Yesterday I was tricked/coerced into doing something I wasn’t comfortable with, verbally attacked in my own house, and ended up crying in a ball on my closet floor in the dark.
If this sounds like a really fucking bad day, I assure you it was.
I was informed that I have ‘changed’ (not for the better evidently), and that in essence, I’m much more difficult to get along with now. Things were thrown in my face, and many adjectives were used to describe me. I tried to secretly and quietly have what was only my third anxiety attack in my entire life on the floor of my closet in private, the darkness wrapping itself around my shoulders and comforting me. But soon I was discovered and told we will not be having a ‘pity party’ for me today either.
My husband saved me; upon returning from work to this shit show, he demanded answers as to why his wife is hysterical on the closet floor. From that point on, he was there to referee any unfair attacks on me, and soon they just decided to leave. My husband did his best to support me and keep me calm afterward, but I felt pretty worthless.
I was accused of many things, but nothing they brought up came with any examples for justification. If someone is expected to modify their behavior in order to stop offending those they love, they would need to understand what it is they’re doing to offend, right? Without being able to provide a single instance of when I’ve displeased them, what argument do they really have?
I’m very in tune with psychology and I understand situations on a deeper level. They are somewhat correct in that they’ve seen a ‘change’ in me, but turns out it’s impossible to explain to people who think you’ve become ‘difficult’ that you’ve really just begun protecting yourself from them. My husband agrees with me 100% not because it’s ‘his job,’ but because he’s a third party with an outside perspective. He’s one of the most intelligent and educated people I know personally and lives with me every day, so I feel his opinion of my ‘personality’ is rather valid. Therefore I’ve been trying to convince myself that negative opinions of me shouldn’t matter to me – they clearly don’t know me at all.
I felt the spindly fingers of depression reach up and coil around my ankles getting ready to pull me down, but I refused and kicked them off. I know that besides the chemical interactions of the brain, depression simply is a state of mind. Give or take, you can choose to do something about it as opposed to letting it swallow you alive. So I chose to try to counteract it.
Nature and animals always make me happy, so we decided to go visit our preferred farm to check out the llamas (my favorite) and pick up fresh eggs. That was helpful but we had to go back home eventually. So we bought me a ‘Happy Birthday’ cupcake on the way home because, fuck it, I opened up one of our nicer bottles of Moscato d’Asti when we got there, and he put on Orange is the New Black for me.
I was pretty distracted for the most part, but my brain doesn’t allow that for very long. The whole situation was still prominently on my mind despite doing other things, so I must have looked like a crazy person when suddenly I would exclaim some justification or new parallel I had just thought of regarding the earlier events. When it came time to sleep, weed is my salvation because it is the only thing that stops my brain from going over every moment of the day for hours.
I fell asleep pretty quickly, but I dreaded waking up. Sleep is my only true reprieve. The fingers of depression were grasping at me again and I knew I’d have a hard time getting going today. Today happens to also be a deadline for some serious things I need to take care of (that I wanted to do yesterday) that have been maxing out my anxiety lately, so I’m struggling. I keep procrastinating and making little ‘deals’ in my head with myself about rewards I may have if I do what I need to do.
I’m behind on just about everything, just about all the time, but I recognize that today is a stressor and I need to be careful. I am in control of my mental health, and I have to refuse to let it pull me down. I can’t afford to be there. No one can.
So I’m telling you it’s perfectly possible to be in control of your own mental health to some degree. I’m calling it Mental Health Predictive Maintenance. Predictive Maintenance is used in manufacturing when you watch a machine during normal operation to try to predict failure before it actually happens. Consider that instead of replacing your engine oil specifically every 10,000 miles, you’d take periodic oil samples to monitor the degradation and replace it only when necessary. It saves you and manufacturing companies money by not having to replace parts unnecessarily, and you also avoid the huge cost of the machine completely breaking down. I think the same works for depression.
With a little foresight and a little planning, mild depression can be alleviated, if not avoided altogether. You know how you are normally; what interests you, what your hobbies are, who your friends are – so it’s up to you to monitor if you begin losing interests, and to identify what triggers it. And if you’re already in that hole, it’s important to figure out what triggered it and is still perpetuating it. Then it’s up to you to fight it with everyfuckingthing you have. Between what happened to me yesterday and the stress I’ve faced today, I should be hiding in bed with the doors locked. But I decided that would be too easy. I want to feel better. And I know I’m the only one in control of making me feel better.
When I give in to my brain and watch 6 straight hours of Netflix drinking 2 bottles of wine, I feel like shit after. Not only did I waste my day being depressed and avoiding my real issues, I then feel ashamed and guilty afterward. It’s the beginning of an endless cycle of depression. However, you cannot have a cycle if you choose to not enter it.
So if you struggle with depression whether mild or severe – someday when you’re in a good frame of mind, think about a handful of things that make you happy. On days when you can’t shake the depression from clutching your leg, do your best to force yourself into doing one of the things from your list – you may be surprised at how easily your mood can change. Depression is all about distraction, you just have to find the one that works for you.
What are some things that help you out of it?