This is not a textile based post or Bardic, or anything SCA related. Or even fun really. No. This my loves is a post on depression, mental health, and self care. This time of year is hard for a lot of folks, me included, so it’s timely.
A gentle reminder before I begin: I filter comments. This is to prevent spam ads. Thus far I’ve approved every comment made on every post I’ve published. Given the nature of this post I’m making an exception for this topic alone. I will not approve any comment that is insulting, derogatory in nature, or dismissive of mental health issues. I don’t care if it is a comment or response to a comment. Comments perpetuating stigma around medication vs other coping mechanisms will likewise languish in limbo.
I live with pretty severe depression, generalized anxiety, and PTSD. Part of why my posts and updates are so sporadic. Some days I just Can Not. And that’s fine. It’s a limitation I live with.
My depression gets worse in winter. I don’t sleep, I eat weird (when I eat at all) and my motivation to do anything is crap. But because I overload with projects I have to keep doing things. This always ends up in the guilt death spiral. Which doesn’t help.
It makes me doubt what I can do and who I am. Which leads to imposter syndrome. And more Anxiety.
Ultimately this culminates in suicidal thoughts. Eventually this comes around every few months. I refer to it as dodging mental assassins. I’m not looking for advice on how to deal with/get rid of them. I pay a professional for that and take chemicals to help my brain chemistry work. In my case I can get along with over the counter herbal solutions and managing diet. I know that makes me lucky.
This is not an advice post. This is a you are not alone post.
You are better than your brain tells you.
You are more important than the things you can do for others.
You are worth more than your dollar figure.
You are not defined by your job.
And finally: you do not need a big reason to keep living. Everyone talks about living for your family, your kids, to see the world, to change something important, to have an impact. And if that’s what keeps you going? Great, hold onto that.
But if not? Then grab something small. Honestly guys, one attempt of mine was dodged by the realization that my husband would be out of town for too many hours for my dogs to hold their pee. I’m alive because my dogs bladders don’t last 20 hours between empties. Grab anything. And just, hold onto it for an hour or so. Then cling to something else.
It sucks. I’m not going to sugar coat this shit. It really fucking sucks to be sitting there crying, feeling useless and worthless and just wanting the whole world to stop for five gods damned seconds so you can fucking breathe, and deciding to keep going. It sucks to tell death to fuck off on days you’d really rather just welcome him in like an old friend. And sometimes? Sometimes you wonder why you bothered in the first place.
But try. You’ve got this. I promise.
Self Care helps. I’m not talking about sit in the tub/treat yourself self care. No. I’m talking about taking your meds every day, doing your exercise routine when you can, remembering to shower self care. The basic things that seem impossible to accomplish when you’re dodging mental assassins. The hard stuff. But do it.
If for no other reason than because it’ll really annoy the part of your brain that tells you you’re not worth taking care of. And fuck that part.