I know that I have written about the healing power of mindfulness and living in the moment a lot, but I just want to share how difficult it is to do such things when depression rears its ugly head. When depression engulfs me in its cloud, I NEED to sleep all day or be bombarded by reminders of, a) things I am not doing and should do, b) things I have done in the past that I shouldn’t have done, or c) things in the future that I want to do but don’t know how to. Sigh…
For those of you who are fortunate enough to not live with depression, let me share what it’s like to live inside my head when I do. And keep in mind, the following daily routine example is one during my mildest form of depression.
9:00 am: What I Want to do: Clean the backyard. Get a coffee. Get caught up on paying bills. What I do: Nothing.
10:00 am: What I want to do: Get dressed and drive to get a coffee from Tim’s. What I do: Flop out of bed (which is an accomplishment in itself) throw on some shoes and a sweater even though it’s 30 degrees outside because putting on a bra is WAY too much energy; I’d rather sweat like a track runner while I drive.
11:00 am: What I want to do: Go outside with my neighbour who invites me to have a Perrier. What I do: Ignore the invitation until my guilt takes over, then text him from my bed telling him that I can’t today.
Noon: What I want to do: Make lunch, walk my dog and put together my new rowing machine. What I do: Eat ice-cream out of the carton, let my dog go for a quick pee in the backyard, and walk past the rowing machine in the box by the door that the cats have torn apart.
1:00 pm: What I want to do: Not sleep. What I do: Sleep.
2:00 pm: What I want to do: Not sleep. What I do: Sleep.
3:00pm: What I want to do: Get out of bed because I have a headache from not doing anything all day. What I do: Convince myself to stay in bed, because I have a headache from not doing anything all day. Proceed to wallow in self-pity because this time of the day is the ‘danger-zone’ part of the day, meaning that if I don’t FORCE myself to get out of bed, there is NO turning back…I will remain in bed all day.
4:00 pm: What I want to do: Some stretches on the floor to get my blood circulating and hopefully relieve my headache. What I do: Touch my toes. Once.
5:00 pm: What I want to do: Laundry. What I do: Kick the pile of dirty clothes into a taller, less large-looking pile. Return to bed.
6:00 pm: What I want to do: Brush my teeth. What I do: Remind myself that I am well into the ‘danger-zone’ so it is not even practical to do such a thing when I will be asleep very soon.
7:00 pm: What I want to do: Nothing. What I do: Nothing. Success!
8:00 pm: What I want to do: Anything but sit in bed! What I do: Not even change positions in bed.
9:00 pm: What I want to do: Write. What I do: Write. The only way I can live in the moment. My healthy source of serenity.
There you go folks. As I sit here and type from the same spot I woke up in 12 hours before, I am actually happy that to me I had a relatively functional day!
Now I’m off to bed…I’m exhausted.