It’s not a race, really, but the philosophy holds true. Healing and recovering from clinical depression is more like the tortoise’s pace than the hare’s.
Depression isn’t an overnight recovery. It’s not like a cold: treat it, it lasts seven days. Leave it alone, it lasts a week. Depression isn’t like influenza, either: there’s no vaccine or chicken soup treatment. Influenza may be as miserable, though, I do admit it. I’ve been there, too.
Anti-depressants can help. Rest can help. Counseling therapy can help. Together, they’re all pieces of the treatments available, but none of these will result in immediate improvement.
That means patience. Rest, eating right, taking time and looking forward to the day I’ll wake up in the morning and want to run around the block. Or not.
Christmas was tough. I had a to-do list that was much too long. Amigo loves Christmas, and he kept asking if I wanted help wrapping presents or baking cookies – two tasks we enjoy together every year. I had to put him off, telling him I had to finish my schoolwork, and then being unable to do anything else due to fatigue. Finally, on December 24th, after school was finished, Amigo and I wrapped and baked and decorated like crazy.
I still didn’t accomplish all I wanted. I had new recipes in mind: two new cookies and one for orange scones. I baked one: pecan cookies. They were good. Delicious, in fact, and I wished I’d been able to make the others. But my get-up-and-go had got-up-and-went, and no amount of anti-depressant could take the place of a nap. I had to face the fact that it was okay to let things go. As long as the presents were wrapped, the kitchen floor could stay crumby for a day.
It took a lot of energy to be joyful on Christmas Day, too. My in-laws were here, and I left La Petite and Amigo to entertain them while I wrapped up the banana bread for their gift baskets. They’re wonderful people, but I had no energy for small talk.
I’m on the road to recovery. I expect it to be a long road, some of it uphill and some of it still under construction. Eventually, I’ll be myself again. All in good time. Slowly, steadily, like the tortoise, not the hare.