I should be crushed. I have the entire data warehouse of a multi-million dollar business in my clammy little hands. Since all of my vets are on vacation, I am on-call to get the warehouse back up and running should it fail. I should be hiding under my blankets. My stomach should be roiling with butterflies. But it’s not.
I’m cutting through the stress like a fighter jet. I feel it out there, but it’s not getting in. Why? What am I doing different? How is this awesome responsibility not crushing me? I think it’s all because I refuse to dwell on the negative. I’m not letting my doubts and fears run amuck. I’m telling myself it’s all going to be ok. I’m smart and if something goes wrong, I’ll work the problem. I won’t get fired. My kids won’t go hungry.
It all seems so easy, and obvious, but it’s not. When I’m depressed, nothing rational seems obvious. It’s all hidden behind a shroud. I can’t be myself, and I have to wear a mask all day just to function. Now, I feel like I have a way to pull myself out of the nosedive. It’s pretty cool.
I started a new playlist on Spotify, inspired by Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. I call it “depression slayers”. Just one more arrow for my quiver.
This week has been pretty good. My boss left this week, I had to run the team down a man. Stress was high, but I lived through it. I even enjoyed myself. Things are really going well. Really the only thing I’m doing differently is telling myself that everything is going to be ok. When I feel myself focusing on bad things, I just take a breath and think that things are well. That’s it, really. It seems to work. Hard to argue with the power of positive thinking!
I saw my therapist today. He told me that I need to be kind to myself. I put too much weight Of responsibility on myself. I need to find the funny, mirthful guy when I’m feeling negative. Is it really that simple? Can I really just think my way out of this funk? When I stop and think, really think, about the horrible consequences that could befall me, I know that the worst is very unlikely. My brain loves catastrophe, though. It can’t resist thinking about failure and doom. So I have to step in and take charge. Remind myself that good outcomes are more likely. Ive made a name for myself. I have a reputation. I am capable of good things. So I have to just do them, and laugh at my pain. I’ve got to keep trying.
I’ve talked it over with my wife. The plan is to focus on today and try like hell to not worry about tomorrow as much. This is trying to break a lifetime habit for me. I always, always worry about the future. It’s my go-to move. If I were a video game character, worrying would be mapped to R1. This has to change. I think it’s a huge part of why I get depressed and anxious. I’ve conquered alcoholism. I’ve dealt with my secret adoption past. I quit smoking. I’ve pulled myself up by my bootstraps countless times, and I still insist on focusing on the negative. It has to end sometime, so why not start now?
Will this last? I sure hope so. History is on my side. Also, I have Xanex, and with Xanex, you can conquer the world!
I have so much time on my hands without my wife in town. I have to admit, this is something I’ve had fantasies about. No chores to do. No accountability for my time. I can do what I want.
Reality isn’t so sweet. I miss having her here to draw strength from. I miss helping her with things. I miss her scent and having her need me. It’s funny how love works, I guess. When it’s right in front of you, you have to work to see it. It’s hard to appreciate sometimes. When it’s gone, it can be devastating. I’m able to function, but I’m not enjoying myself much at all.
I can’t wait until Friday, but I guess I have to.
I’m listening to a book right now about a guy who worked as a salvage officer in World War 2. In the epilogue, there were some notes on his accomplishments from the British Admiralty, and some of those words inspired me. “Intelligent and energetic” and performs his duty “with zeal”. I took the words into my heart and used them to fight off the evil butterflies. I believe that if I take care of my duties with intelligence, energy, and zeal, I will be successful. I have these qualities and I am going to use them. Once I captured these ideas, the anxiety began to slip away. It was refreshing. Of course, as soon as I got to work I took a Xanex, just to be sure.
I wonder if the people that I interviewed today knew how I was feeling? I wonder if they were able to hear my anxiety through my mask? My stomach was filled with butterflies most of the day. I have no idea why they were there, nor why my brain was trying to convince me that I was worthless. Every positive thing I know about myself deserted me.
Now I’m home and I’m feeling better. I have my dog next to me, and my kids. Unfortunately, I still have to face Thursday and Friday. Here’s hoping those days are better.