Trigger warning: self harm and depression
I notice depression a lot easier now because I know what to look for in my behaviour, as well as how I am feeling.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been in a very low place mentally. I have only gotten out of bed to look after my daughter. I have cut my arm multiple times. I have felt that aching, heavy feeling in my heart and throughout my body.
Depression also attacks your motivation and inspiration. A common symptom is that you have lost interest in the things that normally bring you joy. I have noticed my depression by not only feeling very low but also the loss of my favourite habits and hobbies.
Habits and Hobbies that have been missing
1. Writing in my journal. My counsellor suggested that maybe I am afraid to meet myself on the page. I think she might be right.
2. Writing (anything). I’m forcing myself to make this blog post because I think if I publish something, it might break this no-writing cycle. I’ve been getting ideas for things to write but when it comes to it, I can get a sentence or two and then I give up.
3. Using my planner. I make my usual to-do lists most weeks, but I am no longer looking at them. I’m just getting through each day best I can, even if that means avoiding admin type stuff, general house chores or social engagements.
4. Working out. I still go for runs and do Pilates or yoga, but not as often as I used to. It gives me a short term release from stress but that’s about it.
5. Talking to friends/ family. I’m taking much longer to reply to people through Whatsapp or DM’s or emails. I suppose I feel like I have less to say. Or perhaps, less value in what I have to say. I have also noticed that whenever I am on the phone to my mum, and am asked how I am, I give a very quick; “I’m fine thanks you?” as an answer. It also feels like a lot of energy to spend to be social.*
6. Reading. Weirdly, reading has seemed like a hard task to concentrate on, even though it is a form of escapism.
What I’ve been doing instead
- Watching endless Youtube videos. Normally it’s compilation videos of Vines, but it also includes ASMR videos and old Jenna Marbles/ Safiya Nygaard videos.
- Making art. Thankfully I haven’t really stopped making art stuff on the living room floor during the evening. I think it’s been the only way I’ve been comfortable to express myself. (If you want to see some of my art stuff, check out my Etsy shop!)
- Scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Instead of reading as much at night time, or even during the day (whenever I get the chance), I will sit scrolling through Instagram videos or stories for far too long.
I hope one day soon I’ll be feeling okay enough to do the things I have been missing, especially writing and writing in my journal. I worry that once my counselling sessions finish, I will feel a great loss (I’m already anxious about it ending) as well as have no coping mechanisms to take it’s place.
I suppose I can only take things one day at a time.
*= Sorry if I have been slow to reply to any of you. It’s nothing personal I promise!