It's hard to say whether I'm relieved or embarrassed.
My doctor put me on a two-week Leave-Of-Absence from work, beginning today. I'm relieved, obviously, because I need some down time after Christmas. I'm embarrassed because we just had a two-week break, and I still need more time. However, for anyone who has children, two weeks at home with them doesn't necessarily add up to a "break." I'm also embarrassed because I have to admit my lack of ability to function in my life. I have a hard time not worrying about what other people think of me. I confess that that's been an issue for me for most of my life. I know that my "success" in life doesn't add up to what other people think of me, but it's still hard to let it go. So, in order to prescribe a leave of absence, my doctor had to write a letter saying that my symptoms of depression are worsening. I feel like it makes me sound like a coward instead of having a legitimate diagnosis. However, I know that my brain needs time to rest and heal since depression is a real chemical chemical imbalance caused by chronic stress. And, yeah, I've had a little bit of chronic stress in the past year; stress that has left me unable to process simple thoughts and words, with poor memory and a very short fuse. I just wish there was a balm that I could rub on my brain just as easily as putting lotion on dry skin. What my body and brain need are time - down time, non-stressful time, peaceful time.
Now let me qualify my ongoing battle with depression. I do not, in any way, shape or form, think that I am incapable of self-help when it comes to depression. I know that there are things that I can do to help the process, but these are the very things that I've been less than capable of doing during the past year.
First and foremost, I know that I need to pray - more than anything else on my list - I need to pray and I need to pray often! I had a lot more time to pray during the summer, but I've let it go quite a bit since school started.
I also need to exercise - good, heart-pumping, endorphin-raising, cardiovascular exercise. But again, time is lacking. And energy, of course, is also lacking from the cycle of lack of exercise and lack of prayer, etc. etc. etc.
And I need to re-train my brain with positive, Bible-centered thinking, and probably a trained psychologist, which is why I'm returning to therapy this week, after taking a year's hiatus due to Al's stroke.
Now that I've let myself get into such a rut, it's time to pull out all the stops and work on getting myself healthy again. And of course, I need time, rest, and the Lord's healing as well.
I hope 2 weeks is enough time!