I don’t have a specific topic for this post, but thought I’d synopsize some of the mental health adjacent thoughts I’m been batting around this week.
- Is this depression? My general feeling about my mental health is that the main identifiable conditions I’ve got are “Pure O” OCD, social anxiety, and “maladaptive daydreaming,” (if MD is, in fact, a condition that I should consider something negative, mental health-wise). I’ve never given much thought to the idea of my having depression mainly because I’ve never had the symptoms that I associate with depression. I don’t have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, I don’t sleep too much, I don’t have an issue finding the vitality to perform daily, routine tasks. But I do often ask myself “what’s the point of all this?” and have incredible difficulty finding joy in life. Is that depression? Anhedonia? Are those things related? I know I definitely feel worse about everything in the Winter months, which we’re headed into now. Also, because it’s colder, and I’m much less prone to profuse over-sweating when it’s colder in general outside, I’m tempted to up my Lexapro dosage to 15mg (from 10mg) to give my serotonin levels a boost, side effects be damned. The main problem might be the effect on my sex drive, but I think I can handle it. I just want to know if I can be sufficiently excited and enthusiastic about life if I blast a few more chemicals into my brain right now.
- With friends like these – I don’t have a ton of friends, but the ones I do are good friends. It’s just that, like my family, their personalities all seem to be “limited” in some way by their own mental health issues, bad upbringing issues, etc… Sometimes I wonder how much I’ve been happy to have their friendship because I identify so much with people in their mental and social situations, (because we have a ton in common), and how much of my choosing them as friends has been because pursuing friendships with well-adjusted, successful, neuro-typical people would be scary and intimidating for me. Having friends who are “hurt people” is easier when you’re hurt yourself. I have a great deal of love for outcasts and weirdos, and in general I feel like this is a good quality to have, but every once in a while one of my “weirdo” friends does or says something to remind me of some of the darker, more problematic parts of their personalities, (like, for instance, their inability to access their emotions) and it reminds me that there are parts of our relationship that are kind of unhealthy, and that maybe the perspective I get of the world when the people closest to me are unhealthy helps keep me stuck in an unhealthy worldview overall. I don’t know if this actually makes sense, but it’s been a topic I’ve thought about a lot recently.
- Food– I’ve been eating like crazy this holiday season and I’m probably 30 lbs. overweight right now. I don’t believe diets actually work (like, ever), and so I’m not putting a ton of pressure on myself to diet, either now or on New Year’s Day, when everyone else starts their diet. I enjoy eating whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it, but wish that everyone at work would stop bringing in crappy, sugary food and leaving it out for everyone in the office to graze at during the holidays. It’s additional temptation to eat things I wouldn’t normally eat, and I find myself snacking on holiday treats just as a nervous habit while I’m at work. Anyway, the other part of this is that I’m probably as heavy as I’ve ever been, and, even though I’m tall and can carry it off pretty well, I still notice my belly every time I get into the shower and I have all kinds of negative thoughts about it. I feel somehow defeated, like my lack of discipline around food lately defines me in other areas too. Like I’m not taking care of myself. But I also don’t want to beat myself up over any of this, either because what’s the point? So I can talk myself into a diet that’s going to last 4-5 months, I can lose the 30 lbs., get some compliments from people, then slowly gain the weight back once I get sick of having Subway sandwiches for lunch and then watch the cycle repeat itself in a year? That doesn’t sound so great. I’d like to just have more compassion for myself, and allow myself to love and appreciate my 45-year-old body more. It’s hard balance to strike between pressuring yourself to make healthier lifestyle choices, but also being compassionate and still loving yourself when (inevitably) you fall short of all this. This is the balance I’d like to find now.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. Happy Holidays, everyone!