The Plateau

plateauBefore I get started today, I hope some of you “older” readers (ha ha) have noticed some positive improvements in the mechanics of the blog. I have been trying hard, but I owe it all to the 1 1/2 rounds of Blogging 101 University (a free class put on by wordpress.) If you are new to blogging, or just want to learn about all of those things on your dashboard, this is your class. If you’ve seen fun things on other blogs and wondered how they did it, this is your class. This is NOT a class on how to write better or more fascinating blogs, although it touches on that. I can’t recommend this class highly enough. The next session starts March 1st and I will post the link to sign up very soon.

I had a decent week. I went to my women’s support group on Monday and took those rocks for the grandson of that woman. She was really appreciative and impressed. I think I made some good selections. On Tuesday I talked to my psychologist on our phone appointment. I could go see her in person, but why? It’s just another errand to do. And you know how I hate to go anywhere….I also had my bipolar support group that day. I told my leader I was ready to go and give more NAMI talks. Uh…I hope that was a good idea.

On Wednesday I had my hair colored, cut, and highlighted. Not only do I look less mousy, but the mess is easier to take care of. I just shower and let it dry, then run a brush and blow dryer through it for a minute. I HATE getting it done though. It takes two hours. I get anxious sitting in that chair so long. I took an audiobook which helped. It’s a little like going to the dentist.

Friday I cancelled on a friend. I know, I know…this SUCKS! She was driving over an hour to have lunch with me. I had not seen her since October. I texted her early and told her I was in a panic and she said it was fine….that she had a headache anyway and she could take a nap. We agreed to reschedule. So I felt guilty but not terrible. It still sucked.

I managed to text everyone on my friend list and wish them Happy Valentine’s Day. That was an easy way to make contact with everyone. Saturday we hit some garage sales. We spent $25 and got a TON of brand new looking baby toys of all kinds. We brought them home, put fresh batteries in, and boxed them up for the homeless shelter run by our church. It’s amazing how you can buy an immaculate baby/toddler toy for one dollar at some of these sales. One guy gave us a bunch of them when he heard where we were taking them. So we just had to get the batteries. Everything takes batteries!

Went to church today, am writing this blog, need to walk the dog for exercise, and need to work on math lesson plans for my daughter’s class. Tonight my middle son is coming over and we are going out for burgers.

I was reading on a blog somewhere about a woman who was making a comeback from a stroke. She talked about hitting a “plateau”. She wondered if she would break through it and come out the other side or if her current situation was the new normal for her.

This instantly reminded me of myself and my mental illness.

I had a psychologist once who told me that a severe depression is like a serious brain injury. That it takes time to heal. I believe it. My brain definitely feels injured when I try to get back into recovery. And I don’t feel like I am going to make it all the way back.

For example…at church this morning…this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Our church is having a small service. Previously, I would have been all over this. Now, there is no way I will get there. Getting there on Sunday is lucky. I was invited this morning to attend a prayer bead workshop this week. But it goes all day from 9:15 to 2:15. I just told the lady that was too long of a day for me. (At least I was honest.) And the things I used to do for Easter! Now my goal is to get the kids and myself and husband to a service Easter morning and provide a nice ham dinner in the afternoon. (My husband will do baskets for the kids in the morning.) I won’t wear any pastel dress, or fancy make up, or matching shoes. I’ll just get there.

Have I hit a plateau? As I look at my February spreadsheet I wonder. I still am not exercising, although I am planning on taking the dog for a walk today and doing my yoga tape tomorrow. I am cancelling less. I’ve gone backwards on sleeping on the couch, but I’m better at drinking my water. I missed church more this month, but made it more often to my women’s group.

But these are the little things. Let’s look at the big ones. I’m likely never going to work again. So I not only plateaued there, I fell off the ledge.

I’m still semi attached to my couch. The couch rules my emotional life. I don’t like to leave it. I am leaving it more, but not because I really want to. I am doing it more due to others’ expectations. I wear pajamas all the time when I am home.

I still feel wobbly. I don’t feel “normal” like I used to. I never feel “strong” or assertive. I’m never the sparkling one in the room.

This has been a long time. Two years of depression followed by about a year of some level of recovery. I’m not sure today if I feel up or down. Maybe I’ll get off the couch and lay down on the plateau.

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