Today’s D-Blog Week prompt is: “If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?”
I’ve recently gotten back to going to visit the shrink. This is a good thing because it means that I’m addressing the stuff going on in my head and not just reacting to the stress around me. This is a bad thing because it means I’m living more in my head and I was already doing that. Balance. It will come.
But one of the things we were talking about yesterday was looking at depression as a chronic condition, like diabetes. And it’s true. I’ve been dealing with depression for most of my life, sometimes as background noise and once in a while as something more severe. The past ten years it’s been somewhat unrelenting and I forget that it hasn’t always been like that. Probably it hasn’t even been totally unrelenting the whole past ten years, it just feels that way since when I’m in the middle of it, it seems like it has always been this way.
It is a lot like diabetes. I wish I didn’t have to deal with it every day. I wish I didn’t have to do the things I need to do to manage the depression – just like I wish I didn’t have to take shots and manage my diet, etc. There is not an endpoint. That’s kind of what chronic means.
Do I wish I could switch chronic conditions? To what? Please forgive this list, I feel like I’m a whiny old lady. I’ve got diabetes, depression, an arrhythmia, pain, insomnia and stress. But as far as I’m concerned, there are far worse things to deal with.
I heard, a long time ago, that most of us, if we were to walk into a room and were able to put our own problems on a table and pick up someone else’s instead – we would likely go home with our own problems. Depression? Diabetes? These are not fun problems. They are hard. They are tiring to deal with all the time. There is no endpoint. They don’t go away and there is no real cure on the near horizon. But I know how to deal with them. And they are not one of the far worse (in my opinion) chronic diseases out there.
I am grateful that the things I have to deal with are conditions that can be managed. I have the tools to manage them and while it would be nice to not have to, don’t we all have crap we deal with? It may not be depression or diabetes – hell, it may not be medical. But we all have crap we deal with. And I’m glad the crap I have are things that can be dealt with.
Yesterday, Ally Bean wrote a post called Things I Love. It’s easy to get wrapped up inside my head with all the little things. All the daily, coping with the crap things. It’s hard, sometimes, to remember the things I love. And it’s hard, since I am living in my head, to reach the stream of consciousness part where I’m not judging my list as I write it. But I’m going to try.
I love a beautiful, sunny day with blue skies and little puffy clouds. The first flowers of spring, suddenly popping up when all around them is still dry and brown. I love creamy yellow butter melting on freshly baked homemade bread. I love the pop of sweet, juicy flavor when I bite into one of my favorite tiny yellow sunsweet tomatoes. I love the feel of soft, warm cotton sheets. I love to laugh, especially when it’s unexpected and just bursts out from the gut. I love a rainy day, sometimes at least, the kind of day where you curl up with a good book and a soft blanket. I love getting lost in a book, caring for the people in the story and crying at the sad moments. I love an unexpected smile from a stranger. And chocolate, the way it melts on my tongue.
There are a lot of things I love. Things I enjoy. Diabetes and depression doesn’t take away from that. I just need to remember.