Running Away and Starting Anew are Not the Same Thing

25 Jan 2022

My husband and I have been struggling 20+ years to find the perfect retirement location.

In a previous Moodscope post, I wrote about struggling with the decision to move. Last year, we found our perfect spot, and we moved from Texas to Virginia. We encountered more outright hurtful opposition than I ever imagined! Family members had their selfish reasons for opposing our move, but I’ve decided I won’t take responsibility for the feelings of others.

Now that we have lived in our new dreamland for ten months, I am less anxious, have fewer migraines and in-bed days, and often feel downright contentment.

Leading up to the move, I had several realizations about my needs for recovery from 10 years of oppressive depression that you may benefit from:

1 Long-term therapy. During the initial months of a depression cycle, weekly therapy is affirming for me, but over time, I constantly ruminate on what is ailing me in preparation for my next session; I live from appointment to appointment. This thought pattern keeps me mired in the darkness.

Even the frequency that I read Moodscope and measure my progress can keep me mired. I take Moodscope and other self-help steps in small doses.

2 Riding out depression. There’s certainly not a cure or an off switch. Therapy and a few other techniques are stopgaps to keep me from slipping entirely out of reality but realizing that recovery may take a while helps me manage expectations.

3 I want to be me. I don’t have to change myself to live in the world. I have ways and habits that don’t fit into the rest of the world, so I make choices to fit where I belong best. I fit poorly into a company work environment. My therapist calls me a “tall poppy” and a “truth-teller.” I find in most settings, people do not want to be informed that “the emperor has no clothes.”

I find ways to work with rare direct people contact, and it works brilliantly.

4 Loneliness can be ok. I dearly wish I had close friends and a tight family, but I don’t. Efforts in this arena have caused me untold heartache. I am not without cheerful acquaintances with neighbors and people who have similar interests. I occasionally engage socially. I would give the shirt off my back to help someone. But I will not engage in relationships that propagate expectations and create dangerous emotional pitfalls for me.

I have set healthy boundaries, and I am content. I laugh lots, have visited and talked to my family more since we moved away, and I feel unburdened and unfettered.

Some of you may vehemently disagree, but I have found myself unable to create balanced relationships with others. Saving my sanity has been more valuable than any benefit I would garner from close relationships.

For me, constant exposure to the memories and people that hurt me is debilitating. I haven’t completely cut off my relationships with family or changed the past or my memories, but I found a place where they don’t constantly haunt me.


A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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