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.

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