I allow myself the space to heal in my own time and in my own way ~
I allow myself the space to heal in my own time and in my own way ~
“I don’t want to see anyone. I lie in the bedroom with the curtains drawn and nothingness washes over me like a sluggish wave. Whatever is happening to me is my own fault. I have done something wrong, something so huge I can’t even see it, something that’s drowning me. I am inadequate and stupid, without worth. I might as well be dead.”
Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye
The above quote is the closest description I’ve found to how my depression feels. The isolation, the numbness, the shame, the feelings of worthlessness. Unfortunately my depression came back around this past week, much to my dismay. Every time I feel better I think that I’ll be able to handle it better the next time, but it’s so strong. I know I am strong too, but the darkness is so easy to give in to. The need to sleep was particularly present this week. Emotional exhaustion, maybe my body’s reaction to protect myself. After sleeping all yesterday evening and last night I woke up this morning feeling a little more myself. I missed work this week unfortunately but 3 days of depression (and only one really bad day) is somewhat progress. I feel like I’ve come out the other side of this one. And next time maybe I’ll manage it even better…
I can clearly recognize what led to this depression, so that is something and an important part of healing. My grandmother passed away last Friday. At first, I felt okay. Sad she was gone but relieved her passing wasn’t painful and she was finally at peace. However, everything that came after, the food, the preparations for her wake and funeral, the day of the wake and funeral, were pretty exhausting and set me off my routine and self care habits. All of these things went well and I needed and wanted to honour my nana’s memory, but I let my mental health suffer in result. With my nana struggling with mental illness all her life (bipolar disorder), my own mental health wasn’t on my mind enough. On Tuesday of this week, the day before I was planning to go back to work, I felt off. I could feel myself slipping into a low, but instead of doing anything to combat those familiar feelings, I retreated. I binged. I laid in bed. I distracted myself. And the next two days I was in a definite depression.
I thought it would be helpful to write this out while I’m still not feeling back to 100%. I usually save my writing for times when I am feeling quite good, but it is important for me to recognize my depressive moods and emotions as I’m feeling them and face them head on. I know if I had of confronted my feelings on Tuesday and did something (yoga, mediation, journal, talk it out) I may have been able to prevent the depression that was to follow.
I am lucky that my depression is so brief – I can guarantee I’ll start to feel better after a short number of days. But the frequency is hard to deal with. I feel like I just get going on a good spurt, back on track and managing my life, and the depression will knock me down again. When the darkness takes me over, it’s so hard to imagine I was ever happy. But, I am happy and I have a happy life to live. These lows cannot just disappear without me learning how to manage them. And that’s what I need to set out to do.
Thanks for listening,
I’ve been putting off making this post for quite some time… a post talking about everything and the ups and downs since before Christmas. I have kept up with my Instagram posts and been honest about my struggles; somehow that just seems like less commitment and less work than making a blog post where I really try to “organize” my thoughts the best I can. I doubt I’ll come off very organized in this post since I’m really just trying to wrap my head around all that’s happened. So this post will be a “recap” of the past eventful couple months.
December was a pivotal month, for sure. I started back to work full time in a December 4th after being off since the summer. Coming up to December I was feeling very anxious about this and feeling a little off… but for whatever reason those feelings faded and I was feeling very good by the time my first Monday back to work rolled around. I didn’t even get nervous. Which, for someone like me who’s a little shy and nervous of social situations on a good day, should have been a red flag. My first day back was great. I was soooo happy to be back at work. I flew through that week feeling like a million bucks. I had finally gotten back to work and everything was great again and would be great forever more. Also, Christmas!!! Only, I barely slept more than 3-4 hours a night that week and I wasn’t exactly doing any self care practices. I was just happy. In the moment, I knew my feelings weren’t normal but I was feeling so good that I didn’t want to slow down. I was on a false high, likely hypomania.
Alas, with any high comes a low. The next week, my second week back at work, I was still super happy but a little more tired. I was feeling so good that that weekend I decided it would be a good idea to go out both nights and drink with friends… by Tuesday (my third week back at work) my mood finally started dipping and I was exhausted. Christmas spirit zero. I came home that evening and slept. I was so low the next morning that I didn’t go to work and slept most of the day. And same thing the next day. Thursday evening I thought I just had to feel better so I could get one day of work in before Christmas, so I meditated for a while and managed to pull it together enough to get to work Friday and feel good for the holidays.
But that didn’t last either. By Boxing Day, I was slipping again and that week ended up hitting the worst low I’ve had in years. I didn’t take my meds for a couple days which only made things so much worse with withdrawal symptoms. I was depressed. I couldn’t stop crying. My mood was all over the place. I had several panic attacks. My head was fuzzy, like I was in a fog. It was brutal. I thought my life as I knew it was over. Finally by the weekend, with the help of my boyfriend, I got myself out of bed and to a mental health walk in clinic. Just being out of the house helped, and talking to a professional made a world of difference. By the time I got home that evening, I was feeling a lot better and actually thought things might be okay.
One thing I did know was that I was way too unstable to go back to work and feel confident I could manage it. I decided I had to give myself some more time. I had to get a strict, healthy routine going before going back. I committed to a daily at home yoga challenge (@YogaWithAdriene on Yotube) for the month and basically meditated every day for the first two weeks of the month. I kept things simple. I went to therapy, I went to yoga, I did yoga at home, I ate healthy, I mediated, I got lots of sleep.
By the end of January I felt ready for work. I decided, on advice of my manager and therapist, to do a gradual return to work starting with half days. So far, things are going really well. I feel way more balanced in my moods and I’m keeping up with a routine of yoga, meditation, sleep, healthy eating, etc., to make sure it stays that way. If my mood does start to slip, I have so many supportive people who will help me and coping tools that I know can turn my mood around.
Referencing the above photo, I also got my first tattoo in January! I’ve been wanting one for quite some time and my two friends were going and asked me along, so I decided I’d bite the bullet and get one. I’m so happy I did. Not only do I love the tattoo I chose, but it was a really nice evening spent with good friends 🙂 So, the tattoos meaning… the open triangle represents an openness to change and the arrow above it represents progress! I love triangles and wanted something simple and meaningful to my journey, so there ya have it! I plan to get a lotus flower tattoo for my next one 😉
Anyway. I am glad I got this written out. I want to keep up more with blog posts, so here’s me committing to 3-4 posts per month!
Happy Friday and thanks for listening✌️️
It’s been a while since I truly updated the blog on what’s up with my life. There’s been a lot. I’ve been updating on my instagram but I’d like to do a fuller version here. Maybe I’ll put that on my schedule for tomorrow afternoon.
I did want to update at least with a little bit on peace. The above quote was the first one that popped up when I searched “peace quotes” and it really spoke to me and how I’ve been feeling these days… plus, that lotus flower!
My word of the year is definitely “peace”. It’s how I’m feeling. What I’m aiming for. Of course, peace can’t be a constant state but I want to be able to access that feeling easier. I’ve noticed that feeling growing more and more with my regular yoga and meditation practice.
Anyway, a bit of a ramble but I’ll have some more organized thoughts for you tomorrow!
Thanks for listening,
I am peaceful but still searching
To heal what’s in me that’s broken
Or at least to feel it
Turn it into fuel on which I can run
Instead of feeling so drained
When I look at my inner child
She had a happy life
But she was sad
She felt alone
She felt disgusting
She wanted to disappear
I don’t remember much
Besides feeling self conscious
Or to find a place to belong
I will soon find the words to describe my struggle over the last few weeks, but for now my thoughts are better summed up by someone else. Sending love ❤️