One thing I am experiencing in this new downward spiral of my mental health is the fact that all my passion seems to be gone. No, I am not talking about the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world’s and my relationship. I am so lucky to have a man at my side who just takes me as I am. Depressed or not.
What I am talking about is my passion for reading, blogging, walking, taking photos. I still do these things because over a lifetime of living with a mental health condition I have learned that when I give these things up I have lost the fight. However, I rather have to usher myself to follow my passions up than that they just come naturally and I just do them as part of my life.
That is one thing people with no mental health condition often do not understand: Firstly, it is not in my hands to “just get on with it” because something goes wrong in my brain in those times when depression hits. I can’t just read, write or go for a walk because something inside of me makes sure it feels like the worst thing possible to do. And a natural reaction is to avoid things that feel wrong. And secondly, just because I do things “normal” people do, doesn’t mean I am ok and have no problem.
As I said above I have learned the hard way that you lose as soon as you stop doing the things you love. But it needs an awful lot of energy to follow your passions when you are depressed or anxious. And medication only helps so much. You still have to work around that wall that stands between you and your passion. Does that make sense?
I said a couple of days ago that I am blogging like a maniac because I feel anxious. That is the case but at the same time, it needs the energy to keep my thoughts in order because they jump around like a load of happy frogs and my mind also tells me that I am doing a totally crap job and that I am such a loser. That it is better to stay in bed and hide under the covers.
My way of coping is to start doing only one thing of what I like to do, what I have to do and what’s a daily chore. Like I make sure I blog because it feels the easiest, do household chores because I see an instant result and it shows me I am not a total loser and walk the dog because nature is a great healer. That is a tool I have learned with an online Mental Health course via the Wellbeing service.
The trick is not to overstretch yourself. You can start with tiny bits like just doing the dishes. Or if that’s too much just clean your tea mug. Or you start just drawing a picture. And if that’s too much just draw a stick person. You get the gist. Time and time again I experienced that if you start with one little thing the rest comes back. No, not immediately and it often still needs some persuasion for me but if you stick with that little task or passion you will get through because you do not give into the lies that depression and anxiety are too good at making you believe.
Unfortunately, there is no right way of healing or getting through a mental health crisis. Everybody experiences their mental health in their individual way and what works for one person doesn’t work for another. You need to experiment until you find your way of getting out. And I have to say every crisis I have experienced in the last 10 years has been different too. At least the black dog keeps me occupied ;-).
Help for mental health problems:
This post takes part in “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and answers to the prompt “Passion”