The One with a Depressive Episode

I haven’t been feeling well for a while. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t stop overthinking, my anxiety was acting up and I overreacted in ways that I hadn’t for some time.

I didn’t realise how bad it had gotten though. At the end of a particularly bad day, I felt really weird and called a few people to be able to talk to someone. One called me back and helped me find some new ideas for dealing with my lack of sleep, while I was sobbing uncontrollably after having a very ugly meltdown. It was good to have someone help me do something useful while I was breaking down instead of being on my own.

After this, another friend called me back and after listening to me explain why I’m so stressed out and how everything would be better if people around me just planned a bit more ahead and adhered to some basic rules and structures, he very calmly told me that I sounded exactly like I did 2 years ago and that I should shut up about everything being different somehow and listen to him when he reminds me of my own words that I would never use constantly working without breaks as a way out of having to deal with my mental health problems.

And somehow he got through to me. He’s right. I’m in some kind of depressive episode right now. And trying to create and hold on to weird structures is not a solution to my problem but a symptom of it. And it’s not my fault I’m depressed. And I should not expect myself to always be able to deal with any kind of mental health problem in whatever situation just because I have been to therapy and in rehab. Relapses happen. Especially in a time like this.

And he’s right when he says I need to calm down, work less and do other stuff and I can’t use “but it’s a pandemic, I can’t see people, what am I supposed to do in my free time, I’m so lonely” as an excuse for not doing that. So I’m forcing myself to do other stuff more. I have bought beautiful plants, I’ve redecorated parts of my appartment, I am knitting again, I am reading a lot more, I’ve found new podcasts to listen to on walks outside, and I allow myself to do nothing. And sometimes I cry because I’m really lonely and sad and that’s okay too.

I think I was caught at the right moment, before it got too bad to handle on my own without professional help. Just knowing that this IS some kind of depressive episode and that a lot of what I’m feeling is therefore not real but badly exaggerated by my anxiety has instantly helped me. And I’ve seen good signs of improvement over the last few days. And I’ve told a few people about the symptoms that I know of that I can not really see on my own so they can watch out for me a bit more. And if it does get too bad, I will get help again because that’s okay too.