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Monday, April 23, 2012

Returning to the Scene of the Crime

Joe decided rather last-minute, as is often the case with Joe, that he was going to run a half-marathon this weekend. Yeah, you know, just 13.1 miles. No biggy. Even better? He decided to run it in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Which is an undisclosed number of HOURS in the car from our undisclosed location. Drive out Saturday, back Sunday.

As we neared our hotel, I started remembering the last time we were there. It was in September of 2008 and we had rented a beach house for the week, just to relax and get away. I spent the entire week sick due to crippling anxiety ("There's the restaurant we didn't go to because I was too spazzed to eat!"). I was sick the entire drive there. I spent the entire week trying to keep control enough to even leave the house ("There's where I spent a week thinking I was losing my mind and going to die!").

It was that trip that was the breaking point. It was that "vacation" that resulted in admitting I needed help, that something was wrong and I couldn't fix it on my own. Frantic calls to my doctor back home got me a prescription for a week's supply of xanax ("There's the Walgreens where I got my first anxiety meds!"). Agreeing to see a therapist when I we got home ("There's the lighthouse that I stood outside when I made the appointment that put me on daily anxiety meds!").

This trip was much different. I didn't spend the entire night before freaking out. I didn't spend the entire drive waiting for the next opportunity to pull over so I could be sick. We went out, we ate, and I was chill.

I've come a long way since then. I'm not sure what I'd do without Joe's support - I know I'm not easy to live with but he keeps helping me through issues that are issues only to me, despite his black-and-white logical mind not really grasping what's wrong. He's proof that you can be understanding without actually understanding.

Last week I mentioned the bazillion and one things that are now filling my days. I'm the happiest now that I've been in years. My life is busy with projects that I love and work that I enjoy. I may not be making even a fraction of the income I did before leaving my last traditional job but I'm making progress.

And I still find myself slipping into those dark holes of depression and anxiety from time to time. But there's progress there as well - I don't seem to fall in as deep or for as long. Maybe some day I'll be able to cope without relying on medication.

But for now, I cling to the progress I've made in the time since I last visited those beaches. I don't know when I'll be back there again but I feel confident in predicting there will be even more progress by the next time I visit.


C. Beth said...

That is so awesome, Cate. I'm glad you could go back to that place and create new memories, based on the person you are today--who you like living with a lot more than the person you were then. Very cool.

Sew_Lin said...

It sounds like it was a good time to return to the place of your turning point. I know that not everyday is perfect, but I think you are doing really great these days. While your first trip may have been a low point it was the point you made that decision to do something...that means it was really an important and positive trip. (Even if it didn't feel like it at the time.) I'm glad you got a mini redo with a whole new outlook.

Kathy said...

I haven't commented in a while, but I just had to say "kudos" for how far you've come since your first visit to NC! So glad you are doing well, and that now you have some happy memories of NC :)

Toriz said...

YAY Cate! That's totally awesome! You've made great progress since then, and now you're filling your days with things you love, and taking your life in the direction you want it in; that's fantastic!

And YAY for Jo being so suportive and trying to be understanding; it always helps when you have someone to help you through! :)

Fi said...

I had a year or two of 'darkness' many years ago and it was a hellish way to live. I had three small children and was too afraid to leave the house. You're lucky you have Joe and let me say now that your courage is inspirational and more so that you're willing to share with others.
Yay Cate, onward and upward!

restlessjo said...

I didn't realise Cate as I don't go back that far in following you, but I'm so happy for your recovery. I have a son-in-law to be who is the nicest lad you could wish to meet but has a serious personality disorder. Getting his medicine cocktail right and keeping themselves afloat has sometimes been a nightmare for my daughter. For them too love is finding a way, but it's not easy.
Every good wish for the future to you and Joe.

Tami said...

Good for you! Progress is good - even if it comes slowly. And thank Heaven for understanding husbands! I also have one that does his best to be supportive, even when he has no clue why I'm feeling freaked out. You're doing a great job of getting everything under control. Proud of you.

vivinfrance said...

Well done, Cate: it must have taken great courage to set out on that journey, and I am really glad that it turned out so well.

John said...

I'm glad that you're finding yourself in a good place, Cate. I am.

And I'm very, very glad to hear that you're accepting of a need to just up & go sign-up for a half-marathon. Because, um, I have the same tendency to do that.

rlavalette said...

I gotta start following you more closely, I guess. As someone who has struggled in the past (mostly) with depression, it does my heart good to read of others who are (mostly) coping / overcoming. Good for you.