Falling in Slow Motion
Okay, it's once again been a month since I've last written (though I did get an article out to a publication, so that was good). I was doing better about writing here more consistently, but between the business of getting my (super awesome) tea company moved and re-inspected/certified & then playing SO MUCH catch up, keeping up with school, dealing with some personal things, the ongoing health things, a really stressful/irritating employee issue, and some pretty notable brain fog, I just haven't had it in me to write. But despite still being quite tired, I'm here, making an effort, trying to get back into the swing of things.
I've been half working on a very intimate and detailed piece about CPTSD, but that is an involved topic, and requires an awful lot from me. So... coming soon... eventually... someday! But not yet.
Aside from things being busy and my brain being full of cotton, life has actually been really good. The weather is finally starting to get nice, and I've spent a lot of time outside recently (and am subsequently quite sunburned). I've spent time with people I enjoy/care about, and have taken time to read, draw, ride my bike... I've even taken the occasional half day off! But even so, I've been skirting the edges of a depressive episode for... weeks now. I've kept it at bay pretty well, but I can feel the twinges creeping in. And it's weird, because I've dealt with this (Major Depressive Disorder) my whole life. I can identify even the super subtle red flags of an impending episode from a mile off, blindfolded, in a gale force wind. But sometimes even when I go through my checklist of "right things to do" to stave off that depression drop, it still happens. And it's the weirdest feeling. Like watching yourself fall in slow motion. Like in a dream when you try to run away, but you can't. Go to scream, but nothing comes out. Paralysis, but not. Just absolute ineffectiveness.
Part of it this time, I think, (in addition to just pushing myself way too hard, as always) is some of the self-work I've been doing. Identifying some of my fairly substantial issues and tirggers, addressing them head-on, facing my "shadow self" as they say. And it's hard, and dark, and scary (more on this in the CPTS post). And in that vein, it's looking at events that make me sad/angry/depressed, that spark that downward depression-spiral and, instead of suppressing them or giving into them, I'm analyzing them. Trying to work through whether these are legitimate feelings I'm having, or a trauma/survival/learned response that I need to let go of and move through. Which is good, right? But also it means I can't just push bad feels to the side and pretend they don't exist anymore. So, also depression.
But even so, she persisted. I'm doing all the right things (which I have learned over years of trial and error and self-help books and college learnin' and thousands and thousands of dollars of therapy). I have an amazing support system, namely my bestie/soul mate Mo and my girlfriend/work wife Alicia. There are many others (I'm so blessed), but these two keep my feet on the ground on almost a daily basis, and I would be lost without them. I'm continuing with my stoicism work, which is always helpful and gives me some of the tools I need to keep my head on straight and my feels in check. I'm practicing so much self-care and being ridiculously honest with myself and others. I'm making my lists to keep me on track and make my brain happy, and I'm going out of my way to care for my physical body, too.
So, that's that, I suppose. It's actually way more complex than that, but I am tired and don't want to bog you down in my struggles tonight. And... I mean... I write about this partly because I don't have the energy to write about all the things I actually want to share with you, but also because normalizing mental health struggles is important. REALLY important. In the same way that I talk about my physical disabilities (loudly and proudly, mothafucka's!), discussing and destigmatizing mental health disorders is also absolutely vital.
So, while I have this momentum up, I'm going to go make a cup of tea, scoop up the cat, and do some stream-of-consciousness style journaling about something that has been deeply bothering me, and work through some shit so I can let it go and go on being a badass!
(Professional Farrah here - I encourage you to also keep a journal if you don't already. It's mind-blowingly therapeutic.)
(as always, I am not looking for recommendations or sales pitches. I know what I'm doing. Don't @ me with your remedies. Thank you. <3 )