It's been roughly five years since I went to my doctor to ask if going on the contraceptive pill would encourage my suicidal thoughts to turn into suicidal behaviours and she gave me an immediate referral to a psychologist. In that time, my depression has massively and rapidly improved (thanks to an intense 6 day CBT-based course I did shortly afterwards) and then remained somewhat steady ever since. I experience fluctuations all the time - in 2015 I had a fairly strong relapse and had to quickly return to therapy to get back to practising good CBT skills (I find CBT very effective in managing my depressive symptoms) and then in 2016 I went to a narrative therapy psychologist to start looking at the roots of my depression. All the time I am learning better self-care, including that sometimes I'm going to be more depressed for a significant period and I'll have to work harder to get back to equilibrium, but sometimes I'll just be sad for no reason and I can deal with that by just reading a nice book. And I've learned now that I can be happy as well as depressed or sad. One of the hardest things for me is recognising that I'm not lazy or weak for not achieving as much as others around me. I only realised just recently that the constant effort of actively maintaining a minimum level of good mental health takes time and energy that those without mental disorders can put towards doing stuff. That realisation has allowed me to be more gentle with myself and with others experiencing depression or other mental disorders. I don't think I'll ever be free of depression. That maintenance will be there forever. But the fear that I had before that doctor sent me to the psych, that of being unwell for the rest of my life, isn't with me anymore. I can look at the past five years and see how much I've improved at fighting the lies (see Wil Wheaton to learn that depression lies), fighting the bad habits, caring for myself and having days, weeks and even months where I'm happy to be alive. And I know how to find that now, so although I live with depression, I don't live in fear of my depression. And I can do things like go to the beach and squash @leahahchay and be happy.
Had a productive day. At uni at 8:15am to have a meeting to prepare for a group presentation. Then nailed the presentation. Then another class, another meeting for a different group presentation, a meeting with a professor to discuss where I lost marks for a mid-semester exam, quick break to watch an episode of Brooklyn 9-9 then a bike ride to KP to learn to lead climb! Then home (courtesy of my lovely husband) by 10:30pm! #uni #unilife #uq #uqlife #productive #kp #kangaroopoint #climbing #rockclimbing #leadclimbing #busy #studyinghard #playinghard #studyhard #playhard #selfie #greyhair #itisactuallygrey #ilovemyraptor #excusemeraptor
Had a nice and busy few days, so I have a number of photos to share. Here is the first. 8pm at the Bio library at uni on Friday, studying because I knew if I went home I'd stop and I can't afford to stop 😂 #unilife #uq #uni #uqlife #student #studentlife #studying #studyinghard #selfie #library #libraryselfie #greyhair
It's very late at night (almost 2am!) but I'm feeling okay. I didn't get a monster amount of work done this mid-semester break but I did get enough done to feel on top of things for now. And I got some relaxing done too which I think is okay. Now it's time for bed. #uni #unilife #uq #uqlife #student #studentlife #study #studying #midsemester #selfie #bedtime