Hey guys! It’s been quite some time, a few months actually. Nevertheless you guys have still been checking in and reading because we hit close to 46k views. Thank you!! Super exciting stuff.
I’ve been wanting to blog and write but I just couldn’t find the motivation and I LOVE writing so this came as a shock to me. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I initially started this post that I woke up and decided I wanted, no needed to make some changes. And guess what? I had the urge to write. When I need it the most I always return to my natural element, what I’m passionate about.
So what’s been going on? Honestly, I’ve been struggling mentally over the past year and it didn’t really hit me until I felt this overwhelming surge of negative feelings and emotions towards work and my current place in life over the summer. It was strange because I’ve been relatively happy these past couple months. The happiest I’ve been in a minute. I had just got a work from home job in April that paid good, my dating life was going pretty well, have this amazing kid I get to experience life with, I got a new car in June, so many things to be grateful about and for. Yet and still something felt like it was missing. I would pick up the latest book I’m working on to write and could only produce a few lines. I would come to my blog to start a post and find an excuse as to why I could do it later. Hence the reason I am finally getting back to posting. I started writing this in July my last published post was in February. And work? Let’s not even get started on that. Between having to change jobs due to not having reliable sitters and having trouble finding a job at all was exhausting. Then this work from home position came along but whew, having the flexibility to create your own work schedule can have its cons if you don’t have the discipline. At first things were well, I liked the job and had the drive to get things done on a daily basis. As time started passing I found myself waking up later in the day, putting task off until a later date, submitting things late, and preferring to spend time in my head instead of doing work, things I enjoy, or socializing.
I couldn’t understand why a job that was perfect for my current situation wasn’t bringing me any satisfaction. I had no job, my son wasn’t in daycare so I felt like I hit the jackpot when this came along. A job where I periodically had to make home visits but can work from home!? Work from home sounded absolutely perfect but the job itself brought me no joy, it only added to the negativity I was feeling. It also had its issues and stressors as any job and raising and caring for a one year old on top of trying to work through and with a clouded mind was not easy at all. I struggled because I wanted to be grateful for the employment and I was, but I became careless about it. I ended up losing the job in August and surprisingly it was a relief. I couldn’t quit because I obviously needed the money but in the end it wasn’t worth the effect it had on my mental health. This wasn’t a job I went to school 4 years to have and in turn my mind became my worst enemy. I kept thinking and feeling like I was supposed to have reached so many pinnacles by now, it brought out all the negative criticism I had towards myself. I didn’t want to admit it but I was depressed and I’m still not 100% but I’m both trying and aware so that has to count as something. I’ve never spent this much time away from my blog or even writing for that matter but I couldn’t shake the unhappiness I was truly feeling inside. I couldn’t even bring myself to journal or self-reflect. It takes a lot to openly admit when you are struggling mentally, but I’m always transparent in my journey. Blogging/writing is not only a source of motivation, inspiration, and empowerment on my behalf, but also a form of self-care that I was selling myself short on. Looking back at the past year I had to take a step back and look at the magnitude of things that I’d been dealing with.
Within the past two years alone I’ve experienced pregnancy, bringing life into the world, heartbreak, transitioning into motherhood, job issues, financial problems, and so much more that I didn’t give myself time to really digest everything that was happening emotionally and mentally. So many new and different major life changes and stressors. It shouldn’t have been a shock that this job felt like the end of the world but it was simply the tipping point and brought me some clarity when it was all said it done. Now, I’m working towards making the necessary changes and choices to better my life as a whole by factoring out anything that isn’t effecting me positively 100%, including people.
I’m working again and actively searching for a job where I can find a home in until I can go back to school and work towards what I really want. Focusing on showing up for myself so I can show up for others. I’m beginning to speak more to family and friends about what I’ve been feeling which is super important. I’m also taking more accountability and choosing to seek additional help/guidance. I’ve been considering therapy for a while but now I’m taking the initiative to do the work and research. I’ve disappeared for far too long and I’m ready to be present again in ALL aspects of my life. I’m taking it easier on myself, nurturing me like I nurture others. Trying to do more of what I enjoy and placing my energy and time in the right places.
It’s so easy to bypass your own feelings when deep down you don’t want to face them. Throwing a rug over a hole in the floor won’t fix the hole. Breezing over how you feel because you feel “alright” in that very moment can turn out to be toxic. I’m sure the rug looked nice until someone walked over the hidden death trap. Start having the same conversations with yourself that you have with other people, “How are you feeling?”, “Is there something bothering you that you want to talk about?”, etc. check in with yourself daily. By checking in with yourself you can minimize stressors and learn your triggers. Triggers are external events or circumstances that may produce very uncomfortable emotional or psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety, panic, discouragement, despair, or negative self-talk.
