The last few weeks have been hard for me. My depression got a jump start due to a conversation that triggered some of my trauma responses. And then some other things happened that triggered more trauma responses. I call them trauma responses for the lack of a better term. My body reacts to the trigger as though it were re-experiencing the original event. Some of those experiences are very violent and painful.
After the first trigger, I went into a hard depression spiral. I was barely coming out of the spiral when things happened, though planned, that set me off again. And here we are on day four of the depression. I had stopped eating and taking care of myself. I am very aware of what is going on with the depression, yet; I feel like I can’t do anything to bring myself out of the depression.
Because depression makes me feel out of control, I have created my anti-depression check list. It is just a list that has things like eating and other self-care things on it. I try to check off the self-care things I accomplish. My checklist is pretty detailed. It has to be, or things won’t get done. When I am feeling this much depression, I let a lot of things slip through the cracks.
One of the other things I have done is make a schedule for when I can go hide in my bed from the world. Hiding in my bed is my go-to when I am depressed. I hide in the bed and read or hide. Now I have to wait until 6:30 in the evening before I can climb back in and hide under the covers. There are exceptions to the rule, especially if my feet swell or I have pushed myself too hard and need to lay down because of my body being in pain. Listening to my body is also on my checklist. The other health problems that I have sometimes mean that I need to rest or slow down to avoid acerbating my condition.
A new thing I have on my checklist is to write down (I find it works better if I write it down rather than say it), “What did I do that was actually worth my time?” I got this from the Emotional Agility book I wrote about earlier. I have only been doing this for a few days. Doing this not only gets me to look at my day in retrospect but also to think about what I am doing. Is what I am doing right now worth the time and energy I am putting into it, or is there something else I could do?
I am trying to learn to be kind and compassionate with myself through the structure of my lists. It seems to be helping. Today I ate breakfast and drank a portion of the water I have set aside for the day. I still feel the overwhelming feeling of being lost in a fog, but I am also finding something to hold onto with the structures I have in place. I am also trying to be kind in accepting that I am struggling and not pushing things too hard. Because ultimately, all I can do is give myself the space to heal and keep myself safe while doing it.