As I was looking through my past posts, and saw that it’s been a month since my last victories post, I realized it was about time for another one. “But,” doubtful, depression and anxiety-driven mental voice says, “the past month has been so tough, and you haven’t really made any forward movement. In fact, you’ve been complaining for weeks that it feels like everything is on pause! What is there to celebrate?”
Do you really think I’m going to listen to that distorted train of thoughts? In fact, because I’m headstrong and stubborn, simply because there were doubts about if I’d made any progress the past month, and because depression and anxiety want me to not write it, I decided to postpone another idea I had and write this victories post. Proving that voice of doubt wrong is reason enough to find victories, at least in my book.
Of course, determination alone to write this post doesn’t mean a list will miraculously materialize on the screen once I’ve decided to write a Victories post. Will this be an easy post to write? No. Does that make it any less worthwhile? No. In fact, I think it makes the post even more valuable, because it means I, at least, really need the reassurance that I’m in an OK place. And, so, the victories:
- More prayer time – Specifically, partnering with the hubby to sit down nightly and start doing a family rosary. Since we’re not in the practice of doing one, we’re working our way up to it. We started a couple of weeks ago with 1 decade a night. Last week, we did 2 a night. This week, we’re doing 3 a night, so, after a couple more weeks, we’ll be in the habit and have the stamina for a full rosary every night after dinner. Having this quiet, prayerful time every night has helped me in a number of ways. For instance, it’s helping to reaffirm and strengthen my faith. It’s also giving me some quiet time, with my family, to just be present and quiet my mind and body. Finally, it’s adding more structure to our day. At least for both kiddo and I, we tend to thrive with schedule and routine. For me, when things get out of whack, I feel lost, and I struggle a lot more.
- A bedtime routine – Even if I don’t get to bed on time, which has been a huge struggle lately, I’m still trying to follow a similar routine every night: turn off the screen on my phone, turn on some soft music, spray a soft lavender linen spray on the sheets, brush my teeth, and lay down to read. Whether I’m going to bed on time (10ish) or late (midnight or later), I’ve noticed that the more I follow the routine, the more quickly I tend to fall asleep. Of course, nothing is guaranteed or foolproof, and there are the occasional nights where I struggle to get to sleep, but it’s become far more rare lately.
- Accepting my limitations – I’ve been trying for ages to “get back to where I was” when I was able to maintain my mood without meds. However, my life looked far different then. I was not in my (gulp) late 30’s, like I am now. My job wasn’t as demanding. I wasn’t a mom. I’ve realized that I can’t just flip a switch and be back in the habits and routines I used to have, or even would like to have. I need to take it slow and make changes one by one, building up to my end goals over time, and building up habits rather than overextending myself and quitting after a few weeks.
- Reclaiming my space – I’d let my desk get cluttered and unused over the past few weeks, preferring the couch to my desk for writing. This led to less writing and more Neflix binging. I took some time the other day to wipe it down and reorganize it a bit, at least to the point where I feel more comfortable sitting and working at my desk.
In accepting my limitations, I’m reminded that my journey with therapy is not a straight line, and there will be ups, downs, and even some loops, where it feels like I’m going backwards. Right now, I’m feeling the twists and turns of the journey. Reminding myself of the progress I’ve made is encouraging as I continue down the path.
How has your journey been lately? Are you celebrating any victories this week?