I realized just recently that I hadn’t posted in a month. I think that’s both good and bad. It’s good in that I’m filling my time with many other tasks, but also socializing, which is good for preventing a depression relapse. It’s bad in that I’m not practicing writing, and my reflections (which now take place during exercise) aren’t getting recorded. However, life is good, and there’s always room for improvement.
My focus right now with depression is working to prevent a relapse. Right now it’s easy — almost too easy. I’m not working because school hasn’t started. I’m not seeking any information that’s not vital to my day-to-day operations, which means that I’m not at all concerned with stuff happening at school. And I haven’t even started putting together my room, which is simply miraculous (for me).
I’ve spent most of my summer just hanging out. I can tell you honestly I haven’t done anything of this kind since I was in high school. As a teacher, I have the summers off. However, most of the time I’m busy worrying about test scores, the next year, meeting with my colleagues to collaborate — create lesson plans, get field trips scheduled, decide on projects, etc. This year, that hasn’t happened at all. What I find interesting is that I don’t care that it hasn’t happened. Maybe I just really needed the time not to focus.
In that respect, it’s been a great summer. My niece and her family came out, and that was lovely. I enjoyed the week greatly. I realized that I like having people around (as long as they are easy. :)). I spent time just hanging out, talking, driving around to different locations, and being. The few times we went to the beach, I didn’t even read. I just sat and pondered the greatness of life, the ocean, a beautiful day, and family.
I’ve spent more time with friends than before. I realize that the fun and goofiness I have with them is vital to my staying afloat. Part of my plan to stay out of depression is finding time to hang out with them. Tracy and I have already discussed going to the Farmer’s Market every Sunday. It will be our hang out and bitch time. We will both need it since she’s entering the school year in a challenging position.
Keb and I have a daily ebb and flow that involves not a lot. I’ve actually spent more time in the swimming pool this summer than ever before. I’m liking it. For the first time in my “adult” (after age 12) life, I have a tan. It’s not intentional, but I’m not avoiding it either. I’m enjoying the sun on my skin. I’m also enjoying just sitting or reading without worries.
I am concerned that my lack of depression symptoms is due strictly to my not being at work. It makes my need for a relapse plan even more vital because going more than 6 weeks without any great stressors will probably make the first event more powerful and telling. So far my relapse plan is to make sure that I socialize outside work and family once a week. I will be continuing to exercise, but since the water has been a huge pull for me, I’m going to go into the pool as long as I can. My idea is a daily meditative float. I also am ready for my next CBT class. This will help me remember and practice my skills. Plus there’s my daily anti-depressant, which I do think makes a difference. Not so much that I don’t feel, but it takes the edge off my edginess.
All that said, I’m now ready to return to school. I’ve been to the site, started deciding how to arrange the space (because it’s pretty freaking small!), and figuring out how to start the year well. I’m looking forward to meeting the students and their parents, and working to move them all forward. Needless to say, I have to get a conference schedule going ASAP ’cause I’m not waiting until November. 🙂
It all starts in less than two weeks. I’m ready. And that’s all due to great support, a good DTP, my family, my friends, and time away. I’m blessed because so many others aren’t lucky enough to step away to focus on their health.
Life is good, my friends. Life is good. Relish the gift.