These are my last 4 hours summed up:
1st – watching a movie that I wasn’t really enjoying, lying down on the sofa, scrolling through Reddit and watching my phone battery drain.
2nd – rolled away from the screen and napped.
3rd – woke up and all I could move were my eyes, so I lay on my back and watched people passing by my living room window, mulling over the weird feeling that my body wasn’t attached to my brain anymore, and I genuinely could not move. My finger twitched once and made me jump a bit.
4th – I moved! …to my bed where I lay down some more and watched Ted talk videos about beating depression.
I spent most of that time not talking very nicely to myself with my inside voice. I was supposed to go and watch an Ice Hockey match tonight with work colleagues, and instead of just admitting that it wasn’t going to happen, (“so you can’t stand up for more than 30 seconds today, Amy. You win some you lose some”) I somehow still convinced myself that I needed to get up and get ready, that I was going to disappoint people if I didn’t go, that these days happen too often lately and I’m never going to amount to anything. What’s wrong with me? Why am I like this? Why have I always been like this?
Until it finally stopped. I messaged my boss with “I’m not feeling big crowds and loud noises today” and he replied “okay mate no worries. Are you working on Thursday or is X doing the shift? Can’t remember.” Zero judgement, zero disappointment.
I opened my curtains. I got bored of feeling like I’m made of lead and being mean to myself. I’m still in bed, but I’m sat up and I’m typing. My brain doesn’t feel quite so foggy, but I’m still feeling pretty exhausted.
I’ve had so many days like this before. More than I’d like to admit. I feel like my default mode when I’m alone is:
- Lie down.
- Put something on TV and mindlessly scroll through my phone
- Zone out until I’m not alone anymore, or I *HAVE* to be somewhere.
I’d really like to change this. I’m thinking about going back on meds, but the ones I’ve had before have left me completely numb, or killed my sex drive, or killed my life drive. But something’s really got to give. I’m not sure that the therapy for the assault is helping too much at the minute, because I think it’s a big contributing factor to my current depression and I need to discuss this with my therapist on Thursday.
What gets to me is that, as an introvert, I really don’t know HOW to be on my own and enjoy my own time. I guess because I’ve not been single for very long in the past 11 years, I’ve not had all that much time to cultivate a true sense of Self. Who is Amy, really? What does Amy want? Not Amy PLUS significant other, but Amy as an individual. I’ve always been really terrified of trying new things, and I’m not sure why. Ever since I was a kid I’ve not been very good at ‘going it alone’, preferring to have someone that I know and trust (hello, string of boyfriends) to come with me, and avoiding doing what I want to do if that means doing it by myself. Trying something new by myself means failing by myself. I’m terrified of failure, which means I never try anything, and then I get depressed, and the whole vicious cycle continues year after year after year.
What if…bear with me…I manage to become this person that I envisage, this ‘ideal Amy’, and even SHE isn’t happy? Is that really worse than what I currently have though? No, no it isn’t. What if she IS happy, but I never get to find out because I’m too worried about her NOT being happy?? I’m already unhappy. Happy people have unhappy periods. Please be kind to yourself.
I’d like to try a new angle. Baby steps. I’d like to start being kinder to myself. I’d like to recognise, here and now, that I am going through a period of depression. That’s okay, I’ve had periods of depression before, and like all things, it WILL pass as it always does. Until then, every little achievement is a win. Get out of bed? Win. Shower? Win. Get to uni? Win. Get to work? Win. Those are the things I’ve still been managing to consistently do most days. I’ve actually had a lot of wins lately.
MORE IMPORTANTLY. Everything I fail to do is not a loss. Forgot to eat three meals, but ate two? TWO WINS! Try for three tomorrow. Didn’t shower today? That’s okay not everyone showers every day. Stayed in bed all day? Totally fine. It happens.
What can I do, tonight, that will help me feel better? Writing this blog post is helping already.
What is important to me, that I’ve been neglecting lately?
Eating vegan AND healthy. Three meals a day healthy. Not junk food healthy. I can order an ASDA delivery tonight to help with this. Recognise that ‘cheating’ by eating cheese is making me feel like I’m cheating myself, so the 30 seconds of enjoyment isn’t worth carrying around this feeling that I’m letting myself down. I’m allowed treats, sure. There are lots of vegan treats that aren’t going to make me feel bad about myself.
Yoga. I KNOW that when I do yoga, I feel better. I LOVE following Yoga with Adriene videos. She has such a great energy. So why haven’t I been doing yoga lately? Maybe I don’t have to analyse that right now, because that feels too close to beating myself up about not doing it. Maybe I can just do a quick video before I go to bed tonight instead. I also don’t have to be amazing at it, I’m not trying to get Instagram famous. I don’t even browse Instagram anymore.
Uni. I’ve put measures in place to ease the pressure of uni. I need to keep reminding myself that this does not mean I am failing. I am just giving myself more time and space to pace it out so it’s more manageable.
Friends. It is just too much to juggle seeing everyone I know at the minute. They know that I love them, and that I’m here if they need me. Since the breakup, I’ve seen more of my friends than I have in MONTHS, so again, remind myself that I am not failing my friends. I am just prioritising myself for the first time in a VERY long time, and this is all going to feel very alien to me for a while.
Another thing that I’d just like to get out so that it’s out of my brain. I am not FAILING this breakup. Even though it was my choice to leave, I didn’t make the wrong choice because I’m falling apart a bit afterwards. I was already falling apart before the breakup, I was just better at hiding it from him and myself. Now I have my own space and independence back, I don’t have to keep it hidden all the time.
Also, I am not used to being on my own so often, and I need to stop beating myself up whenever I feel weird about it. I was feeling lonely in my relationship for years and it was soul destroying. This is a different kind of loneliness, and I can make it a powerful one.