The last few days I have been under the weather. After going through my previous years on Facebook, I have noticed that I am always sick around this time. I think it has a lot to do with the stress of the holidays and the toll that it can take on my body. The holidays are a stressful time for most people, but even more so for someone who struggles with depression. The running around, the forced interactions, long nights…it all adds up and when it all winds down it wreaks quite a bit of havoc.
For me the most challenging thing of being sick is that it puts all my emotions on high alert. I felt more easily agitated, sadness comes in waves and loneliness seems like it hangs over me.
Even though I was feeling under the weather I decided to attend my company’s holiday party. This was maybe not the best decision. Without going into too much detail I am just faced with certain people and situations I would much rather avoid.
As the night wore on, I could feel certain emotions just creeping up on me. It was getting to be too heavy for me. Normally, (unfortunately) my coping mechanism is to usually numb the emotions with alcohol, or seek solace in a razor. But I didn’t want to run away, I didn’t want this certain situation to have such a hold on my life, my emotions, and my overall mental health….because it does not deserve to have that place in my life. I reached out to my support system, but ultimately I had to make the decision to stay strong. No one else can save me from my choices but me.
I am still working through some of my emotions and still trying to find closure from the situation in general…but I am so thankful that I did not take a step back in my recovery. I did not give another person the power to take away what I have worked so hard for… as I did 2 years ago. It was not easy to sit there and actually feel my way through the negative emotions, but it was necessary. Recovery is not about running away and numbing. It is about feeling what needs to be felt and handling it in healthy and productive ways. So even though I was home alone by 11pm. For me it was a victory. I could lay my head to rest and KNOW I hadn’t thrown anything away.
I am thankful for the friend, who in the late hours of the night was there reminding me of how big a step I had taken and how important this small victory is. In all honesty to some it may seem small, but as I continue to reflect on it, I see how important this step was in my recovery. Many more situations may arise, and they will be difficult to face, but I am proving to myself each day that I can do this. That I can stay healthy. And I can make this a lifetime commitment.
So today I celebrate a new victory on my road of recovery.