Getting Healthy: My Mental Health Check

Finding your health takes time and a lot of self reflection. In order to get your body healthy you need regular check ups with your doctor for all things from physicals to skin checks, work outs that will drop weight if necessary, a healthy diet that will fuel you and keep you lean and fit, and making sure that you get a few rest days in there so not to over do it.

But then there is your mental health. It’s just as important as your physical health, if not moreso. That’s because if you don’t have the mental capacity to keep yourself going where you need to go then your physical self will just say “well, if you don’t REALLY wanna do it, neither do I” and the mental game is what keeps your physical game going.

That’s why it’s so important to take some time once in a while and check your mental health out.

It’s no secret that I suffer from depression. I don’t announce it to the world by wearing a big scarlet D on my chest, but I also don’t hide the fact that I fight that battle all the time. It’s something I have had since I was a kid, and sometimes it flares up and tries to eat me alive. I lose a battle from time to time, but for the most part I keep a good grasp on it. It’s not easy, and it’s not something that you can just “get over” and it sure as hell isn’t just a “case of the blues.”

It’s a mental disorder that takes your deepest darkest fears and tries to convince you that they are real, regardless of how NOT REAL they are. And it sucks.

So when Dreamboat and I started to argue constantly about the stupidest and most mundane things, I was feeling really down and heartbroken. We would yell and scream at each other, he would take off to cool off which I would read as something completely different than what it is, and we would end up arguing again. We’d go hours not speaking to each other, and in my head there would be a running commentary of “he hates me, he’s going to leave me, I’m not good enough.”

For the record: he loves me, he is NOT going to leave me, and he loves me just the way I am even if that means a little neurotic and batshit crazy.

My workouts have also been suffering because of it. The motivation to “go go go” like I used to have had dwindled significantly to “eh, whatever” and that just isn’t cool since I know that I have a full marathon I want to nail in December. It’s my first one, and since I’ll be out for two weeks minimum for my migraine surgery, you’d think that I would be jumping at the chance to get as many miles in as I can.

There is a lot of stress in my life, and sometimes that makes things worse as well. I work in TV, so that alone is enough to set a ‘normal’ person into a downward spiral…but add in the family stress, the money stress, the schedule for everything that’s going on in my life stress, and then add the surgery next month? It’s not a surprise that I am going stark raving mad. I’m high strung normally, but this? This is getting out of hand. Running used to be my stress relief, but lately it’s been the last thing I really want to do. (of course, I force myself out the door, but still…It should be something I enjoy, not a chore)

I used to be on anti-depressants, but got off of them when Dreamboat and I had started talking about getting pregnant. (Then I had a blackout migraine, and that was taken off the table quickly) Since we had it out last night again over stupid stuff, where we both repeatedly said we were tired of fighting with each other…I’ve been doing some serious thinking.

It might just time to get back on those low dose anti-depressants for a while. I’ve been on and off them since college, and they do help. I usually get back on them for a boost of help during a high stress time in my life. The last time I was put on them was a few months after Dreamboat and I got married, when he lost his job. I was on them for about 4 years only because I felt good while taking them, so I didn’t see the need to be off of them…but before that I hadn’t taken on in about 3 years. Like I said, I am usually able to control the depression with “mind games” my therapist taught me to counter the negative thoughts and running usually helped me escaped the negativity. And I prefer the low dose ones because I don’t need a lot. I’ve been called the “happiest depressed girl” my friends know and that’s because I’m generally a happy person. But sometimes, even the happiest of people need a little help.

I may have to wait until after the surgery, which is now just under a month away. I am willing to do that, but I don’t want to ruin my relationships in the waiting process so I’m looking to get back into yoga and meditation to help me get a good firm grasp of my out of control emotional state, which is something that I used to do (and Dreamboat called me out on “quitting” yoga last night so…)

Mental health is just as important as physical health. You can do all you can to get physically healthy, but if your mentally unhealthy then it won’t matter. If you want to master anything you have to be mentally strong. Asking for help, taking an anti-depressant, is a sign of strength, not weakness. Acknowledging that you need some help from time to time is a sign of strength, not weakness.

And I am a strong, confident person…asking for help.

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One thought on “Getting Healthy: My Mental Health Check

  1. Kristen says:

    Good for you checking in on your mental health. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I take low doses of Paxil and Trazedone to keep me in balance. Yoga helps tremendously. I am proud of you for sharing your journey!

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