I had a depressive episode last week. I’m doing better now, but it brought back memories of two years ago when this state was more common. I’m not sure what (if anything) triggered it; I’m just going about my business and then all of a sudden I’m in a mood where I’m dreading and consciously minimizing interactions with others. I just hid in my cubicle on Friday, trying to endure the day, and as soon as I got out of work I was in a hurry to get off the Halifax peninsula. I knew I was in no mood to cook, so I stopped off at Mary Brown’s for dinner, and then once I got home I just stayed in bed for most of the weekend.
My self-care game hasn’t been the greatest this winter. I haven’t been taking walks during lunch time or putting too much effort into making my own meals, nor have I been spending a lot of time out in the world or reaching out to people. I’ve also been spending far too much time on just dissociating into my phone and getting lost in my social media feeds to pass the time. I don’t even feel like connecting when I’m in that state; I’m more bored than anything and for some reason I think logging in or getting a notification will somehow relieve that. I can blame the cold weather, dark days and impassible sidewalks, but now that it’s light later after work and the temperatures are rising, I can’t use those as an excuse anymore. But sometimes self-care is just letting yourself do something you enjoy, and when I feel shitty, I don’t feel like reading a book, listening to music or watching a favorite show or movie. Something in my head just won’t let me block off the time or energy to focus on something I don’t actually “have” to do, but at the same time, it won’t focus enough for me to take care of my “to do” list.
When your brain and body tell you to rest, you better listen. I even said as much on Instagram that weekend. I have to remind myself that I deserve to spend time doing things I enjoy and don’t have to justify every single decision I make with my time or money. I also have to remember I don’t have to post blog content on a set schedule or constantly be in a state of (real or ersatz) connection to other people.
Do you ever wake up from a nap more groggy than you were before you fell asleep, or feeling a tiny bit “off” in terms of your motor functions? As far as I know, I’m healthy (enough), but I’m turning 37 in a few weeks, and the number of people within my orbit who have been diagnosed with cancer over the last few years gives me pause as to whether an ache is just part of my body aging or if it’s a sign of something more serious. It’s also making me think a lot about what would happen if I had to be off work for an extended period of time due to illness: whether I have a wide enough support network in the area for me to handle it. how much of a disruption to my life would I be able to withstand, and how soon would I be able to get back on my feet. All those fun things.
Still not sure what I’m doing for my birthday; I’m open to going out with people but I don’t think I’ll make a major event out of it this year. Too much work.