Wherein I describe visit to the doctor, compare depression to pregnancy weight-gain (sort-of), and talk about habit/will-power training.
(And I mention we have milk goats.)
You’ve been warned.
SO I went to the doctor this morning (I say ‘doctor,’ because P.A. takes explaining, and then I’ve defeated the purpose of a clear topic sentence, and I might as well say what people are going to understand anyway based on what comes next).
Because I’ve been tired doggonit, and I’m annoyed that all the healthy changes I’ve made as and since my depression lifted (Did I mention that here yet? Almost three months free, and forcing me to find my balance again. In a good way.) haven’t produced the energy-bump I was expecting.
You see, really early in June (the weekend before this post) I was listening to the book-on-
tape CD (I need to update my mental file) I mention in that post, and it was all about nutrition and how it affects the way your brain functions, and how it can become a self-defeating cycle, where even eating good food, if you’re not getting enough of key nutrients, all that good stuff might not fully be utilized because (essentially) it doesn’t have the key to go through the door. Or the engineer to run the train to make deliveries or whatever.
Anyway, I’d been taking a lot of Vit-D (because I could feel a difference), my dutiful calcium (because I was spastically limiting dairy), and iron, because I had this vague idea it could make me less draggy (I think it did).
As I read more, and understood more I added more supplements.
On the way to the doctor today I went through my flat of bottles and wrote down names and dosages.
ELEVEN bottles. (All justified, all reasonable in my mind, but I was really nervous what the doctor would say.)
One of the first I added was an envelope of Emergen-C each morning, because I had a bunch already in the house, and it was a boost of Bs and C. Two vitamins I wasn’t currently supplementing.
I felt the change in days. Distinctly more energy, and before long (there were some other changes in there, probably) the last tendrils of my diminishing depression finally gave up the ghost.
Everything got easier. I felt like I’d lost 60 pounds out of my emotions. I felt stronger, braver; I did 13 blog posts in 5 weeks. I had stuff to say it and took the time to write it down.
But the energy/health curve that (I guess) I anticipated (based on my recent resurrection) did not continue to rise as I’d expected.
Life is just as complected as ever.
I swear: there is no wonder that the US is cranky and malnourished: it takes a full effort on my part to get us all enough sleep and nutritious food for five people, with a rest between efforts! When you consider that most (?) families don’t have an at-home parent to ration energy in this direction, it’s understandable how this falls through the cracks.
And we had a mama meat rabbit start killing kits before they were old enough to wean (the six survivors are in my living room now, and the shavings need to be changed…) along with other, more-welcome, changes that just add up to a full life.
Yes, I’m considering margin again, but for the last several weeks margin has looked like (been found by) not-writing.
And on one level this has been exhilarating: when I was depressed, and drowning in demands I was never good enough for, writing was my life raft.
It was a need as real as water.
And not feeling that need for weeks has been a sort of pressure-gauge indicating that as busy as I’ve been, it’s not been a dangerous busy.
But one consequence of not-writing was completely unexpected: when I’m not writing, it’s because I’m doing. Moving. Working. And I’m beginning to think overworking.
So I told the doctor that I expected to be better/stronger/healthier (or at least weigh less) after these weeks of working so hard and eating right and so on.
I showed her my vitamin/supplement list (which *whew* she said was perfect), and asked what I was missing; what else I should be doing. I even asked if there was a way I could tell if I was actually doing too much so I could at least take that into account, too.
She ordered three vials of blood work-up, just to check levels of everything, and suggested what we could test next if that came back normal, then sat back and said, “Of course, you’ve just come out of two really tough years; being depressed. It’s going to take some time for your body to restablize.”
Now, I knew I’d been in recovery (in fact, this latest tiredness I’d backwards-enjoyed because a) it meant I really was working, I wasn’t making this up; and b) because it was so clearly in my body and not in my head/brain/emotions (wherever the Depression always used to creep back from).
But I have stuff. to. do. and I don’t like my body getting in the way!
“Two years is a long. time. to be sick,” she pointed out. “It’s going to take more than a few months to recover from that.”
And that’s when I thought of that staple reassurance to new moms, The weight went on over nine months. Don’t expect it to come off in two. (Especially taking care of this new little human.)
And while I hope it doesn’t take me another two years to rebuild, I at least don’t have to be in a hurry now. Now being reassured that I’m doing the right stuff to rebuild, and can sort-of hold steady for a while.
When I’m sure I’ve been obedient is when I feel like I can rest. (Which isn’t 100% good theology, but now you know one of my issues.)
~ ~ ~
I was talking with someone about Job earlier this week.
Well, not talking about it so much as comparing myself to Job, when trying to “deal with” my depression physically.
“I feel like Job,” I said, “because I feel like I’m doing everything I know to do, and I’m not getting the outcome I expect. And in addition to my own disappointment I have to deal with these ‘well-meaning friends’ who keep asking me what I’m doing wrong, or telling me what else I should be doing.
In this I’m not trying to say I’m sinless, or that there’s *nothing* else I can do, but on some. level, as I press to the end of my resources and am reminded (appropriately) they’re not enough, I get annoyed at all the questions (or advice) implying that I am inevitably the plug in the pipe.
There has to be times when the water’s just not flowing. And if that’s the case, if the season is just one of waiting, I trust my God enough for that. But spare me *please* a world of well-wishers that know exactly what I’m doing wrong.
Sometimes we really do just need to press through with “will-power.”
I think God does ask us to engage our will and press on in faithfulness.
What I don’t think I’ve ever heard enough is the idea (REALITY!) that willpower is as finite and expendable as every other thing we can dredge up out of our dusty souls.
It has to be strengthened, yes, through practice, but it also has to be renewed. You can’t press-on forever with this muscle more than you can with any other. You will feel fatigue, and that is the reminder that exhaustion is possible.
And recognizing limits at this point is not slacking or shirking.
~ ~ ~
To wrap up (don’t you love getting access to my unedited work?! Aren’t you glad I normally edit posts a *little* bit more?), my biggest eye-opener today about writing is this:
I’m sitting still when I write.
Anyone want to pay me 50-cents for that brilliant insight?
I have been wearing a pedometer for about a month now, and (hold your breath for this one folks) I can measure my tiredness pretty much in correlation to the number of steps I’ve taken.
You know that recommended 10,000/day that’s supposed to keep you healthy or something?
That’s basically my upper limit of comfortable. Depending on the day I can feel good-tired or just tired-tired at 10,000 steps.
Over 10,000, and I’m beat. Every 1,000 after that I feel. In a bad way.