I’ve gone from feeling empowered last week when I quit my job and dumped the guy I was casually seeing to feeling dangerously low. I touched briefly upon how I felt like I was going a bit crazy from taking the pill in my previous blog post. My conclusion (now I’m on my break and my thought pattern is more clear) is that for me the pill is intensifying the normal feelings of my natural cycle. So in my experience instead of feeling a bit more hungry than usual it’s like ‘oh my f**king god give me 5 packets of crisps and double the portion of dinner’. The hunger issue isn’t too bad though, my real concern is that I’m normally a bit moody and emotional before and during the first bit of my time of the month. But this was like a whole other level of intensity! Kind of like how I felt in a depressive state where you have no motivation to do anything (personal hygiene and cleanliness out the window), and everything is just so much more dramatic. I began thinking even more anxious thoughts than normal, the kind of hyper state of worrying about the most insignificant things, but everything was seriously scary. It really stressed me out for those 10 ish-days because I thought all my hard work to get myself out of a depressive/low mood just came flooding back within one pack of a bloody contraceptive pill. It genuinely felt like starting the pill had sent me on a spiraling mood swing where I’d be stuck in the low period forever.
I had a turning point yesterday where I was at my sister’s ballet competition, and I just felt pure joy watching all these little dancers having the best time on stage doing what they love. It was that pure childish, innocent love that sparked something in me. It was the final shove of the cloudy, depressive fog that hangs over you in that low period that temporarily entered my life. I just thought ‘do you know what hormones and emotions and unstable crap. fuck you. I am still happy and me‘.
Maybe it was a false state of low mood? I mean I definitely have felt awful this past week, and this turning point was not random. I had been taking steps through out the week to pull myself out of my bad mood. Here’s a little list of what I came up with:
Think in days
I’ve always been someone who is bad at focussing on today. I’ve always thought ‘what am I doing tomorrow?’ or ‘oh s**t what did I do wrong 3 weeks ago’. However, as someone who is unemployed and a bit lost this is such an unhelpful way of thinking. Also don’t forget to see this unemployment as a period of free time to think and explore yourself more without any constraints of work/uni/school etc… quite a wonderful thought when you think about it in terms of being free!
Although it can be helpful to think in terms of months and years to reach goals. When you actually need to figure out WHAT the goals are and have some dedicated me time thinking in single days is a lot less stressful. 24 hours is a long time when you look at it in terms of one day. It is easier to focus on the present and suppress stress surrounding days ahead which you lack control of. So I’m going to try and tackle one day at a time and focus on HOW I’m going to productively spend one day.
Get out of the house!
If I don’t leave the house I become a lot more low than is normal. I enjoy an aimless walk at the moment to feel more connected to life, often to coffee shops so I can get a caffeine fix. Despite shifting in my low mood cycle I’m still definitely not in the mood to socialise. Although I am now getting out the house I didn’t for a solid 5 days. To some this might sound like nothing, but as someone who’s mood was really steady this was a bit alarming. Don’t get me wrong a binge watch on netflix does have its healing properties, but you have to remember to draw the line and you can’t hide forever.
The power of walking should not be under estimated
Walks provide fantastic ‘me time’ while getting in some exercise. I can’t be bothered to drag myself to the gym and do strenuous exercise at the moment. However, walking for a couple of hours in the fresh air really is delightful.
There’s something powerful about walking through your city or park and actually taking time to immerse yourself in the surroundings. Observe the buildings, watch the people, reflect on yourself and your life in a positive environment, and not in a self swallowing pit of guilt/sadness.
I have a weird desire to be seen….
I know I literally just said I don’t want to socialise, but I’m in this really bizarre, contradictory mood at the moment. I don’t want to be with people I know and engage in conversation, but I do want to be seen and be surrounded by strangers. I have a desire to go out and observe society, but not be bothered. For example, I went into central (London) the other day fully made up, in quite a cool outfit and I just aimlessly walked and browsed for hours. It was a great day. I’ve been having more urges to experience things by myself such as comedy shows/theatre/gigs. It’s like I’m bored of people I know but I’m actually fascinated by the world and the humans in it so I’m almost re discovering things.
So I have about as much artistic skill as a plank of wood. But I do love clothes and a keen eye for fashion/details. One thing that I noticed when I first started taking my anti depressants was a renewed interest in clothes and make up. I wanted to get dressed up and wear make up on a daily basis to look like a girl and feel pretty. I’ve semi reignited my desire to have fun with my wardrobe and create new looks. So I’ve been taking more time to sort through and think about my wardrobe. It’s something that I have fun doing and I find it fun to express my creative flow through what I wear even if I can’t draw or paint.
Remember self care and personal hygiene
This is gonna sound gross but in my low mood I was in too much of an unbothered mood to shower…….. It’s actually really revolting when I type it down but when you’re in a depressive/low mood state cleanliness is at the bottom of your list. It genuinely slips your mind and you have to make a conscious effort to re remember that showering is an important part of your routine.
It sounds weird because showering everyday is just a regular habit but when you’re too lost in your own thoughts you forget about the exterior. Don’t do this! Always take care of yourself because you are a being that deserves love, self care and attention.
Well that’s the end of my Sunday self reflection, which I think nicely summed up my whole week of reflecting. I know this week will be a lot more positive than the last one.