If you, like me, are a person prone to occasional depression relapses, I would like to offer you some advice.
You don't have to take the advice, I know sometimes advice is the least helpful thing for people like us, and to be honest, I actually write this blog for me, not you, so it's kind of advice to myself...but it's nice that you're here, so please stay.
Firstly, congratulations on getting up and going about your business most days.
What a feat! Oh trust me, I know, it's a big deal.
Sometimes, I can go days getting up and going about my business.
Sometimes, days in a row!
Sometimes even weeks!
I know if I remember to eat, sleep, tend to my garden, and avoid certain things that make me very sad, I can continue along in life without my carefully built mental structure crumbling.
The other thing I need to make sure of, is that I balance my energy levels.
I require down time.
I use a lot of energy by being outside.
By talking to people. By working hard.
By trying hard to be a successful, non-depressed, non-anxiety-controlled person, with a life, and responsibilities, and goals, and really, really high expectations of myself.
Last week, I did not allow myself any down time.
I worked,which I enjoy.
I socialised, which I enjoy (in controlled environments).
I worked again, a little harder and a little longer than usual.
Then I did some more work, and I socialised a bit, then I worked more.
Then I went to the gym. Then I went back to work. Then I went out with friends.
Then I got back to work.
I enjoy all of those things.
I like my work, my friends, and heck even going to the gym isn't that bad (yes it is).
I did not stop and rest in between.
So when suddenly I didn't have any work scheduled, or any catch ups planned...
I was catapulted into 48 solid hours of heavy, guilt-ridden uselessness.
I told myself the free time would be a good opportunity to do some house work, run some errands, maybe fit in a bit more editing work. I should use this time to stay on top of everything.
Maybe even get ahead of everything!
That was not correct.
The time should have been allocated to rest.
So, when my brain collapsed on itself, as it inevitably does sometimes,
I was not ready or able to deal with the low.
I can ride out the lows most times. I try to be kind to myself.
I watch netflix, I ignore my phone, I ignore the mess in my apartment, I eat a lot of crackers and dip, and I recuperate.
But this time I couldn't believe it. I was so shocked!
I was doing SO MUCH.
I still had SO MUCH MORE TO DO.
I had to DO EVERYTHING.
Why was I SUDDENLY USELESS.
I was internally screaming at myself WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS.
Then I eventually remembered that I'm just like this sometimes,
and that's okay, and I could probably chill the fuck out for a second.
And just give myself a little break.
So I guess my advice to you (but mainly to me) is to remember to take care of yourself.
Remember that depression can be dormant for a while, which is great, but if you're not paying proper attention to it, it can flare up a bit.
But we can manage that.
If you find that your depression flares up again and stays for more than 2 weeks covering you like a thick tar - get to your GP for a mental health plan and get back into that sweet sweet therapy, and remember that it can be managed.
I know it can be managed cus I'm doing it.