retrospect: how to survive the bad days

The storm has subsided (mostly)

I guess it’s like a pendulum. It goes from one extreme to the other, oscillating with all that energy being saved up and used between swings, whizzing by its equilibrium position, giving me whiplash as I try to keep up and get my head on straight. But eventually, the momentum, which is thankfully not conserved, slows it down and it stops.

Basically, when I’m coming out of a period of what I call “I just lost my goddamn mind,” it becomes more spread out. Less intense, I guess, although yesterday’s random panic attack was pretty insane. But today has been fine, and tomorrow might be a little iffy, but then the next day will most likely be fine. And so on.

That’s exhausting in its own right because I’ve said a billion times that I’d rather just feel shitty than feel shitty with periods of feeling okay. I don’t like being teased like that.  Unfortunately, I don’t have control over how it works (ugh).

I don’t think I have to explain that in the darkest depths of my depressions, I physically cannot find any good, any meaning, any safe thought to rest on. “Just being positive” is not an option because my thoughts are spinning painfully fast and I am totally unable to fathom how I’ve every functioned and how I’ll ever be able to function again. It’s all-consuming, omnipresent dread.

(Sidenote: someone literally tried to pull the whole “just be positive” bullshit on me the other day, and then proceeded to tell me about people who have it worse than I do but still have better attitudes than me…needless to say, I was not very happy…I didn’t even bother to explain how utterly wrong she was because why waste the little energy I somehow still had?)

Howeverrrrr, now that I don’t feel like death warmed over, I’m using the time to do what I always fucking do and value the semi-calm and pretend there’s meaning in this bullshit (okay, I’m still a bit negative, but go with me here). I’ve done this countless times before, but hey, why not do it again? Maybe thinking this way and preparing for the eventual and inevitable next-time will finally be of use. Fingers crossed. Anyway, here’s a list.

How to survive the bad days

  1. Just don’t

Don’t bother. Don’t try. Don’t waste precious energy. It can wait. It will have to wait. It has no choice but to wait. I’m not talking about literally everything by saying this. Obviously there are some responsibilities we can’t totally hide from. But don’t add shit to your to-do list that you don’t have to. Cut out literally everything you can cut out. Another way to phrase this might be “get your priorities straight.” And, my main point, I guess, is to not beat yourself up about not. Survival mode is difficult enough. Give yourself credit.

  1. Maintain your body one thing at a time

There are things human beings hafta do to like, be human beings. We need to take care of ourselves. Use the car analogy or whatever, cars require maintenance, bodies do too. There’s lots to do though, and right now you don’t wanna do any of them. So maybe choose one thing and then feel good that you’ve done that thing and then stop trying to do more things because #depressionisexhausting amirite? Choose from the following: wash your face, brush your teeth, have a glass of water, stretch your body, take a shower, change your clothes, open a window and get some fresh air, eat something with some sort of nutritional value

  1. Ask for help

Why face the monsters from the hell that is your brain alone? You literally don’t have to. People love you, they’re there to support you (it’s true; your depression and anxiety are lying to you, those worthless motherfuckers). I might be guilty of asking too many people for help (usually), which is bad because there’s so much input coming in, not all of it valuable or helpful, and it’s overwhelming (and I’m already overwhelmed). This round I kinda just kept to myself and didn’t answer any texts or messages because I had no brainpower to figure out how to describe this bs yet again, let alone figure out how to put words together). But when I finally thought to call one person, it was actually helpful. And I dunno, they say talking helps in general? So yeah.

  1. If you can do it, do it

If you can open your Pinterest app and find an inspirational quote, do it. If you can summon the will to put a single dish from the sink into the dishwasher, do it. If you can try to quiet your mind, try to breathe deeply in spite of the anguish, do it. If you can’t, refer to point #1 and don’t. You’ll be able to at one point or another, so just wait it out. I think giving up and not doing shit you can actually do makes things worse, though (duh).

  1. Be miserable all around the house

I assume you’ve been laying in bed all day. Maybe you’re crying or maybe you’re totally catatonic. Whatever the case may be, try to be miserable somewhere else. Sit on your couch and cry or stare blankly into space. Sit on the floor and curl into a ball there as opposed to on a comfier surface. Feel the pain in the kitchen. Drag yourself to the bathroom and feel the weight of the world there, instead. I think not staying in one place helps trigger some sort of something good in our brains. Might be totally wrong. But maybe you’ll be less bored (on top of your crippling depression).

  1. Go to sleep then be awake, repeat

I basically slept whenever I could this episode. It started with insomnia, of course (hypomania always starts with that and violent irritability, both of which are just…so unpleasant). But when I got sick enough of that I’d take Benadryl and shit to knock myself out. Dunno if that was wise, please don’t take my idiotic advice without talking to your doc. But sleeping/ not being conscious while I waited it out? Sounded good to me. Buttttt I think next time (ughhhhh next time) I’ll try to be awake when I’m awake. Not saying I’m not gonna sleep my days away. God knows I can’t make that promise. But like. There’s a certain something about being an awake and alert entity that seems helpful.

Right

Has this been helpful? Probably not to read, but it’s been helpful to write. Am I going to remember these “tips” when major depression crashed into me like the meteor that caused the ice age? Probably not. Why did I write this then? Eh, why not.

youve-survived-100-of-your-worst-days

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