I’ve been doing something extremely odd lately. Odd for me anyways. I haven’t been taking exceptionally good care of myself or my space. Well, I’ve been pulling myself out of steadily this last week. But the first few weeks of January had not been my best. For someone as high functioning as myself I’m usually very careful about keeping myself together and looking the part.
Lately however. I’ve been sleeping an abnormal amount. Any amount of sleep beyond what is absolutely necessary would technically be considered abnormal for me. I was an insomniac for most of my life. Living off of 1-2 hours of sleep for years, through most of high school, off and on through college, whenever I’m going through stressful periods, then crashing for a day. Typically I’ll get a good 6-7 hours on a work night now which is healthy. 8-9 hours on weekends. Lately I’ve been sleep 12-14 hours a day. Everyday. And just not getting out of bed at all after that. It takes all of my energy to just pull myself up.
I don’t leave my bedroom. My room itself is a disaster area. It typically has something of an air of clutter of it’s usually very organized. I’m an artist and everything actually has a place, but I have many things and a lot of creative projects going on. Lately though, I just haven’t felt a need to clean, or bother with anything. Where it hits the floor is where it needs to be.
The state of my bedroom often reflects the state of my mental space.
I haven’t bothered to do my hair or make up at all lately, except what is absolutely minimal for work and company (if I can be brought to have any). Usually I’ll look nice to go out and run errands, but I haven’t been bothering. Not that I need to wear make-up, and my personal politics believe that a woman should in no way /have/ to wear make-up if she doesn’t want to, but for me this is a sign of personal neglect. I love make-up and getting dolled up. The body is just another canvas for me, but I’ve been too tired and too sad to play with the colors and my personal canvas.
I haven’t been painting or drawing. I simply haven’t had my usual creative spark.
I haven’t been able to exercise the way I usually do. Don’t get me wrong. I keep trying but my workouts have been a bit lackluster.
Oh yeah, and I’ve basically stopped eating. Amusingly, in complete contrast to my eating disordered riddled history, I’ve actually had to force myself to eat because I know I needed to.
This is all indicative of a larger problem that many of you can probably pinpoint without me having to even say it. That big black rain cloud over your head called Depression.
I’ve talked about Depression before so I won’t beat that horse into the ground. It’s weird though, because I’ve been depressed pretty much my entire life. Because of my medication (and after I talked to Therapist) I haven’t /felt/ depressed, but the signs have been there. It’s like my body is depressed but it hasn’t told my mood. Therapist really helped my mind, but my body hasn’t quite caught up. Before I talked to therapist, my moods were all over the place and I was definitely depressed. Medication can really only do so much because life, and triggers, still happen. This is important to remember. It can be a bit daunting sometimes to be constantly on the lookout for your own life.
However! There is a bright side to all of this! After unloading to Therapist everything that’s happened the weight on my mind lightened considerably and gave me a much better perspective. I’ve been in a much better mental space. The ridiculous downward spiral that I’ve found myself in has been steadily going back up.
I was embarrassed that I fell so far and felt so bad about it (even for just a couple weeks). Even though I had just had this same exact conversation with Zoe. She had also h
ad a bad spot herself (which I’ll get to because it’s important) and she was feeling the same. What I told her was:
Just because you slip back for a little while does not in any way erase all of the progress you have made. It doesn’t suddenly erase everything you’ve learned. Everyone has bad days, everyone has bad weeks, everyone has bad months. It doesn’t stay bad though. We know this. Even though it feels like it will, we know it doesn’t. Nothing lasts forever. And it doesn’t make you bad! Things eventually start to go back to a better place, and you have to work towards this, but you then you’re still you! You’re still that same wonderful person that has put in all of that hard work to become a healthier, stronger person.
Always easier to give advice than to internalize advice, aye?
|The point is: It's okay.|
Looking back, I had a couple rough weeks. I haven’t a period like that in years. YEARS! As opposed to living like that as a constant state of being my entire life. I’d say that’s a ridiculous amount of progress. My Therapist agrees. I’m pulling myself out of it like a champ too. I’m actively pushing myself to workout harder. This pumps up my endorphins and actually gives me more energy. I did a majoring cleaning of my room and my space. This actually puts my mind in a better place. I made plans to visit my Sister, which is a surefire way to put me in a better mental and emotional place (read: Surround yourself with people that love and care about you, if possible).
Most importantly: Don’t bottle up and carry the weight of your emotional burdens if you don’t have to. Ideally, talk to an impartial, trustworthy source like a Therapist, but don’t let those bad thoughts eat away at you.
Also, learn to recognize the signs of any behaviors that might not be normal for you that indicate something may be wrong. This is especially important if you’re on medication for your mood. Just because your chemicals are balanced that doesn’t mean that something isn’t still off mentally. I think this is why I haven’t necessarily been feeling depressed, but have some of the behaviors of depression.