I’ve just finished reading a book which my dad bought for me when I had my depression relapse. It’s called “Take Control of Your Life” by Dr Gail Ratcliffe. It is a very good book that explains how stress affects us, how the stress cycle starts and ways to take control over it. It made me understand my condition better and there are things which I learnt from the book which I need to incorporate in my life. I’ve never been very conscious about my thoughts or how negative/positive they are. Now I’m starting to analyse them when I find myself thinking negatively about something. Sometimes the negative thinking comes in auto mode. We know we have to think positively but the mind would sometimes creep up with negative thoughts and these are times when I would be aware and then try to stop the negative thought from compounding even further. It’s when the compounding starts and loops that makes everything go out of control for me. I would ask myself how I could change my negative thought into something positive or if I can’t, what are the good things or lessons I could derive from this negative thought. So instead of zooming into panic mode when I have more than one thing going on in my mind, I try and calm myself with comforting thoughts.
When I was on two medications – Lexapro and Olenza, I was slightly feeling upper than I usually would. This is in comparison of what I’m going through now that I’m only just on Lexapro. My mind was mostly about food then and being able to eat and enjoy the food that I’m thinking about made me happy. I didn’t have trouble sleeping at night even if I had tea before that which usually doesn’t happen if I’m not on medication. I could be very focused on one thing and on my mind I can only think of that one thing that I wish to complete and so far progress has been good.
I’m also trying not to overthink now and not to be very angry. Anger makes a person stressed and not thinking straight. I was very good at overthinking that my whole system got jammed up. I don’t care if I’m not sophisticated or complex like a normal adult’s brain should be. For now, I need to keep things as simple as possible, especially my mind so that when I have something complex or complicated coming in, my brain has got space to move about and do the thinking. When it’s all crammed up, I can’t think at all. I also don’t care what level I should be in my career right now because what matters is finding a suitable one for the sake of my sanity. I don’t want to be too obsessed about my weight and appearance anymore. I know I’m fatter than my old skinny self and I may never get back to that skinny self once more. I don’t know but so long as I’m exercising then that’s good enough for me. I’m not going to skimp on food as well but to eat a balanced diet because I just read that a low carbohydrate diet doesn’t help in producing serotonin – a chemical that maintains mood balance.
Now that it’s October, I was a bit anxious on the first day of October because it means November is near. I suddenly have so many to do list running around in my head and I’ve been having the same thing going on for the past 2 mornings. But it’s good. It’s a time for me to practise how to stop those thoughts or put them into order. It’s going to be a learning process where my mind is able to think of more than one thing at a time and learn how to manage it again.
I’ve also been thinking about people around me more than being too self-absorbed. I’ve been spending time together with my mum for about 3 months now and it has been a joy to be with her. I know I won’t have the privilege to do this anymore when I move in to stay with another family so I’m cherishing every moment I get now. There will be times when my tears would visit me when the thought hits me but there is nothing I can do about it because I’ve entered a new chapter of life and life needs to go on. I’m happy that I’m able to feel all these emotions because it means Grace is back. I used to be very very sad when I thought about this especially during my last Chinese New Year where I was home with them because I know the next Chinese New Year wouldn’t be the same anymore. I won’t be home during the eve of Chinese New Year and to celebrate the first day of Chinese New Year with them. It would be with another family. Again, nothing I can do about this but to look forward to be able to still make a trip home despite being the third or fourth day of Chinese New Year. I just hope I would be able to sail through it with grace instead of being a crybaby. But even if I do cry, it’s just normal, isn’t it?
My most profound fear which I’ve never talked about here before is the thought of staying with in-laws. I have friends and people around me telling me all sorts of stories but I’m going to stop listening to it and even if I do come across stories again, I would need to count my blessings and to think of the good. I have always wanted to stay with just my husband and me and no one else. I value my freedom and independence. There are certain things that I want to do, a certain vision of life together that I envision. But we don’t always get to choose and it took me awhile to get my head around it. It wasn’t easy because I held on to my ideals too tightly and I wasn’t confident I was going to survive living in with another family. I had fears that appeared before it even happened or never happened. However, since I’ve had depression, I’m letting a lot of “I used to think / I used to want to…” thoughts go away and be more flexible and adapt to the changes that are not beyond my control. I cannot be stressed with too much thoughts and I can’t be living with a lot of my own ideals because each family is different and I just got to adapt to a different style. I think I can handle it. As you can see, I’m putting down things that weigh me, letting go thoughts that aren’t going to help me because I can’t afford to be too heavy in the head. I just want to be light and easy.