud” is used to describe the “high on life” feeling one gets from being newly in recovery. As people detox and stop living the lifestyle of an addict; feelings of hope, joy, and optimism pervade the addict. This is a great feeling for someone coming out of active addiction! But, it can also be very dangerous and very deceptive.
I feel like this may sometimes apply to depression and anxiety. I feel like I felt the Pink Cloud of my recovery. At the end of last week I was honestly feeling great. I had been to several therapy sessions, made an appointment with a psychiatrist, started this blog for support, I was making an effort to be “nicer and not in a bad mood.” It felt dangerous. It felt scary. I told myself I will take this happiness with a grain of salt, as I should have
One comment, one feeling, one moment, one thought. That’s all it takes to have everything come crashing down like a house of cards. I remember feeling fragile. I thought to myself.
“I feel like a vase that has just shattered and been glued back together.”
Anything could render my psyche into a million little pieces. And that’s all it took. It happens so fast and then you freefall rather quickly into the throws of worthlessness and depression.
Another phrase that circles around NA and AA is, “One day at a time.” This is important to remember. Like myself, you may even need to tailor the phrase to you fit. In my case, “One hour at a time.” I was reminded of this by my therapist. Just because I am taking these baby steps to recovery doesn’t mean I need to set such high standards for myself.
My boyfriend tells me to be nicer, to be more loving and to simply “ focus on the positive.” For someone struggling with depression, “focusing on the positive” is not easy at all and sometimes not even possible. I don’t think he realizes this. He says he does, but if he truly understood how I felt he wouldn’t say any of that. For me, it only makes things worse. I turn inward; why can’t I just be happy? Why can I be nice? Why am I so awful to be around? This triggers a huge cycling of feelings of worthlessness and even suicidal thoughts. Sometimes I just want to feel bad and for that to be okay. Its so difficult to simply exist that the thought of actively trying to change my mindset and reactions seems impossible. He says I am “choosing to be angry” or choosing to have this outlook.
N O T H I N G enrages me more.
You think I chose this? You honestly think I wake up every morning planning and choosing to feel this awful and to view everything through this pitifully negative scope? If it were that easy I wouldn’t even be writing this blog right now. I wouldn’t be in therapy.
If it were as easy as making a simple decision, I would choose happiness.
I saw the psychiatrist and was prescribed Lexapro. I am anxious about starting a medication like this as I have never been on any psychotropic medication before. I am anxious about the side effects. I read somewhere in the side effects of the medication that “if your doctor prescribed you this medication he/she thinks the benefits largely outweigh any adverse side effects.” It doesn’t seem fair that I must put my body on the backburner to take care of my mind. This is one choice I do have…take the medication ( I have nothing left to lose,) or feel this hopeless, and miserable weight slowly crush me. Like I said, I have nothing left to lose.
With this blog post I give myself permission to hurt. I give myself the right to be in a “bad mood.”I acknowledge I feel completely and utterly depressed and that’s okay. I warrant myself to cry and give myself a little leniency on “focusing on the positive. Its not as simple as a choice. “This is clinical,” my therapist says. “One hour at a time,” I say to myself.
“One hour at a time,” I say to myself.