For the ones who struggle with depression on the daily..
This blog post is for you.
As our government urges more & more 'social distancing'.. I can't help but feel for the ones who need to be social to survive. There is no magic cure for depression, at least not one that I have found yet, & trust me.. I've tried a lot. But, what I do know is that for some people who suffer from depression, being social means one thing,
Sure, we've all got our social media where we can react with an endless amount of people right at our finger tips.. Check Facebook, scroll a few times. Minimize. Check instagram, heart a couple photos. Minimize. Hop on twitter for a whole 3 seconds. Rinse. Repeat. You get the point, right? It's just not the same as genuine, human interaction. There's only so much Facebook scrolling I can take before I just put my phone down, & sleep. Ya see, not only does not being able to interact with humans really kill our little life buzzes we've got going on, but changing our routine really does it for us, too.
I am a creature of habit. My alarm is set for the same time every day, not to mention my two back up alarms, because I already know I am going to snooze the first two. When I finally crawl out of bed, I head to the bathroom to brush my teeth.. then take my medicine. Yes, I take medicine daily for my anxiety & depression, if I don't do this first thing it will throw a kink in my entire day. (I've caught myself many times asking myself, 'Did I take my medicine today?'). Once I have all of my yawning & thoughts of laying back down out of the way I go about my morning routine & prepare myself for the day. My drive to work normally consists of a mental checklist of what all I need to accomplish that day. Some mornings I stop for coffee but most of the time I head straight to work, where I repeatedly interact with people all day long. There's normalcy to it & a sense of belonging, I guess you could say. Feeling like you accomplished seizing the day! High five sister, you answered 14 emails, 5 phone calls & chatted with the mail man, anxiety ain't winning you over today! That's another blog post for another time though, we are talking about the depression side of things..
Here lately has been different, as I am sure most of you well know. We have been trying our best to adjust to the whole 'stay home, stay safe' thing that has been happening in almost every part of the world, but I'm not going to lie... It's been hard. Hella hard. When my routine gets thrown off or the tiniest things aren't in my control, I slowly start to submerge into the never-ending, sinking, pool of depression. Once you're knee deep it's hard to turn around & pull yourself out. It's almost like the harder you try, the faster you sink. But why did you even stick your foot in there in the first place? You felt your toes slowly start to go down, yet you just let them anyways. You let your mind win again. You knew you needed to brush your teeth & take your medicine but instead you laid back down to get just '10 more minutes' of sleep. Knowing damn good & well that those '10 more minutes' always end up turning into hours, then before you know it you have wasted an entire day. It always happens so fast & you always reassure yourself 'I'll do better tomorrow.'
Then tomorrow comes, but you're so exhausted from sleeping so much the day before that you're slow to get up & sluggish, but you do it anyways. Small battle won. You fight the voice inside of your head begging for '10 more minutes' & urge yourself to just make it to your toothbrush & you'll make it through the rest of the day.. You'll pep talk yourself the entire way. It's only 5 steps but each lift of your foot feels heavier & heavier as you go. When you finally do, you pat yourself on the back. Another small battle won. You do this through out the entire day, without even realizing it. Constantly reminding yourself to take it one battle at a time. Giving yourself little gold stars & inner trophies like a child who needs to be rewarded for doing what's expected of them. You finally collapse into bed that night & realize just how exhausted you are. Not only did you sleep a ridiculous amount of time the day before but then you woke up the next day & mentally overwhelmed yourself just to make it through 24 hours without a mental breakdown or one of those unexpected, panic attack things. Funny how that works, isn't it? Physically exhausted & mentally exhausted. No matter what, you're always tired. Damned if you do & damned if you don't. At least that's what it feels like for my depressed ass most days. It's hard man, some days are good, some days are bad. & then there are some days it's an endless, repetitive, hamster wheel of a cycle that you can't seem to break free from. The fact that you realize that, makes the good days better.
I know there are some who can't relate & some who can. For the ones who can, I'll leave you with this: if you are struggling with your mental health right now, reach out. If you feel yourself sinking, scream out. Scream until someone hears you. Take the heavy step to the bathroom & brush your teeth. Take your medicine & do your hella best to make it through today. No matter how many pep talks you have to give yourself along the way. Another day is another small battle won. Which I'd say makes for a pretty good day.
For the ones can't relate: It's okay. We don't expect you to understand. Most of the time we don't even understand it ourselves. What we DO expect is for you to answer when we call. Respond when we text. Pull us up when we reach out. Don't ask us why we are screaming, just run to help. Our routines are thrown off & our minds are a mess.
Check on us to make sure we aren't drowning today.