Hey y’all! I’m back!
As some of you may have noticed I haven’t posted or really done anything blog related in a couple of weeks, actually it’s been precisely two weeks since my last post. Well, let me first start by saying I’m not sorry. I was putting myself first, and I don’t regret it one bit.
I’ve been very open with the fact that I struggle with depression and high functioning anxiety. Since my diagnosis it’s been relatively well controlled (thankfully now without medication). But, my illnesses still rear their ugly head from time to time and throw me into a major depressive episode… and that’s what’s been going on these past couple of weeks. So, I was putting my mental health on the forefront of my mind and honestly, I couldn’t worry about anything else at the time.
You see, your mental health is so unbelievably important and I don’t really think people give it enough credit. If you aren’t there mentally it’s impossible to give something your 100% physically. Not being mentally well can and will affect every aspect of your life.
I’ve been very lucky in the fact that I have figured out what works for me and what helps me combat my depression and anxiety without the use of medication.
I tried meds and discussed it in my previous post The Face of Anxiety and Depression and let me tell you, it’s no cake walk. They made me feel entirely not like myself.
Running, my family, my friends, painting, writing, reading, mediation, and yoga… these are all things that help when I’m in the midst of a depressive episode. They aren’t a be all end all, and they take time to work but they at least help give me some semblance of control and relief.
I can always tell when I’m on the brink of an episode. My nervous habits (which I have a few of) become more extreme. I start to pick at my skin and hair almost compulsively. For a few days I feel really antsy, can’t sit still, can’t focus, and am just not able to gather myself mentally. Whenever I feel this start happening I know what’s on the horizon.
I battle my illnesses daily however, for the most part they’re well controlled. However, I can go through periods of time (“episodes”) where everything just kinda crashes and I struggle with maintaining my mental health.
They can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, but usually it’s a few days from start to finish. This one was just shy of two weeks.
Whenever I’m in the middle of an episode I absolutely have to focus on myself. I have to push myself out of my comfort zone, mainly because literally everything makes me uncomfortable when I’m in the throws of an episode.
I try to make sure to put a little extra effort in when I’m getting ready for my day. If I feel like I look more put together it’s typically easier for me to act the part.
I have to meditate for long periods of time daily.
I have to be able to disconnect.
Social settings, while I enjoy them for the most part, absolutely exhaust me when I’m experiencing a depressive episode. I mean the kind of exhaustion where you can feel it all the way in your bones.
Reconnecting with nature usually helps a lot too. Thankfully I have amazing friends who understand that being outside is how I reconnect with myself and kind of reset from everything and they were willing to join me on a 9 mile hike at the break of dawn on a Saturday morning (seriously y’all, God bless them).
So, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been taking care of myself, mentally.
This is why I’ve been absent from the blog. The truth is that writing takes a lot out of me. And I just didn’t have anything to give. All of my energy was being used elsewhere.
And, while I felt terrible about not logging in and not being consistent with my posts I also am not sorry that I didn’t.
If I would have logged on they just would have been bullshit, fluff posts. And I never want to do that. I never ever ever want to post something just to have something up on the website.
Everything that I post I want to feel like it’s providing some kind of value. Whether that’s sharing with you my favorite books, music, songs, tips and tricks that I’ve learned blogging, where I get my favorite moisturizer… those are all different kinds of value, but it’s value none the less. And I never want to publish something that I don’t fully feel or believe.
So, let’s get to the value part of this post:
YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH FIRST.
Seriously, guys, your mental health is no joke.
I know so many people who live their lives exhausted, drained, and muted because they don’t think that they deserve to take a break. They “just can’t find the time” to disconnect.
And, by doing that you are doing nothing but killing yourself and living a half life. You can’t experience anything to it’s full potential when you can’t connect to it mentally and be cognitively present for it.
I know that when I can’t focus, when I’m disregarding my mental health.. I’m fucking useless. I’m all over the place. My moods are up and down, so are my emotions. It’s worse than being on my damn period.
And, I can’t perform well physically either. Now, I still go on runs when I’m in the middle of a depressive episode. Mainly because I get endorphins from it. But I’m definitely not going out and running a PR. Truuuust me. Until I’m feeling mentally there and mentally ready to push myself with each stride I run at snail speed and just enjoy the feel of my body moving.
Your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. And, in my experience it’s pretty damn hard to have one without the other.
So, take the time to make sure that when you’re stressed, or experiencing any kind of mental issue… take the time to sort your shit out. You’ll thank yourself for it in the long run.
If you don’t take the time to sort it out you’ll just end up even more mad at yourself later on down the line because of the small, careless mistakes that you made along the way; and then guess what… you’re still going to have to take the time out to care for your mental well being anyways.
So just go ahead and do it up front.
Now that I’m feeling back to normal (or at least as close to normal as I ever am) I’ll be posting back on my regular schedule. I just wanted to provide ya’ll with a brief explanation on my little hiatus.
Until next time,