Millstones or Milestones?
Friday, April 05, 2013
I have experienced a lot of major life events in the last few months. For the purpose of this Blog, let's say it all started around Christmas when my wonderful wife came to the conclusion that something was "going on with her". The medicine she was taking for her minor depression of almost 14 years was no longer working. She was experiencing emotional breakdowns on a fairly frequent basis and just did not feel like herself. Thankfully she at least recognized that something was amiss and got to the doctor for an evaluation. They determined that her minor depression was now Major Depressive Disorder and also now includes anxiety. For a few weeks this really turned our lives upside down. I am slowly learning though that thus awful disease distorts the way your loved one thinks or processes information and therefore things that would otherwise be very hurtful have to be set aside because it really is "the depression" talking. Not your loved one.
Why am I writing about this? Well I guess it is because I have come to realize that so much of what comes of our lives depends on our attitudes towards the events and circumstances we encounter. This event could have been a major problem in our lives. My wife was very moody and the bad moods were much more frequent than the good ones. She was extremely hard on our teen-aged daughters and intimacy in all forms absolutely disappeared from our marriage I don't know that I am any better a husband than anyone else, but I am confident that many a man would have left her. Thankfully somehow it got through my thick head that this person I had been living with of late was not really my wife. By the Grace of God, I developed the patience to support my wife and to even just leave her alone at times. She is by no means "cured" today. We're still trying to pick the right anti-depressant and other courses of treatment, but she is getting better. I even notice improvements that she doesn't. Most notably her mood, while not back to "normal" is markedly better. It is more high (or at least level) than low and the swings are less frequent and less severe. She feels like things are not working because she still has side effects like fatigue, headaches & zero libido, but I am confident now that those aspects will improve too as we find and fine tune the optimum treatment for her. So, rather than wallow in the pity of the millstone this event could have been in our lives, I choose to view it as a milestone instead. My wife is on the road to recovery and I am hopeful I will regain the person I haven't fully known in about 14 years now.
The next life event was my birthday. It was 2 weeks ago and it was a big one. One that ends with a "0". This particular one comes along once every half-century! This can be a depressing event for a lot of people and I admit, for the first time ever in my life, I considered the number associated with my age and thought, wow, that is kind of old. But, at almost the same time I also celebrated my 4 year Anniversary on SP. Thanks in large part to that I am in many was actually younger than I was 5, even 10 years ago. I lost 40 pounds and yes I gained 20 of them back, but that's OK because it is still 20 less than where I started, I know what to do to lose again, and even if I am slightly overweight, at least I am fit and overweight.
Which leads me to milestone #3. I will run Half Marathon #3 tomorrow morning. 4 years ago I could not walk, let alone run, a fraction of the HM distance. Now I am about to run 13.1 miles. for a third time. That is a milestone.
How do you treat the events in your life? Maybe by re-framing the event, you can learn and grown from it and your millstones will become milestones instead. It has worked for me!