I am so bored that my boredom became the central subject of my therapy visit in San Diego this month.
Ironically, being better and supposedly having come out of a long depressive episode has left me discouraged. My discouragement in large part comes out of my desire to be, rather do, more than I am doing.
What I mean is, now that I am not symptomatic (I have energy, I feel I can do more than just lie down, I want to do something enjoyable; whereas before I lay around and I didn't care because I couldn't muster the strength to move) I believe I should be getting a bunch of stuff done. However, I don't actually have much to do.
I have not been a teacher since January 2006.
I am used to making lots of money, having so much to do that I don't have a spare minute in the day, neglecting household chores because I am too overwhelmed with employment tasks.
Now I have the kind of time I only dreamed of having back then, and I am not enjoying it.
So that's what we talked about--finding a way not to feel so bored, not to be so judgmental, to be in the moment instead of being dissatisfied with the moment.
The psychiatrist came up with this: I can't do much yet. It's like I was a runner and I had a stroke. I wouldn't be able to just jump back into running, I would have to relearn how to walk and then slowly jog--and that's only if I were lucky enough to be able to rehabilitate at that level.
The therapist and I decided I needed something to say to myself to replace my typical, "I should..." since should-ing myself wasn't getting me to go to the gym or look for a real job or do much of anything. We came up with the idea that I needed to approach my days as an experiment. That I need to try things out and see how they feel and whether I want to go on with them or not.
It's like watching a baby learn to stand up and then walk. There are a lot of times that they push off, but then they squat right back down--maybe because they get scared, maybe because their legs are not quite strong enough yet. They try over and over again and their success is in the act of attempting.
People don't yell at a baby for trying to stand; people watch joyfully, "You can do it! Good job! Come on! Keep trying!"
Today I experimented with taking a nap. I had a terrible headache--like my brain was getting squished by my skull, which is almost true because my braces got tightened yesterday. I took some ibuprofen and I let myself go back to bed. I had to experiment with whether it made me feel better to close my eyes. It worked. Now I can go to work and feel like maybe I won't die from it.