I’m not going to lie. The last few weeks has been tough. Not so much in a physical aspect but more emotionally and mentally. So what has happened in the last few weeks to bring this on?
I started noticing the feeling of trudging through sludge early in the year. I brushed it aside thinking it was stress from studies and an irregular routine. As the days grew shorter, I felt like I was withdrawing from my family and friends, I was easily irritated and all I wanted to do was sleep. Because I was always lethargic, I stopped going to the gym and walking. I misplaced my Fitbit and never bothered looking for it as it would only serve as a constant reminder of my failure. Control was slipping from my hands so I started controlling what I was eating. The stress, lack of exercise and weird eating patterns started affecting my blood glucose readings. It was higher than what I would always expect and it just became frustrating.
The word depression floated around my mind but I pushed it aside. I felt like I had nothing much to say to anyone and if I said anything people would tell me to suck it up and do something about it. Despite entering an exciting new chapter of my life, I felt miserable and alone. I knew I had to do something about it. Anything!
With a gentle supportive nudge from friends, I forced myself to attend social events. The more I engaged with others and laughed, the better I felt. Encouraged, I tried this out with my boyfriend, which has been working well so far. I started using my diary to write down the things I needed to finish and broke them down into smaller, more achievable tasks. This way I would not have a thousand and one thoughts in my mind to stress over. I ‘miraculously’ found my Fitbit and started using it again and going back to the gym. I started a Tumblr account documenting the odd postboxes I encountered during my walks as an incentive. I also started another Tumblr account to note down one thing that happened during the day that I was happy about. Although in my head simply going to the gym is an accomplishment in itself at the moment, I thought deeper and found many things to be appreciative of each day. It was also really nice to end the day on a positive reflection.
I am starting to embrace the notion of this ‘holiday’ and the idea of ‘relaxing’. Sure I need to find work, but I am confident my time will come and the right job will be there for me. In the meantime, I’ll just be plugging away at my little projects!
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t ignore it. Sometimes all that is needed is support and for loved ones to just be there. But please check out resources such as Diabetes Counselling Online and Beyond Blue to help cope with your black dog or to support those battling their black dogs.