I haven’t written a post in ages (actually, that’s not entirely true, in classic Meghan fashion I’ve written a few posts but then scrapped them the same day) and I think it’s mostly because I don’t want to look at, examine, and come to terms with myself. The signs of a downward spiral have been present for a few months– like reading innumerable blogs about everything from style to happiness which turned into self-help overload. I was no longer listening to my own brain and body’s needs and instead was trying every last tip that every last self-proclaimed happiness/life hack expert threw out there. That was the first sign.
The second sign was a mass amount of online shopping– because why change my comfy pants when I can order from my couch? This online shopping addiction is two-fold:
1. I was avoiding going out into the world where there are real people and instead chose to stay in (which every so often is fine, but my avoidance of people will be seen at an extreme later in this spiral).
2. I was relying on frivolous purchases to make me happy, but we all know that the Buyer’s High only lasts so long before having to move on to the next “want.”
The third sign was sleeping in later and later and later. I rarely make it into work these days before 9:15-9:30. I’ve always needed more sleep than others. It simply seems to be how I’m wired. But getting to work late every day? That’s not me.
The fourth and fifth signs are two exact moments. The fourth sign was when I was on the receiving end of Mean Girl-ism at work and, being unable to handle it, ran outside to cry in the parking lot. And the fifth sign? Going to a game night at a familiar house with familiar people, walking through the door, realizing I couldn’t handle the big group, and walking right back out to sleep in my car (huddled under my parka) while Caleb played a game or two.
Earlier this year, I made the decision to switch from the birth control pill to a copper IUD in order to let my own body be in charge of its hormone levels. It was the first step in getting my own self back and finding out if my body and brain could handle its own shit. Later, just a few months ago, I weaned myself off Prozac. Knowing that going off medication meant therapy was no longer a choice but a necessity, I also went back to seeing my therapist on a weekly basis.
For awhile, things were okay. I had a few bouts of immense anger with Caleb being on the receiving end, but overall I felt like I was pretty stable. The spiral had already started, but I paid no mind. It wasn’t until the fourth sign that I realized I was grasping for any form of control I could. Caleb left his coffee mug out? I mentioned it. Caleb didn’t hang up his coat? I huffed and reminded him about it. Caleb went to bed without fixing the covers? I boiled over and told him to fix it. I’ve been yearning for any sort of order, so I have become extremely picky about my home. Every spoon, slip of paper, and magazine stack has to be perfectly in place or I lose it.
I knew I was irritable but it wasn’t until last week when I was sitting on my therapist’s couch and she looked at me and said, “You’re depressed,” that I had that, “Fuck, I am,” moment. It slipped in quietly and I was too busy (purposely so?) to notice it.
I know my current day job is a major negative force but that’s also a major part of my life that simply takes time to change. And, of course, going to interviews and receiving the “Thank you, but…” emails a week later aren’t exactly boosting my confidence.
I know I shouldn’t technically be talking about this– depression isn’t exactly a normal wedding photographer’s blog topic, but it’s exhausting hiding it. I will always be me– reliable, passionate, hard-working. But this is also me, as much as I hate it. If I want to stay off Prozac then I have to find other ways to keep myself in check. As my therapist said, being off meds means exercise is a must. I can’t keep putting responsibilities before my own health. No more opting to edit photos instead of yoga, de-cluttering instead of running, checking email in bed. I can’t be on call 24/7 because something has to give and that thing is my mental health. Everyone has their neuroses– mine just happen to be louder and more obvious.
I’m still dedicated to She & Me and I love building it, but I won’t be sacrificing myself for it anymore. That sounds cold and frigid, but I need regular times of restoration, too– time to reflect, let things go, and become renewed. Workaholism is my vice so this isn’t going to be easy, but I miss my authentic vim and vigor, my zing and zip. I think you all miss it, too.