Well, it’s been a year and a half since we moved to Colorado. I’m not sure where I imagined myself by this point, but I’ve got my degree, we bought a house and overall, life is so good. The one area I’ve focused on recently is social support. Now that I have this Master’s Degree and I’m beginning a new job soon, I can finally return to building my network and developing deeper friendships out here.
It hit me a few weeks ago how reserved I’ve been in pursing new friends. The old me was so outgoing, lively and ready to have fun at a moments notice. The new me takes my time to get to know people. Navigating a new social life isn’t easy, and my attitude the last 6 months wasn’t helping. (Not to mention, my internship took up a tremendous amount of time but still…) I found myself practically avoiding social situations, avoiding invites and avoiding people all together. I did some soul-searching weeks ago, trying to figure out why I felt this way and then it dawned on me: I’m depressed and somewhat homesick.
The hallmarks were there; I slept about 10-12 hours for 8 weeks or so. I binged a few times after dinner, and sometimes I didn’t feel like walking my dog when he deserved it. Seasonal depression is real and so is my inability to get out of bed sometimes. I’ve never been so depressed that I would call out of work or drink myself to death, but I’ll admit, I suffered a post-graduation slump despite my birthday, our trip to New Mexico and my husband’s amazing support. Life is weird sometimes, but luckily I’m insightful enough to recognize when I’m not doing well.
Ever since this revelation, I’ve upped my self-care game. For the last two weeks, I’ve slept 8-9 hours a night, I force myself to eat breakfast and I reach out to a friend or family member every single day, whether they’re from Tennessee or Colorado. I’m practicing mindfulness and rereading a New Earth by Eckhart Tolle for the first time in 6 years with Tika. We loving refer to this as our “Long-Distance Book Club”, and I thoroughly enjoy having an accountability buddy.
Someone nearly wrecked my efforts to maintain my inner peace recently when she decided to do something spiteful and manipulative. I won’t say who it was or what exactly happened, but I will say this: “Some people” will always be petty and creepy. The fact that this person resurfaced was funny, because it ultimately proves that I’ve remained in her head for years, and some things will never change. I would’ve never known what happened had my friend not called me to talk shit about her, but it is what it is. In the end, actions speak louder than words. And petty folks continue to ruminate.
All that’s to say, when this incident was brought to my attention, I continued about my day like normal. The old me might’ve been affected but not anymore. It’s a reminder to better myself, especially if “someone” still keeps up with what I’m doing LOL.
In moving forward I promise myself three things: To practice mindfulness more often, including radical acceptance and observing my emotions without becoming engulfed in them. I also promise to make an effort and to put my very best foot forward. When you’re feeling depressed, you tend to half-ass your responsibilities, and I don’t want to be “that guy”. I promise to make more of an effort towards my husband, our friends and family. I promise to do well in my soon-to-be new career as a counselor. And last but not least, I promise to never, ever give up on myself. I could feel myself slipping several weeks ago, and now it’s time to keep pushing forward. In the least grandiose sense possible, I know my worth, and I know I’m a good person with nothing but good intentions. I live a purposeful life, and my actions reflect my intentions.
My husband received this bulb from a coworker for Christmas. We placed it in the window sill, watered it and forgot all about it. Recently I pulled back the curtains in our kitchen and lo and behold, we had fresh blooms! I don’t care if it’s corny–this was very symbolic to me, as I was recovering from the throes of depression. This plant served as a reminder that sometimes we need to recoup, but eventually we rise to the occasion.
I guess that’s it for now! Until next time, here’s another clip from my favorite show, This is Us. Needless to say, I bawled my eyes out during this scene. This show never fails to strike a chord with every single episode, but the following scene epitomizes what it’s like to have a panic attack. As a mental health counselor, I applaud the writers for bringing more awareness to this stigmatizing epidemic.