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.
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