Unkept

Unkept

Today is brought to you by the letter “U” and I choose for it to stand for “UNKEPT” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

Whenever I get into one of my depressive episodes, I become unkept.  I rarely brush my teeth and will only shower about 2 times in a week, if that.  If I didn’t have to go to my doctors appointments, I probably wouldn’t bother at all.  It all becomes so tiring, so overwhelming.

When I get depressed, I just stop caring for my well-being and because everything seems like such a chore, I forgo the basics.  I usually just pull on a sweatshirt and ball cap and make my way to the store when I must, all the while praying I don’t run into someone I know.  I have never been a girly girl so my usual is a pair of jeans and a shirt or sweater.  Right now, I am wearing my shirt I slept in and a pair a jeans that I really need to wash.  My socks I put on this morning were brought to me by my lovely golden retriever.  I usually take them off while in bed and they end up on the floor or on my dog’s bed come morning.

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Lethargy

lethargy

Today is brought to you by the letter “L” and I choose for it to stand for “Lethargy” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

When I am in one of my depressive episodes, I know it is really bad when the lethargy sets in.  I lie in bed in the dark, both unable and unwilling to move.  My lack of appetite is partly due to the fact that my body perceives “getting up and making something to eat” as a tiresome process.  I lie there thinking I should eat something but it is just too much of a deal to make anything.  That would require some thought, dexterity, energy and patience- all of which I rarely possess when I am depressed.

Lethargy can be strangely soothing at times.  I think to myself that I don’t need to go anywhere, I can just stay wrapped up in the warm blanket of depression, tears flowing down my face as I lie paralyzed in my bed.  Forget the responsibilities, forget the errands, forget getting dressed and just be lethargic.

Kindness

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Today is brought to you by the letter “K” and I choose for it to stand for “KINDNESS” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

When I first thought about writing this post, I was going to focus more on how it is so important when living with depression and anxiety, to be kind to yourself but after some thought, I decided to talk about how it is important to show kindness to other people.  Did you know there is a random act of kindness day and it is being celebrated on November 13 this year?  It also happens to fall on a Friday.  I had no idea this day existed, let alone how widely it is celebrated.  If you are interested in more info about random act of kindness day, it can be found here.

It doesn’t take much kindness to improve someone’s life.  You would be surprised how a small, seemingly insignificant act of kindness can impact a stranger having a rough day.  I know this because I have been on the receiving end and a little gesture can brighten an otherwise dark day.  be_kind_whenever_possible_postcards-r6a420dd2583f4f918abca98c18405739_vgbaq_8byvr_512A good example of this is when I read your supportive comments on my posts 🙂

If you want to perform a random act of kindness then here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Clean up your community of trash (Spring cleaning)
  • Take in the neighbour’s empty garbage pails when you get yours
  • Pick up groceries for an elderly or sick neighbour
  • Tell a store manager when you get really great service
  • Offer to load heavy bags into someone’s car for them
  • If you see someone who looks lost, ask them if they need help
  • Say good day and smile to someone you pass on the street
  • Tell someone how much they mean to you

No matter how crappy you might feel, try to pay it forward and make a small difference in someone’s life.  Speaking of which, I also just found out it is Pay it Forward Day April 30th.  Seize the day!

Guilt

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Today is brought to you by the letter “G” and I choose for it to stand for “GUILT” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

From Wikipedia:

Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes —accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation. It is closely related to the concept of remorse.  (More on that topic later in the month)

Sound familiar?  Guilt seems to travel hand in hand with depression, or at least it has with mine.  I frequently feel guilty that I am off work on disability and earning a smaller salary as a result.  This makes me feel like I am not pulling my weight in my relationship and starts all sorts of negative self talk in my head.  8c3206994a71f489bf6a5ea60663d8d7I know I shouldn’t think like that and my partner is fine with that whole thing but I can’t stop thinking that, no matter how many times you tell me.  I know it’s frustrating to you, guess how I feel?

I also feel really guilty that I am not “there” for my partner like she is for me.  She never needs anything, as she has such a sunny disposition and is always happy it seems.  Right now as I write these words, I can hear her upstairs in the kitchen puttering around, whistling some made up tune.  I wish I wasn’t in an anxious or depressed mood half the time, ruining her mood.  I sometimes wonder why she is still here with me after 25 years, it’s a shear miracle.

I feel very guilty when my depression floods back in suddenly and I am left crumpled in my bed, unable to take my dog for a walk.  My partner takes her alone and just “understands”.  My poor sweet dog, loves me unconditionally and here I am, ignoring her wants and desires.  Walks are what she lives for and sometimes I can’t get my ass out of bed to make her happy.

Thank goodness I am having another good week and my energy has slowly returned.  I can actually feel the difference between being depressed and just being lazy so I’ve started running again.  My partner and I had started running again this Spring, after a few years layoff but it lasted until it started snowing again.  I need to keep it up and make it a habit if it stands a chance of sticking.  In the meantime, I’m slowly catching myself more and more when I slam myself into a guilt trip and try to put the brakes on it before my whole mood gets shot for the day.  I am also feeling more creative with my photography and can’t wait for some warmer weather here in Canada to get out and shoot some Spring flowers.

I DID IT!

I did it.  I actually went out to that Grand Opening of a new restaurant I wanted to try.  EVERYTHING on the menu was half price and I really enjoyed myself.  As soon as my partner came home from work last night, she saw I was dressed (not nicely but it wasn’t my usual pajamas) and inquired if we were going somewhere. I told her a really wanted to try this new place even though it was a bit late but I was wrestling with my anxiety.

I didn’t speak with anyone there except the waitress and when the owner stopped by our table.  It was a community event but I was too embarrassed to put myself out there and talk to people.  Will they see through my bravado and see that I am depressed, anxious and self loathing?  We sat at our little table all to ourselves and spoke about the day.  We don’t go out much so it was nice.

Anxiety Prevents Me From Meeting New People and Networking

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Joined a Facebook group for my neighbourhood (sorry spell check, you are incorrect, I’m Canadian!  This is an interesting, close-knit group that seem to have lots of opinions.  I like to get the latest info on new stores opening in our village and things like that but am a bit leery about the whole thing.  There is a Grand Opening of a restaurant down the street that many from this Facebook community are planning to attend. I want to go BUT I make excuses like :

  • Oh, my partner works till 830pm, might be too late to go.
  • I haven’t showered today (its Saturday, I’m depressed and I didn’t go anywhere today so don’t judge!)
  • I might get too anxious and say something stupid or worse, they could ask about my work .  Do I tell them I am off on disability?  Don’t think so.
  • I can’t drink to calm my nerves.  I am staying away from alcohol, as it is a depressant.

So, as I was writing this, I walked away twice to go “freshen up”, thinking I still have an hour before my partner gets home, then we could go.  I want to go but I keep coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t go.  I’m anxious, plain and simple.  My anxiety is winning.