Progress

progress

noun

forward or onward movement toward a destination.

I watched three episodes of Peep Show this afternoon. This past month I've read two books. I've only cried once this week.

Almost two months ago, I sat in the waiting room for my last CBT session. My therapist was late (as per) and I was thinking a lot about how it was definitely my last session out of circumstance rather than by choice. But it was my last session nonetheless. I'd done five months (admittedly on and off) of therapy, and I didn't feel how I wanted to feel. Or maybe, how I thought I was supposed to feel.

I wanted a cure. I was also hoping that by trying to deal with my anxiety, that it would then have a domino effect on the depression. It didn’t. And so I was frustrated and angry and felt as though I’d failed.

But then last week I found myself seven seasons deep into Peep Show – which I know sounds incredibly inconsequential, so just bear with me.

Four, actually maybe even two, months ago I couldn’t concentrate. On anything. As someone who thrives on their alone time, I was at a total loss. I couldn’t read a book, I couldn’t watch a film and there was no way I could keep up with a new TV show. Broadchurch bypassed me, I was two seasons behind on Made in Chelsea, and I hadn’t made use of my Netflix subscription in weeks. I would rather lie in bed, totally consumed by my own thoughts, because I was unable to bring myself to do anything but.

So the sudden ability to just sit down and enjoy – and I use the term enjoy loosely here, because is enjoy really the word for Peep Show – a few episodes seemed miraculous to me.

I’ve started reading again too. Back in April I finished my first book in months and, as soon as I put it down, I burst into tears. Since then, I’ve finished five. Five whole books. Something that seemed incomprehensible a few months ago.

And of course progress isn’t linear. There are mornings when I wake up and know that the rest of the day will be a struggle. That I’ll have to take the day an hour at a time, and fight back tears on the tube, and count down the hours until I can go back to bed. But there are also mornings when I wake up and think about what I might get for breakfast on my way to work, and read my book on the tube, and don’t feel the need to get straight into bed come 7pm.

So I’m clinging on to these little things. Because it may not be linear, but maybe progress is finishing a book and wanting to pick up another, and going six out of seven days without crying, and sleeping through the whole night.

And maybe I need to be ok with that.