OK. So, I hit a wall this weekend.
Instead of being productive, I listened to what my body and mind were both screaming: “Girl, you gotta SLOW THE EFF DOWN.”
Fine. Fine. FINE. Just stop yelling at me.
I unplugged. I slept in (something that is TOTALLY unfamiliar to me). I let my body just be because here’s the thing with depressives. We burn the candle at both ends until there is no fire left to ignite our physical being and mind. I know this feeling all too well. I start out so well, even and steady and solid. Then, I go into manic mode. I start projects, leave them half finished, write a poem, throw it out after about four lines, and then I go into hiding. I retreat. There is constant desire to keep up with everything and I just can’t. I often don’t know when to pull in the reigns which gets me in trouble and eventually, I find myself feeling sick.
It’s been easier to detect the oncoming effects of a meltdown before it gets bad, but I need help in watching for those clues. I sometimes feel like I am caught between two forces pulling me in opposite directions. Sometimes, my friends are relentless. Sometimes, I feel inconveniences. Sometimes, I just don’t want to answer my f*cking phone. I woke up on Sunday (after a restful night of slumber) to text overload with questions asking where I was, what was I doing, and if I was alive. Needless to say, my eyelids started to flutter as I read through half of the messages and then burrowed beneath my comforter.
To answer these questions:
-I was in bed. Sleeping. Until 11AM. Because I was tired. Don’t tell me how to live my life. (What I say when I’m feeling sassy)
-See answer above.
-I’m alive. If I wasn’t, you would know. Trust me.
I get where the worry stems from. When you are someone that deals openly with mental illness, you have those handful of friends that are concerned for your well being when you fall off the face of the earth. To these friends, and I’m sure you have them, too, we are OK but we are overwhelmed with the interrogations and the feeling of guilt you sometimes put on us. If we miss a party or cancel dinner plans, it’s because we are going through something. It doesn’t mean we need your help. It means we need to just be. We are subliminally telling you to give us space, that we’ll talk to you in the morning, and to let us be one with our couch and Netflix. I have a few friends who get it. All I have to say is, “Hey, I’m going through a bit of a sad spell right now and just want to be a hermit.” They usually respond with, “I totally get it. Go watch Harry Potter now.”
But if I try that out with another group of friends, it’s like being on an episode of Law & Order and Benson is down my throat, telling me that getting out will be good for me, that being with friends is better than being alone, that I should just come out and have some fun.
No. No. Annnnnnnd nope.
Alone time is good, especially for someone like me who has a mind that is constantly moving at the speed of light and I work in an industry where I have to be “on” for a good portion of my day. So to my fellow hermits, it’s OK to say “no” to your friends and it’s OK not give a detailed explanation. When you are in need of that time to unwind, own it. It’s your entire being telling you to slow it down. Soften the impact of a “crash & burn” by recognizing the subtle signs your mind is saying to the rest of you and back away from the stress factors. You are allowed to be a couch potato for a day or two.
I know I usually write about 5 poems a day but I didn’t have it in me this weekend. I caught up on The Missing and cooked (SUCCESS!) and showered at 5PM last night. Even my phone stayed in another room for most of the weekend. I DIDN’T EVEN PRACTICE YOGA AT THE STUDIO. BAM! Monday is here. I am feeling rested, rejuvenated, back on my game. Oh, I also switched up my medication so that’s probably why I’ve been a little fuzzy but such is the life of The Happy Depressive. 🙂
And now, back to our regularly scheduled agenda.