My friend Busty, (we haven’t known each other very long at all, but, given the support and kindness she has offered me, I think I can safely call her a friend), pinned this link on Pinterest and I found it this morning. It really does explain depression very well; how it impacts our lives on all levels – the psychological, mental, social and physical.
I have been struggling on and off for a while now, finding I am having more bad days than good, although on the good days I do feel genuinely happy and okay. But the bad days… when that bastard Black Dog comes and sits with me… I hate those days.
I have noticed several of my online friends are also having a difficult time. I know some of the reasons behind this, but I wonder if the season we are in is a factor too. I know I really did feel a dip in my mood as the light changed and the evenings seemed to arrive earlier and earlier.
Without my realising it, it was that time of year where everyone was talking about Xmas and I hadn’t even noticed it creep up on me. I do not have children, (discounting the OH and dogs of course), and I do not have any religious faith, so for me December 25th really is just another day. I resent feeling that I must “join in” in what, to me, is a man-made, socially constructed consumerist farce.
I am off to visit my family on Saturday and that brings with it its very own tailored-made gift of stress and anxiety. If it wasn’t for my nieces and nephews whom I adore, I can honestly say I would fake illness to avoid it. (Funny how I don’t feel able to use my depression/anxiety, which is a genuine illness, as a valid excuse!)
I won’t go into the reasons I find this visit stressful. God forbid they find this blog and read them! (Ha! Another gloriously Irish family trait… the horror of actually having a frank conversation about how our families make us feel!)
After spending yesterday in a heap on the sofa, watching hours of crappy TV, finally dragging myself into the shower at 4.30pm, this morning I forced myself to eat and shower and I sit writing now at 10am, make up on, hair done. I have a hair appointment this afternoon to cover the dreaded roots, (again, must keep up appearances right?). In all honesty, it’d be so easy to cancel it and lie on the sofa again but I MUST do this.
It’s the little things, the small acts of self-care that count and add up. The idea of sitting in front of a mirror for an hour and a half leaves me feeling nauseous, having to look at my chubby face, eye circles and lines. But I tell myself that the result, shiny, glossy fresh hair, will lift me. I don’t know if it will… but I hope it does. At least I won’t have to face them all with grey roots as well as a frame wider than the last time they saw me.
So, today I am going to try. I really, really do not feel like it, but it is necessary.
If you are struggling, I hope you can make yourself do one small nice thing for yourself today. One act of self-care.
If you know someone who is struggling, please don’t pressure them, just be there.
That is all you need to do, just be there.
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