You can be going along your merry little way, trying hard, not thinking too much and then BAMM! The blues hit you out of nowhere. For some it's just a week of feeling out of sorts, for others it's a constant struggle just to get out of bed, and for a few it's somewhere in between. You can get up, but you may feel like crying on the train and can't figure out why. Then you feel guilty for feeling sad. Then you feel worse and on it goes...
There are plenty of times when the thing that has you down is pretty fecking obvious. It's staring you right in the face; you know exactly what it is. It's a tangible problem that you may or may not have an answer for right now. And that is a rough time, there is no denying. Other times though it makes no sense at all. You're trying your hardest to just be good, live a life, show up and instead anxiety, depression, insomnia, all that fun shit just goes NOPE, not today, buddy!
September is a weird month. I've never particularly liked it and for the last couple of years have managed to be out of the country focused on work or travel. I don't know why, but September freaks me out. Autumn is my favourite time, but I just want to fast forward to October already. But September is also a bunch of other good things - people are doing Sober September, H2o Only Project, Self-Care September and it's also Suicide Prevention awareness this month. And there's the #unfilteredlife project too. And it's a bunch of my friends birthdays, happy birthday guys! Sandwiched you in there...
Here is just a bunch of links for stuff -
https://www.seemescotland.org - Mental health campaign
http://www.chooselife.net/ - Suicide prevention information and support
http://young.scot/get-the-lowdown/articles/depression/ - Young Scot on depression
http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/ - NHS help
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Depression/Pages/Introduction.aspx - NHS information
http://www.theh2oproject.org/ - RNLI water saving campaign
http://www.refuge.org.uk/ - Domestic violence help for women and children
http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/ - Homelessness organisation
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ - Free financial advice
http://www.thebodypositive.org/ - the Body Positive movement
http://www.griefencounter.org.uk/ - helping children through bereavement
Feeling completely worthless is horrible. You are worth something! I promise. But I know it's hard to believe sometimes (especially from some random blogger) even when those who love you tell you so. Partly because you feel so wretched it's hard to accept love as being a real thing at all. All I can say is, personally I've felt it, I've seen it and I believe in it, but if you're surrounded by arseholes it may be a tad difficult to get a grip on. Lose the arseholes and love yourself a little bit!
If you're feeling awful reach out, call a helpline, chat with your doctor, call a pal. No-one can just magically just get better alone; everyone needs help to do great things.
Sometimes the thing you need is in fact a rest, but an actual rest. Time off the day job doesn't automatically mean that.
Things I've found helpful, not saying they'll work for everyone, but they've helped me a little bit so maybe there's one or two things that might be useful:
- sleep, actual real sleep. It's an elusive bastard at the best of times, but giving yourself permission to just actually rest is a rare and wonderful thing. Sleeping pills are the devil. Acupressure - surprisingly helpful!
- volunteering - for literally any kind of charity thing, even helping do a very small tiny thing. Donating blood if you can. Buy a Big Issue. Sign a government petition. Support a local shop. It's harder to argue with yourself about being worthless when there's empirical evidence of you out there being fucking useful and engaging with the world.
- cleaning - some days you can't see the point in getting dressed. So don't, but do give yourself a kind loving wash and maybe tidy up a teeny bit on put on some clean jammies. Look after yourself.
- feed yourself - fill yourself up with goodness, veggies and the like. Cook something really nice if you're into it or just bang some half decent soup in the microwave if not. But take time over eating. Take time to notice you're putting something good into yourself. Because you believe it will help you heal and because it's fuel for something you will strong enough again to do soon.
- get out of your comfort zone - this doesn't have to be an expensive trip somewhere (though also nice if you can) - this can literally be a library book. Immerse yourself in a different kind of world. Read about something new, watch a new show, read about another country, another time online. Listen to music from somewhere else in the globe. If you're feeling stronger try something new. Hula hoops and trampolines can be fun. Knitting is also brilliant.
- write it down - for me anyway because I'm some kind of writer (legit, I am writing this book that 3 people want to read), I write stuff down. I just write and write until things make sense. I start with a few sentences about how bad I feel, or how much of a failure I am (depending on the day of the week) and then it all just tumbles out. Then I can read and decide to use it as constructive points or just burn it - either way I feel better.
- seeing the doctor - hit and miss for a long time, but I've finally found a doctor who is efficient, but very helpful and actually listens. And that is worth finding. You feel lighter just walking out of an appointment when someone has actually listened to you for five minutes.
- be a pal - would talk to your friend the way you talk to yourself? No, you'd probably fight someone who talked about them that way. So be your own pal.
- try to remember what you love - before this, before the abyss, before the black void - what did you like? music? going to the park? sticking your tongue out in the rain? wriggling your toes in the sand? did you have a favourite chocolate bar? Finding just one of these can be a great comfort when you feel like you've forgotten who you are.
- animals - I can't overstate the healing powers of pets. My cats are lifelines. But so is watching Foster Kittens on Instagram.