On Sunday evening, I fell into a slump. A slump which was unexplainable and one that I couldn’t seem to shake. I’d stare off into space, with a feeling of emptiness and panic.
I glanced at the calendar and felt a pang of familiarity. It’s that time of the year when my mental health seems to take a bit of a dip. I know that SAD is an actual thing, but I don’t think I have it. It’s just that the older I become, patterns emerge.
In that moment I basically wrote myself off, convinced that anxiety and depression were looming. I’d been fearing it all year. I told myself the enthusiasm I had for blogging, my creative streak and happiness had to come to an end at some point. I’ve never been consistently happy, but then I guess, who is?
Before Sunday, I’d been an anxious mess, probably due to my hormones. But when you’re in it and face to face with your ‘anxious self’ in the mirror, hormones or not, it’s a drag.
I went to a bloggers event on Thursday, and as an introverted person, it’s a bit scary. It wasn’t the best feeling rocking up on my own when I’d been on the verge of crying for the past few hours. Luckily, it was a lovely event and I met some very nice people.
But that’s obvious, right? There’s a shit load of great people out there, but I build things up in my head so it’s always me vs the world.
Before heading out to the event I decided to use my face as a form of self-expression again like I had the week before.
Although brighter in colour, it still came out pretty dark. I guess the excessive use of red, which can be a signal for danger, was how I was feeling at the time. It was as though half of me was panicked and flailing around while the other half remained grounded.
I’m grateful for the part of me that’s rational and pulls me out of dodgy situations. When I lose myself completely, then I’m in trouble.
I told myself that was it. I was battling with depression now for the Winter. Such a defeatist attitude and one that I’m not proud of.
I sat on the sofa, trying to hold back the tears as though they were an excited dog pulling on a leash. Phil was talking about something I can’t remember, and I continued to hold back the tears until it was too painful. Eventually, I gave in.
My wonderful, patient and loving husband gave me a hug and we talked it out. I told him my fears of falling into a pit again, just like last year and the year before that. He told me I’d had a hard few weeks and shouldn’t read too much into it.
He was right and I was wrong. Not a sentence I’m particularly fond of writing, naturally.
I cut myself some slack and realised that the external pressures and conflicts in my life were more likely to be the reason why I was feeling so emotional.
When I woke up on Monday, I put on a happy face and continued with the rest of my day reminding myself that it wasn’t depression, that I was in control and I wasn’t going to let my fear control me.
Here we are, it’s Tuesday and I’m sat in the Costco cafe once again writing a blog and feeling pretty enthusiastic.
Talking is key, it really is. If I hadn’t of talked to Phil on Sunday night, I’m not sure how I’d feel right now. I’d like to think that I have the self-awareness and mental capability to pull myself out, but the logical reasoning sprouted up because of the roots of my relationship and communication.
As a carer, I can’t afford to fall into that black hole because my attitude and mental state are carried through to my job, and I’ll be damned if I let it affect my Mum.
Last year I spent months of my life feeling like a different person, panicked, emotional and on the brink of giving up on life. Going back to that is probably the thing that scares me most. Having down days doesn’t automatically mean I’m slipping backwards and I need to stop assuming the worst.
We all have shit days, weeks and months. I’m learning how to stay focused and just how important reflection is. It’s also imperative to take the pressure off from time to time and accept the bad days for what they are.
How do you deal with mental struggles? Let me know in the comments below!
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