I cried yesterday. A lot and for a long time. At first I was angry, then frustrated. I shouted a little and then I cried. I cried until I felt a little better and then I cried some more. It’s been a long time since I’ve cried, but it felt good. Sometimes all we need is a good cry, embarrassing as it may be when it happens in front of others.
I didn’t know that I needed a decent cry. I know that I haven’t been myself lately, but I thought it was all circumstantial. Last week, I was angry. My mood swung from annoyed to downright ropeable continuously throughout the week. I didn’t like it, but I couldn’t get control over it and I blamed it on the fact that last week was shark week. And I was starting to get sick.
The week before that I was a little moody, but I figured it was because I hadn’t exercised in a long time. I’d also eaten badly more than I should have, which in turn upset my skin and sleeping patterns, so why not my mood too?
Last night I also had my depression support group. The group meets fortnightly, but I haven’t been for a while. I’ve had so much on lately and sometimes the thought of going out after work is just too much. The last thing I felt like doing after my crying session was going out and facing people, but I felt like it was even more important to go because of it. I’m glad I did.
When it was my turn to speak, I had trouble stopping. I didn’t cry again, but I just couldn’t stop talking. I talked about my mixed emotions, my worries, about being sick and as I was talking I realized that once again, I had ignored my mental health alarm bells.
The point of the group is not to give advice or ‘fix the problem,’ but to give us a safe place to let out our emotions with people who can relate. We can share as much or as little as we want and yesterday I found myself sharing things that I didn’t even realize had been bringing me down, things I had accepted as just being.
It was pointed out to me that I was forgetting about myself again. I have a tendancy to put everything before myself. It’s something I’ve been working on changing this year, with some success, but because putting myself last comes naturally, it’s easy for me to do so without realizing.
Self care is so important. I struggle with it, because it makes me feel selfish. There are people who need my support and a lot of things that are my responsibility to ensure get done. Sometimes it’s easier to forget about myself and focus on keeping everything ticking over. Problem is, it takes it’s toll on me and unfortunately I haven’t learned to notice the warning signs yet.
Self care is simple. A little bit of time each day, that is just for me. Yoga, meditation, zoning out to some music, anything that is relaxing and for me and me alone. Sometimes after a busy day at work all I want to do is go home and blob in front of the TV, but the reality is, that isn’t the kind of me time I need. I need a little time alone each day, doing something nice for myself. Sometimes it seems like too much effort, but I’m going to focus on it more now because I don’t want to burn out again.
It’s now 3.19 am and while I should be asleep, my current mental state has decided otherwise for me. I’ve been awake since just before one and I’m not even tired, even though I’m still sick and all I want to do is sleep. At first, I tried ignoring being awake. In the past I’ve found that can sometimes work. It didn’t. It’s too cold to get up, so I did something stupid. I checked my phone.
Ok, it’s not stupid stupid, I read a few blogs and I wrote down my feelings here, so I do feel better (still not ready to sleep though grrr), however electronic devices are a big no no when you can’t sleep so I know that realistically I’m doing myself more harm than good. But I’m bored. I tired of trying to ignore the fact that I can’t sleep and ending up in a whirlwind of negative thoughts and having something to do while staying warm in bed has been a welcome distraction. Hopefully work tomorrow isn’t too hard with the lack of sleep.
Life is busy, stressful and constantly throwing hurdles in our way and it doesn’t take long before it gets overwhelming. It’s hard to stay on top, but even harder when you’re not looking after number one. I’ve had a couple of reminders of that this year and I’m hoping that I don’t forget it again.
Smiles and Sunshine