When the Days Aren’t So Bright Anymore, This Is How I Bring My Light Back
“What you’re describing sounds a bit like depression.”
That sentence rang in my ears for days after my therapist somewhat casually mentioned it in our conversation last week.
She was right, though. I began the fall semester with a smile on my face, ready to have an amazing time, high-vibrational af. California was a renewal period, filled with happy memories and endless love of self. I came back home high off of the life I lived there. Six months later, I feel pretty much the opposite.
I don’t always talk about my mental health because sometimes when I speak too much about it I feel like I’m validating it, speaking it more into existence, and letting it overcome me.
This time, however, I feel like it’s necessary.
My summer wasn’t perfect, but it was a huge transformational period for me that solidified the strength I hadn’t been sure I possessed. In fact, the picture below was taken an hour or two after I had just gone ballistic on my ex-boyfriend for putting me through the ringer and breaking up with me for the second time. I played it off well, right? Coming back to school in the fall and facing a city where I’d battled both anxiety and eating disorders and made endless memories with him was a challenge for me, one I was determined to succeed at.
I have this need to be involved in everything I possibly can, one that often leaves me mentally exhausted. This semester I was a full-time student, had a part-time job, attended interview after interview throughout all of October to find the perfect fit for my third and final co-op, wrote blogs, consulted and led leadership workshops, kept up with my assignments, and tried to have a social life in between all that. I was completely overloaded, and soon found myself disconnecting more and more from my spirit in order to cope with my busy life.
Life blazed by and I lost the need to do anything for myself. I said yes to every request, even the ones my intuition was screaming “NO!” to.
The more responsibilities that piled up, the less I felt like I mattered.
I assumed the attitude that this was just how it was going to be, and I did it to myself. I stopped meditating every single morning, didn’t go to yoga for a month, barely journaled, and began to ridicule my body and eating habits. A lot has happened to me and around me since I’ve gotten back to Boston. It’s been overwhelming to process, so I just stopped trying to and shut down almost entirely.
I didn’t want to tell anyone.
Especially you lovely readers, because I didn’t want to show that I had somewhat fallen back into a familiar position that I hadn’t experienced in over a year. I also didn’t want to admit to myself that I was starting to feel like the old me. The one who lived her life in a constant state of negativity. The one who always felt empty and disconnected and dependent on others.
After coming to terms with my reality and what my therapist had observed, I decided to take action. I am no longer the person who allows herself to slip into oblivion, especially now that I’ve seen what true happiness looks like for me. I’m a complex human being, and it’s okay to have gotten a little off track. Now, I’m committed to getting closer to my spirit. Here’s how I’m going to do it.
I’m taking my time back.
In other words, Reclaiming My MF’in Time. I’m dedicating at least an hour a day to my own self-care and wellbeing. The truth is, my mental state doesn’t fare very well when I don’t take care of myself. Doing things for me is the remedy to a lot of my anxiety and depression, and I’m going to take it more seriously. I’m going to resume my daily meditation practice and welcome that streak back in my meditation app, not for the high number, but for me. My energy healer talked to me about the importance of incorporating movement into my life and how much it helps to nurture my spirit. I might not have made it to yoga much recently, but now that I’ve found some great online resources, I’ve got no excuse.
I’m listening to my intuition and saying no.
A huge part of the reason why I fell into a depressed state is that I stopped listening to my intuition. Many nights I would drag myself out of bed after a long day to hang out with people when I was beyond exhausted. I felt obligated to do things that made other people happy because I didn’t want to let anyone down or be at the mercy of hurt feelings. Now, when I’m not feeling up to something, I simply ask to reschedule (in a reasonable amount of time). I’m learning that I’m not personally responsible for what other people feel when I decide to choose myself.
Some people say they don’t need that much sleep (which I believe is a lie) but I sure do. From now on, going to bed before 12am each night is the goal.
I’m prioritizing what I love to do.
You may have noticed I didn’t post as much this semester. Yes, I was incredibly busy, but I also began to think that I needed to completely prioritize responsibilities over the things I loved to do. If ever a thought popped up to do blog-related tasks, another would immediately follow telling me I should be doing homework or sending out emails. What I failed to realize was that the more I incorporate the things I love into my life, the easier it is to do things I’m not so keen on doing. It’s all about that balance y’all, so you’ll be hearing more from me soon.
Opening up can be a little tough these days, so thank you all for listening and being the amazing humans that you are. I can’t WAIT to see what 2018 brings for all of us -- hopefully more sleep?? Love y'all the most!