I haven’t been feeling that hot lately.
After doing so well for so long (by my standards, anyway), this is a let-down.
This is a dangerous time for me. This is when my depression tells me that it’s “all down from here.” It says, “No one gives a shit.” Mostly, it says, “It doesn’t matter.”
That last one is a doozy. Because when nothing matters, nothing matters. That’s when I’m prone to drink or use or stop doing the things that I know help me feel better.
CHANGES IN MOMENTUM
Take yoga, for instance. I did really well with a yoga app in the privacy of my own home for about 6 weeks. Then – boom! I hit a wall. I think I’ve done it twice in the last two weeks.
Now, things like this make no sense to me, because I always feel good after yoga. So why wouldn’t I keep doing it? That’s a good question. It probably has some complicated psychobabble answer, but I don’t know it off the top of my head. I’m just as surprised as anyone.
Somewhere along the way, I lost my momentum. My mind became preoccupied with a few things from the past, and before I knew it, a sense of depression had settled in. It’s better today, but that hole in my heart came back for a few days.
That’s the worst.
In my experience, life is momentum. Sometimes, you’ve got it going in your direction, other times it takes a turn and either you stand still or you slide backward, left wondering what the hell happened. If you’re not moving forward, you’re in danger of sliding back down the hill. And then it seems like all the progress you made was for naught.
I don’t really feel like writing, but thought I’d try it anyway. So this is likely to be a short post. I know, yay!, right? LOL
The thing is, you’ve got to keep plugging along. When you give up completely, there’s no coming back from that. But if you can hold onto a morsel of hope or something to look forward to, you realize the window is open just a bit. And that means you can open it a little more, then a little more, until it’s wide open and you can see again.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ROUTINE
I haven’t said much about routine on this blog, but it definitely has its place; some of us need it more than others.
I know that I need structure. That’s why I had built a routine of coffee, yoga, breathing exercises, and writing into my mornings. Lately, though, it’s just been the coffee. Then I sit around, get bored, feel unproductive, and wonder what the hell should I do now?
Maybe I feel overwhelmed. Maybe I’m expecting too much out of feeling good and actually getting excited about some things (I don’t do excited – never have). That’s exhausting.
Even so, where my morning routine was starting to ground me and help me feel like I was doing some normal, healthy, positive things, I lost my momentum. The negativity came back and has taken over. And, although I know it’s only temporary, it still feels scary and desperate.
Now, I have skills for when that happens. I need to be reminded of them (thus therapy) and they are not always easy, nor are they always what I want to do. But I know they help. So why not just do them?
Because I’m not perfect. I’m human. I have free will. That means I can choose to use my skills, call my therapist, my psychiatrist, talk to my wife, etc., or I can choose to either act out or keep everything inside and hope that I can work things out on my own (which, for the record, does not work).
The thing is, in the past, I’ve done my absolute best on my own and all it did was get me drunk and depressed.
Mindfulness of routine is very important for me. It helps keep me grounded, in the present. It helps me keep my mind occupied on what’s in front of me rather than go traipsing back into the past or worrying about the future. That’s what I like about routine. It’s all about right now.
I will keep going to therapy, call my shrink (again) because it seems he got the wrong message, talk to CeAnne, and try to begin my positive habits all over again – yoga, meds, writing, breathing, meditation, housework. Easier said than done, but if you listen enough, you’ll find that someone says just the right words at just the right time that make sense to you. That’s when I can tell myself, “I’m not such a loser, after all. Maybe I will do yoga today. And after that, I’ll write.”
Otherwise, when I stay in my own head, I think myself into a tizzy that only a crisis will be able to stop. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick of crises.
Make a list of the things you would like to incorporate into your daily life. But be sure to keep it doable! This is not a to-do list that needs to be crossed off as you complete your goals. It’s a list for you and you only, for your mental health. If you need to, try to come up with a minimum routine of what you need to do to feel better. Here are some examples:
- Take a shower
- Wash your hair
- Get dressed
- Find some quiet time
- Put on some perfume or cologne
- Light a candle
It may be most effective to change one thing at a time. Changing even one behavior can change the entire world of our thoughts – and you may be surprised how quickly it can happen.
Thanks for reading.
And Keep it Real.
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