Grey, like the weather

After a few warm and sunny days across the UK, the weather (in true British style) has reverted to grey and rainy. It is an apt metaphor for my mood. The ebb and flow of depressive symptoms should be unsurprising to me having experienced such highs and lows a few times (note minimisation of difficulties) over the years, yet it always seems surprising when those lows hit.

I don’t know if I’m “typical” in that I expect (and want) any gains to be sustained, for improvements in mood to build steadily, day on day… thinking it’s a one way street. I know that social circumstances (stress) can affect mood at any particular moment in time, that receiving a phone call from school to tell me of some trouble one of my children has been involved in, or that they are unwell, can temporarily unsettle progress, but that these variations in mood are natural and logical.

I’m talking about those days where you can’t pinpoint a specific reason for the slump, when it’s just like a fog casting greyness over everything and everyone. When the daily prompt is laughter and it’s ironic as laughing is the last thing you feel like doing. When you start to think “what’s the point” and believe that there isn’t one. When every task feels unimaginably difficult for mind and body to process, but in keeping busy you get through the day. When you want to go running because it takes you away from any responsibilities rather than because you just want to go running.

What do we do on those days?

How do we step out of the shadows into the sunlight and banish the grey fog?

Is this about resilience or about self-care?

About bouncing back or building yourself up?

Are there any answers? Is it better to talk or write about it (blogging, therapy, friends, journaling) or pretend that everything is just fine? Can we get past the inertia, find the motivation and energy to face this head on? Set our self-talk to compassionate mode. Instead of avoidance, embrace activities that give a sense of reward or enjoyment. Acknowledge our emotions and believe that it’s ok to feel this way and know that it will pass.


Update.

I wrote the above yesterday evening and this morning, it was accurate to my frame of mind, and in many ways still is.
Yesterday it took me around three very distracted hours to create a poem on the daily prompt word of laughter. Ultimately I was very pleased with my romantic themed poem, however, my initial thoughts on the subject were leading towards cruel laughter, mocking and uncomfortable. Today’s word (rebel) caused me to stumble once again (shall we call it writer’s block?), so I opted to write a haiku as a shorter poetry option. My haiku describes how we, as autonomous individuals, are in charge of how we live life, but that even the most organised plans can be derailed by ourselves. Rational thought is the governing body, but depression is the rebellious force. Deep, slightly dark overthinking going on in my brain.

I had planned on going for a swim today but by the time the heating engineers had been to look at our heating (again) I had lost all motivation. Anyway, as indicated above I wanted to go for a run to escape from the ordinariness of life, so that is what I did. I ran 4.5 miles and it felt great, hot and rather sweaty but nonetheless great!

So where am I up to now?

I have a good awareness of my mood/emotions and have a range of strategies in place to boost me back up. And I know that whatever I feel now, I will bounce back, just call me Little Miss Resilient. The next few days will be self-care focused, looking after myself and doing things that I enjoy… the ironing will just have to wait!

Oh, and one last thing, looking out my window there is now a lovely blue sky 🙂

Take care xx

Comments

6 comments on “Grey, like the weather”
  1. I love the way you write, it’s so passionate and honest which is kind of rare nowadays. I’ve read couple of your posts in one fell swoop!! Talking about bad days, when the dark thoughts come to me and I start to feel depressed or anxious I try to cope with my emotions through some therapeutic exercises I learnt during my therapy sessions. First, I try not to label emotions as “good” or “bad” because it’s just not helping me, then I simply observe what is exactly happening to me and I try to name/describe emotions that I am feeling and I write everything down.In the past I always felt completely overwhelmed by my emotions because I just didn’t understand what was happening to me. I hated myself for experiencing anger, sadness, frustration, fear or emptiness. Now, I know that emotions are naturally occurring phenomenon (because my therapist tells me that every single time) and because of that we cannot control them. But we can learn how to deal with them in a healthy way. It’s not easy BUT it’s possible. Other therapeutic method I find extremely helpful is to do
    some guided meditation for stress relief, anxiety, depression or those with positive affirmations (I use those on YouTube). And of course some physical activity is always a great idea! Every single time we do something that benefits our physical and mental health we WIN! Just like you did when you went for a run!!! You can’t even imagine how you helped me with these words, because when I have a really bad day I feel the need to go for a run (for some reason) but usually I don’t do it because I feel really embarrassed when I run in public… now after having read your post I will do that without feeling ridiculous. Thank you for this post, it helped me a lot!! Take care!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      Thank you. I’m very happy when I hear that my writing is helpful to people. Accepting our emotions can be a tricky process, it sounds like you have done lots of work on this.
      I really find that exercise helps, it also stops me beating myself up when I eat too much cake or chocolate! It’s all about balance. I hope you find the confidence to run outdoors, I love the peace it brings me.
      Thanks for sharing your strategies for managing those difficult emotions too xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so right! It’s all about balance. It’s extremely hard work but it’s worth it. Everyday I remind myself that it doesn’t matter how many times I fall, what matters is how many times I get up…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Karen says:

        Exactly! 😁 ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. For me, when the darkness comes and I don’t know why, I either go for a walk, as you did,or I put on music and dance until I see the light.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      Definitely best to burn some energy x

      Like

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