Remember that depression is not a choice, you can’t just snap out of it and finding or doing something that brings happiness isn’t a cure. It’s actually quite common, can effect anyone at any age, may not have a direct cause, and can’t be fixed overnight. There are different types of depression as well as severity. It does not look the same for everyone and even those who appear to be strong willed can suffer from depression. No one knew how I was feeling because I didn’t really speak on it or act different around others. I confided in very few. I also did not know or allow myself to come to terms that I was experiencing depression until it became a constant and repeated feeling among other signs I began to observe in myself, like appetite changes and weight loss in result. I didn’t feel like myself, I started having too many unhappy and mentally draining days. There are not always clear signs. Check on your loved ones. A simple, “hey, how are you? Just checking in to see how everything is going” can make a difference. Take it easy on yourself, cut yourself some slack when necessary, and pay attention to you and those you care about.
A young lady I follow on social media accurately described how I’ve been feeling about my career and passions in her short film below.
Depression and Depressive Episodes:
A depressive episode is a period characterized by low mood and other depression symptoms that lasts for 2 weeks or more. When experiencing a depressive episode, a person can try to make changes to their thoughts and behaviors to help improve their mood.
Symptoms of a depressive episode are more extreme than normal periods of low mood and may include:
- feeling sad, hopeless, or helpless
- feeling guilty or worthless
- irritability or frustration
- fatigue or low energy
- changes in appetite or weight
- loss of interest in things once enjoyed, including hobbies and socializing
- trouble concentrating or remembering
- changes in sleep patterns
- moving or talking more slowly than usual
- loss of interest in living, thoughts of death or suicide, or attempting suicide
- aches or pains that do not have an obvious physical cause
Tackling depression as soon as symptoms arise can help people recover more quickly. Even those who have experienced depression for a long time might find that making changes to the way they think and behave improves their mood. The way you think has the biggest impact on your life. That’s why helping and caring for yourself not only daily, but when you feel negative feelings entering your mind, is important.
The following tips may help people deal with a depressive episode:
- Tracking your triggers and symptoms – Keeping track of moods and symptoms might help a person understand what triggers a depressive episode. Spotting the signs of depression early on may help avoid a full-blown depressive episode. Use a journal or diary to log important thoughts, feelings, and moods.
- Possible triggers include:
- changes in daily routines
- disrupted sleep
- poor eating habits
- stress at work, home, or school
- feeling isolated, alone, or unloved
- living with abuse or mistreatment
- medical problems
- some medications
- a significant life event, such as a bereavement of a loved one, or divorce
- a traumatic incident, such as a car accident or sexual assault
- However, it is important to note that not every depressive episode will have an obvious or identifiable trigger.
- Possible triggers include:
- Stay calm – Feeling panicked or anxious is an understandable reaction to the initial symptoms of depression. Instead, focus on staying calm. Remember that depression is treatable and the feelings will not last forever. Anyone who has experienced depressive episodes before should remind themselves that they can overcome these feelings again. They should focus on their strengths and on what they have learned from previous depressive episodes if applicable. Self-help techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises can help a person learn to look at problems in a different way and promote a sense of calmness. Self-help books and phone + online counseling courses are available. Use your resources.
- Understand and accept depression – Learning more about depression can help people deal with it. Depression is a widespread and genuine mental health disorder. It is not a sign of weakness or a personal shortcoming. Accepting that a depressive episode may happen might help people deal with it when it does.
- Recognize the importance of self-care – Self-care means taking time to relax, recharge, and connect with the self and others. It also means saying no when you feel overwhelmed and taking space to calm and soothe yourself. Any action that enhances mental, emotional, and physical health can be considered a self-care activity.
- Practice mindfulness – Take some time every day to be mindful and appreciate the present moment. For ex: if you are focused on the things you don’t have that can add to your negative feelings. Focus and be grateful for what you do have. Mindfulness allows people to fully experience the moment they are in, not worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Do more of what you love and makes you feel good internally.
- Get enough sleep – Sleep can have a huge impact on mood and mental health. A lack of sleep can contribute to symptoms of depression, and depression can interfere with sleep. To avoid this, try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
- Record the positives – Depressive episodes can leave people focusing on the negatives and overlooking the positives. To counteract this, keep a positivity journal or gratitude journal. This type of journal helps to build self-esteem, can help you self reflect, and it’s a great way to vent and express how you feel. Before bed, write down three good things from the day.
- Ask for help – One of the most important steps in dealing with a depressive episode and overwhelming feelings, thoughts, and emotions, is asking for help. Seek help from: friends and family, doctor, therapist, support group. There are also several self-help apps, books, etc. which I’ll share in a different post. For apps, if you type in “self care” in the App Store that should provide a list. A few good ones are “Calm” and “Headspace: Meditation & Sleep.”
- Remember you are not alone – 10/10 there is always someone who can relate. A part of asking for help is attempting to be more vocal with those you love and care about so they can support and help you. If you have neither of those options I’m here and always a listening ear, there are also those resources I mentioned above.
Helpful numbers in U.S. include:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1800-273-8255 (1800-273-TALK)
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
There is also a forum here on the blog created for anyone to drop in for advice, to vent, share good news, etc.
Support groups and helplines similar to these are also available in other countries.
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Thanks for reading, Be Blessed & Stay Humble. As always Choose You Always!
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