Hey! I think I'm either through it or almost through it! Nearly a month, but I can see the other side. The stubborn gladness won.
I don't care what won, as long as something did. Yes, there are still many things I can do that would make myself further better and hopefully more stable. And hopefully now that I feel a little better, I can start working on incorporating them slowly and forgivingly into my life (instead of just shouting "hurrah!" and going back to my old ways).
I will not beat myself up about faltering. I'm still learning.
So at this point, I do strongly recommend Spontaneous Happiness by Dr. Andrew Weill to everyone. And I insist on it for people who struggle with depression. It's $15. If you live in LA and don't have Amazon Prime, I can order it for since I get free shipping and you can collect it next weekend. Or support a local book store and have them order it. (I grew up in Seattle, so Starbucks and Amazon still feel like little start-ups from my home town, not corporate goliaths that have eliminated all in their path) I haven't incorporated all the suggestions, but I have incorporated some and those seem to have made a difference.
Here's what I have done, just in case you would like to try the same:
- Go to bed at 9 or 10 and wake up at 6 or 7. I haven't been able to do this every day since Monday, but it has been a guideline. Part of my depression was insomnia, so it's hard for me to sleep through the night.
- Take melatonin for sleep. The jury is still out on whether this is helpful. It hasn't seemed to be really changing anything. I may try valarian next.
- Stop taking Trazadone for sleep. I was on an anti-depressant/sleep aid that I didn't feel like was doing much of anything. I stopped taking it. Maybe it's the melatonin, but I also haven't felt much of an effect from stopping that. Important note: do not stop presrcibed medication without permission from your doctor. I have already talked with my doctor about stopping this.
- Stop taking anything else that wasn't prescribed for me. Yes! I know. It's not something that people should do. But I had been so anxious that it seemed like one or two here and there wouldn't hurt anything. But in listening to the book, I became convinced that anything that boosted me would ultimately make me drop, and anything that relaxed me might shatter me later.
- Reduce the amount of caffeine overall. I went from drinking four or five cups of coffee to two. I hope to reduce it further in the next few weeks.
- Stop eating over-processed foods, including white bread, pasta, or refined sugar. This is along the same lines as the caffeine... anything that boosts will ultimately cause a crash.
- Take supplements. I started taking two multivitamins, two 2000 iu of fish oil, 2 vitamin B complex, and a vitamin D.
- Take my wellbutrin at the same time every day. People have told me to do this over and over, but it's hard for me to have my pills with me and stop and take them and sometimes I forget and ... yadda yadda excuse excuse. I made a reminder on my google calendar, on my computer, on my work calendar, and on my phone. And I carry the damn things with me.
- Eat vegetables. This is the hardest one since I do not like vegetables overall. I've started eating at least one salad per day. Begrudgingly. And then I trick myself into eating celery by covering it with peanut butter (not ideal).
- Do a breathing exercise in the morning and in the evening. It's in the book and takes about one whole minute. And yet sometimes I feel like I don't have the time... I know. Such is my brain.
- See Russell. I am not going to recommend this for you, but I did find that seeing my honey for one weekend TREMENDOUSLY improved my mood.
- Consider exercise. I haven't done it, but I am carrying workout clothes in my car. Just in case a gym springs out into the street and attacks me.
- Get mad. Yep. I totally think this is legitimate therapy. As long as I'm complacent, I feel like a victim. As long as I feel like a victim, I feel shitty. Getting mad about things that I don't feel like I have a right to be mad about is fucking therapy and I do not give a single fuck what you think about it. grr!
So that's what I've done. And on that note, I have to dash. I've got a lot going on today.