Friday, October 23, 2009

A Time for Inner Reflections

I've spent nearly two weeks sick and, I have to say, I'm getting tired of it for several reasons.

Whoever said that people who dealt with anxiety and/or depression just needed to "get over it" is in need of some sensitivity training AND actual knowledge of the diseases. It dawned on me, during the time I've spent away from twitter and Facebook, that I was experiencing the physical symptoms of depression... and that they'd started the day after the last time we went to visit my father's grave. I had almost all of the symptoms: daily headaches, chest pain that came and went, digestive problems (a lot of nausea), extreme fatigue, change in weight (I went down from 128 lbs prior to my father's death to 117 lbs -- underweight for me since I'm 5'7" -- after his death), and A LOT of lightheaded and dizziness. Though I've never been diagnosed as being depressed (the two times I've been "tested", I've come out as being quite optimistic and in good spirits), I thought it was an interesting that I'd made the connection between the symptoms and the illness. The doctor said I was either going to come down with the flu (which I didn't) or I had something else (which, again, I didn't). My self-diagnosis seems to be the correct one because once I thought about it, and tried to change it, I DID begin to feel better. I'm sure St. Dymphna helped when I started asking for her intercession again.

I actually had another realization during my time away that I think most people have struggled with: I had become too busy and my life was too scheduled... and most of it was not worth it. The stress and anxiety should've been my first clues but I had ignored them. This is the first time I've had to deal with this. My life had become all about school, helping my parents, and taking care of my father that I had forgotten what it was like to have time to do things for myself. Instead of taking the time to do things I enjoyed (hobbies), I ended up throwing myself into work that was time consuming and not fulfilling. After watching Bright Star and being given encouraging words that really breathed new life into me, I began to re-think about what path I'd been on and what I needed to change.

After trying to get out, and having someone in particular basically drag me out of the house to take a walk every day, I started feeling much better. I actually didn't mind being away from the social networks. I also began to concentrate more on my prayer life (which has recently begun to flounder). I developed a nice, steady pattern in my week. I studied more often than not. I learned how to better manage my time and priorities. The creativity began to flow. Things I prayed about were finally given answers. Most importantly, I started to feel like the person I loved being -- the person who, while was suffering through aches and anxiety, felt very close to God. Maybe the time I spent in bed, feeling horrible, was to remind me not to lose myself in something not worth it... and to remind me that it's okay to do things I want to once in a while.

I think I will continue to take some time away from twitter and Facebook once in a while to reflect on things. I hope to do one of the retreats they have for women every couple of months to center myself again. I hope the way I am feeling lasts for a while because I often lose it when life gets hectic. I've already recognized what I need to change and what causes me to stray even the slightest from the path I want, and I think God wants, for me. See what a little time away from social networks can do for you? lol.

Alright, I guess that's it. I have studying to do for my Philosophy of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam course. It's a mouthful isn't it? lol. I hope y'all have a great weekend (or had if you're reading this after).

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

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