This is a personal post about recovering from depression and fatigue syndrome. I’m writing it for me, but you can read it if you want.
I’m still in the process of recovering from fatigue syndrome, I realize. I’m doing better but the fact that it’s now been 2 years and I’m still thinking about that every day makes me think that I’ll never get out of it completely, but rather need to learn how to live with it.
Lately, I’ve noticed two things that pull me backward, and I wanted to write down how I get out of it so that I’ve at least written it down once.
The first is more of a reaction than a thought. As I have been open with my depression and how I felt it’s inevitable that people will recommend things to see or read. I love that because it’s done with care for me.
But nowadays every time I read about someone who describes their break-down moment, or depression, or “hitting the wall” - it is if I get to re-live my moments (yes there were two) again. Not as deep and horrible, but still to the point that I every time wonder if I can read on, and always has me in tears.
It is as if that area of emotions is still sore to me. I think that I cannot “touch” it without being pulled in again. And it scares me. A lot.
But to date, I have never been pulled in. The pain often goes away as quickly as it got to me and I feel better getting out of the moment than going in. I just cannot seem to understand that beforehand and find myself avoiding reading, seeing, or even thinking about sad things.
Those stories bring back memories. But it’s just memories - not the real thing.
I’ve already done the best I will do
The second thought is “I’ve already accomplished the best thing I will ever do in my life”.
My big break-down moment came when I was faced with the picture I had of myself, compared with the pictures that I thought others had about me. I consider myself very lucky and privileged to have done what I have done in my life and career. Many of which were things that I would never dream of doing growing up.
In my professional life, people nudged (pushed me a few times) me forward to positions that I didn’t want or was ready for. A few times I got out of it alright and others … well - you probably understand what when my moment happened. I want to emphasize that it was my inability to stop in time that was the problem. I could have declined, but I didn’t because I felt obliged to accept.
When my own ideas about what someone who has 3 wonderful boys, is the occasional soloist on his instrument, an informal leader in close to every group he is in, a public speaker and an author should be - met the reality of … well just me. That’s when things broke down. I couldn’t live up to my expectations.
Now that I’m recovering and understand that I’m putting those requirements on me - another thought comes to me that is scary and sad. Maybe I’ve done the best I will ever do with my life.
Elin and I helped save a hospital in Indonesia. Looking back that might be the best I will do. We have 3 wonderful boys. Maybe nothing will ever trump that? Writing two books? Playing in Albert Hall?
What good is the rest of my life then? (Yeah, it gets pretty dark here. Hold on - we’re soon out of it…)
Well, I can also choose to think like this; I have done those things and I can be proud of them. Much of what I think, do, and am today is based on what I learned from it. And even if they turn out to be the highlights of my life, the second, third, or fourth best might still be around the corner - and that ain’t bad.
Also - I cannot remember knowing before it happened that this was going to be the best I ever did. I just tried to do good. And that’s good enough. I don’t demand more of me.
Your best will happen sometime in your life. You don’t know until you lived your entire life when that was. Doing good is enough and might lead you to a new best.
To be honest I don’t know why I wrote this. It was for me mostly. If you got anything out of it, I’m happy.
For me, many of the problems I had were within me and my thinking. That has one big advantage - I can do something about it. By thinking and reasoning differently. This post was me doing that.