Day 35: The Sun Comes Out (Finally!)

Yesterday’s weight: 216.8

Yesterday’s calories: 1195

Yesterday’s exercise: 1320 steps

Today’s weight: 215

Last night I started tapering the sleep meds and that seems to have helped. It took longer than I’d like to get to sleep but I feel like a human today and not like my brain is encased in jello, for the first time in almost a week.

And for the first time in nearly 2 weeks, I’m not drowning in my own sadness. This is huge for me.

It’s clear and cool, the sun is shining, and I feel human.

I’m going to do some actual real work today.

I keep coming back to something my substitute therapist said two years ago when my regular therapist was on maternity leave. She said, people with a life purpose do better in recovering from depression.

And I can see that.

But it’s hard to find one. It’s not like writing websites counts as a life purpose, I’m very replaceable. A lot of people could use their kids, but I can’t, because then during the long stretches when they’re with their dad I’ll be purpose-less.

I picked up “The Purpose Driven Life” when she said that, despite it being from a different faith tradition than my own. It wasn’t as helpful as I’d hoped, perhaps for that very reason. It’s not measurably better (or worse) than any number of self-help books. And I’ve read a LOT of self-help books in looking for a purpose.

I think my favorite ones were “The On-Purpose Person” which treats life goals like a tournament with brackets leading to your primary goal. Another favorite was from a website, happyblackwoman.com, called The 31 Day Reset.

The problem with both of those is that they’re great for addressing imbalances in your life. If you’re spending too much time on work, or on your hobbies, this will help you see that and make corrections.

But it doesn’t help so much if you’re looking for a direction.

This is me, all the time:

I could watch that gif all day long, WHICH IS THE PROBLEM, obviously.

For the purpose of working with my depression, I committed to my faith even though belief and faith itself is still a major struggle. I’m not at all sure I believe any of it, but I go to the services, I do the prayers, I follow the rules. Because science says that participating in faith helps depression.

I think about that dream I had last weekend, where I was old and reading books and waiting to die. How is that measurably different than what I’m doing now? Given my choice, I’d be reading right now.

I’ve tried community service stuff, but it’s not sticking as a real purpose. I did meals on wheels for a while (until we only had one car…) and that was fine, but it wasn’t life-changing for either me or the people receiving the meals.

I spent part of the holidays volunteering at a hospital. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure how life-changing walking someone to the correct elevator is.

And that’s where I hit the wall. It’s the same thing every time I think about it.

Suggestions welcomed.

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