As someone who's dealt with depression all her life, I've gotten good at (or used to) ignoring it or hiding it or pushing it aside to deal with . . . life. I'm actually just realizing that, now that I'm out of work and out of distractions. I have nothing else to focus on but my depression and my anxiety and how much I've never wanted to be here, and still don't. And it's not going well. I'm not being productive at all. I'm completely fucking useless. I have no obligations, no commitments, nothing I actually have to do. So all I do is sit here waiting for it to end. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for work to call me back . . . or not. Just sitting here, questioning every life decision I've ever made, every path I've ever chosen. Wondering if I actually chose it or just let it choose me.
Work distracted me and gave me something else to focus on. No matter how much I hated it, or how stressful it got, it took the focus off everything else. I had to get up everyday and go to work. Several years back, I developed a gym routine to help with both my mental health and physical health. I got in the habit of going to the gym every day after work. I did that for almost a year straight, until my dad died and fucked everything up (but that's a whole blog in itself, which will be posted eventually). On weekends I'd sleep in and decompress and do it all over again Monday. I started telling myself I was going to start going to the gym on weekends too, I probably went one or 2 Saturdays but it never stuck. I made Sundays "meal prep" days and would spend the whole day cooking food for the week. Since I went to the gym after work, I never had time to cook during the week. I literally had maybe 2 hours a night (Monday thru Friday) to relax and watch TV before bed. And I was so tired and had to get ready for the next day that it didn't give me much time to think. A typical weekday went a little something like this: 0500-0630 wake up 0700-1600 work 1700-1900 gym (or hiking in the spring/summer) 2000 - get home, unpack my gym bag, repack my gym back, unpack my lunch bag, get ready for bed, maybe have a snack. 2100 - watch a little TV/news 2200-2230 - bed On Fridays, I'd usually stay up later watching TV since I knew I'd be sleeping in on Saturday. Saturday was usually my day to go grocery shopping and anything else I needed to take care of. On Sundays, especially during football season, I didn't leave my apartment. And if I didn't need groceries or have any errands that I needed to take care of, sometimes I would come home Friday night and not leave my apartment until Monday when I had to go to work. People often asked me how I could spend all weekend in my apartment. "Don't you get bored?" they'd ask, "or lonely?" Nah, staying in by myself and not having to deal with people for two days straight was awesome. I dealt with people five days a week, all day! I needed the break. I always said I could be a hermit if I didn't have to work. Cue 2020 and the COVID outbreak. Laid off. Nowhere to go. No money to do anything. At first, I saw it as a vacation, I stayed up all night watching TV and movies and slept all day. I didn't foresee it lasting for six month. I was just trying to take advantage of the free time while I had it. I thought I'd be back at work in a month or so. But then, it got worse. The economy stayed shut down. My baby (Whitey, my cat) died. I didn't get called back to work. My new sleep scheduled (when I did sleep) was anywhere from 0300-0600 until about noon or whenever I could drag my ass out of bed. I kept telling myself I needed to at least go for walks, get some fresh air, some sunlight, some kind of exercise! I would tell myself, "Tomorrow, you're getting up and you're going for a walk. Even if it's just 20 minutes. Just get outside, get off the couch, DO SOMETHING!" One day I would, I'd go on 4 or 5 mile hike, take pictures of nature, stop and read a book, clear my mind. Then, I'd stay on my apartment for a week! I don't why. I don't know why it's so difficult for me to motivate myself to get outside. The longer I stay in, the more anxiety I get about going out. I just get this overwhelming feeling of negativity and I feel like I can't move. My heart starts to race and I can't breath and I just sit here staring at the door arguing with myself in my head about why I'm such a pathetic loser that I can't even go for a dam walk. Part of me justifies it, telling myself why bother, what's the point. The other part of me just criticizes myself and I have this internal exhausting battle. I've flip flopped my life. I used to only spend one maybe two days in my apartment and now I literally only leave my apartment one day (maybe two) a week. And that one day, that takes a lot out of me. Having to go into society and be around people again. It's nerve racking! There's a part of me that just wants to stay in my apartment for the rest of my life and never come out. But there's still that other part of me that keeps telling myself to get back to some sort of routine! Don't waste your life away on the couch. So, I decided to focus on my writing. I've been writing my whole life and it's always been the one thing I've really wanted to do. But I saw it as just a hobby. I know how difficult it is to make a successful career writing. I was so afraid of failing that I never really tried. I didn't want to be one of those homeless writers living in poverty all my life. So I always did what I was supposed to do, according to society: go to school, go to college, get a job! Dreams and hobbies don't pay the bills. But, since I'm in between "real" jobs right now, why not try and make something out of the writing? If it doesn't work, I can always rejoin the nine to five office life and go back to being a robot. But I have to at least try. I started blogging and started an Instagram for my poetry. I gave myself a goal to write every day, whether it's my blog, my poetry, or simply journaling. I have to make writing a habit not just a hobby. It's going well so far, but it's only been a week. At first, I was going to focus my blog on mental health, depression, anxiety, etc. Because, I've been reading up on that a lot, mainly for self help and therapy. I've learned a lot about myself and my illnesses by reading other people's experiences. It's helped me. So I figured, maybe writing about my experiences would help someone as well. But, with everything going on in society right now: racial/social injustice, politics, the pandemic etc, that's all been triggering my anxiety and depression in one way or another. So, sometimes I write about that. I know they say you should focus on one thing and target an audience but I've never been one to listen to "them" and let's face it, we're not just one dimensional. So if you're not into politics or don't want to read anymore about it than what you're forced to hear every day in society, I get it. By all means, skip those posts. I'm really just here to work through my shit and hope to help others along the way. We've become so divided as a country and society. We need to get to a common ground. We need to get to a point where we can have open discussions civilly and read differing opinions and points of view without attacking each other. And I need to get to a point where I can try to be a normal fucking human being again. So, sorry if my thoughts get scattered and unfocused at times. That's just how my mind works. I usually free write these blog posts and then edit for grammar and spelling, try to keep it as raw and real as possible. I don't have an editor giving me a deadline or telling to keep it clear and concise. It's just my thoughts spilling on paper, trying to make sense.