Dancing outside my comfort zone

When we’re doing something that doesn’t seem so far out of the ordinary, unless we look into our past.

At first, there didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary about this morning. I woke up about 8:00, went to the bathroom, drank some water, looked at the clock, and decided I wanted to sleep some more. It wasn’t that I was still tired, I simply didn’t want to start my day yet.

After laying down, getting up to throw a kitten out of the room, laying down again, and finally catching the second kitten and sending him out to join his brother, I settled back down with a pillow over my head to block out the sun and slept for another hour or so.

When Toby began expressing his displeasure with both his delayed breakfast and lack of access to the dry food, I looked at the clock again, deemed enough of the day gone, and started my day.

It wasn’t until I was dishing up cat food that it dawned on me. This was the same behavior I exhibited in the late 90’s, post divorce and post mom’s suicide when I was unambitiously trying to make a go of a bookkeeping business with clients who had simply fallen into my lap. I had recently parted ways with a company whose owner and management staff were more dysfunctional than any I’ve seen before or since. Being fired wasn’t really a surprise, nor a hardship as I’d been sick far too often with stress related issues. Although I ended up returning as a consultant when the woman he hired to replace me made a total mess of everything, it was on my terms and was, thankfully, short-lived.

But I digress. As time went on and I had less work to do, I found that I’d drag myself out of bed to get the girls to school, then crawl right back under the covers for another couple of hours. What I didn’t realize at the time, but do now, is that sleeping overmuch just because I don’t want to start my day is extremely unhealthy mentally. Even though I’m not feeling particularly sad, I know from experience that continuing to allow myself to follow this pattern will take me down a road I never want to see again, where motivation and caring about myself go by the wayside.

Fortunately, recognizing a negative behavior pattern and knowing when and how to nip it in the bud is about 90% of the battle. I know that I simply need to get busy and get moving. Whether it’s housework, gym routines, dancing in the living room or walking the neighborhood, my body needs more action than two nights of dancing.

Speaking of dancing, I’m continuing to experience an energy drain around 8:30 for no apparent reason. I didn’t really check with anyone else, but I know that a lot of folks left even earlier than I did last night. Even now, as I try to document the feelings, I am still not feeling a lot of energy. Instead, I’m feeling more like I need to pull these weird feelings out, hold them in my hands, twist them and turn them to get a better viewpoint, and analyze them to death, quite literally.

My rational mind, however, is getting louder by the minute as it tells me to get busy with something and shove those thoughts back into the handy little compartment where they’ve been for so many years. But then, I’ve been there before too. I bottled up my grief and guilt over my mom’s death for years until it came out explosively over something really minor. I’m not inclined to go there again either!

So what do you do with feelings which come back to haunt you?

If I learned nothing else form my healing training, I did learn that when feelings come back, you need to acknowledge them, recognize where they came from and ask for help in clearing them. The cause is long gone, maybe even forgotten, but some of the pain still lingers, like a ghost waiting for ties to be cut so it can leave the material plane. Even more, what triggered the return of those feelings? Why did they return at this specific moment in time?

I know where they were the last time, though I won’t swear that was the very beginning. In fact, I suppose these feelings started somewhere a lot further back and simply return as a result of some kind of trigger.

That will be my meditative task today. To identify the starting point, recognize the triggers and clear it all so I can go forward with a clear, happy mind and heart.

Do you know what triggers your depressive behavior patterns? Do you recognize them when they occur?

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful that I’ve learned to recognize depressive behavior patterns in myself.
2. I am grateful that I no longer accept depressive behavior in myself and work on myself to clear the reasons and the results.
3. I am grateful for activities which regularly get me out of the house and around people, even when I am not in a particularly social mood.
4. I am grateful for daily conversations with my daughter. Sharing her new world is one of life’s many joys.
5. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, love, positivity, smiles, laughter, joy, motivation, inspiration, happiness, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

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Comments on: "October 12, 2014 Recognizing depressive behavior patterns #sconaway #blogboost" (10)

  1. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes it is important to move on from things, but that is a lot easier said than done; I appreciate how you stress the importance of not just dealing with the symptoms of the pain, but also dealing with the root of the pain. Even though digging deep may be painful, in the end it is worthwhile.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. I recently lost a friend to depression. It’s good to recognize triggers and get help before it’s too late.

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    • Thank you for sharing. Having lost my mom to depression, and reaching the age she was when she died, I’m extremely conscious of things which might send me down her path.

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  3. This is a great post. I can completely 100% relate and now getting out of a toxic relationship I can see my unhealthy behavior patterns like never before. Isn’t it funny how clouded we can get in our routine and then all of a sudden we wake up like, What Happened?! Thanks for sharing parts of your life with us today, thoroughly enjoyed reading this!

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  4. hi, Sheri! what an inspiring post. when Robin Williams died and was in the news for a time telling the death was caused by depression, my husband was wondering why he ended in a suicide when it seems he had it all. it is truly difficult for most people who had not experienced the disease to understand.

    sometimes though, i have this down feelings and i try to assess if they are bordering to depression already using the guides in the net. false alarm, i have to say, or it might be the hormones. but then again, the feelings are strong that all i want to do is do nothing.

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    • I’m so glad you liked it. Although the original purpose of my blog was related to the suicides of my parents, it has evolved over the years into more joyful posts most of the time. But none of us are happy all of the time. Sometimes, we just need to be sad for a bit. It’s important though, to know yourself well enough to recognize the difference between temporary sadness and depression. There were many articles after Robin Williams’ death which talked about the ways people who are depressed can, like alcoholics, be functioning. Nobody sees what’s behind the mask until it’s too late. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding both depression and suicide are slowly lifting so maybe more people will seek help when they can no longer keep the mask in place, or when they realize that they’re coping mechanisms aren’t healthy.

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  5. It’s no wonder you felt the way you did considering your circumstances Sheri, though I commend you for pulling up your socks and getting on with the day and with life. However, it’s important not to ignore or stuff feelings down, but to express them for, as you say, they will eventually haunt you. Good for you for recognizing the signs of depression and working on them before they worsened. 🙂 ❤ (As you may know, I've written a number of articles from time to time on depression and the like.)

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    • Thank you, Elly. I have seen how easy it is to just crawl into a hole and stay there, but it’s not healthy at all, so if we can just recognize the patterns in ourselves (which I realize, not everyone can), we can avoid being a statistic. I do know you’ve written on the topic and appreciate your insight and perspective on depression. It’s like putting a puzzle together when we all share what we’ve seen and where we’ve been.

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