Hi folks, me again.
Something came to mind today that I wanted to talk to you about.
For the last week or so I have been under a cloud. A big, fat, stinking, black cloud. This is of course pretty regular for me and my brain but this one has been particularly brutal. There are a few things going on in my world that are proving difficult to compute, and I have been very outwardly emotional. This is defined as weeping for no reason either in front of people or alone.
Anyway, today I woke to find my brain feeling a bit better. This means that I feel lighter and brighter, as well as more able to carry out daily functions, like housework and art projects.
All that is a good thing. But, having been through this many times, I feel it is important to tell you about something that I certainly haven’t seen mentioned myself that may be useful to some of you.
It is easy to hit an upswing and go straight to all the things you normally do. This is fine for some people but sadly for me I have to be very careful during the early days. It is the beginning of a good spell where I am at my most fragile. You see, if you are feeling very low, your brain kinda switches to neutral. It prevents you from being ‘yourself’ if you like and so any shocks or sad news are not surprising to you, and let’s face it, you already feel like shit anyway so what’s the difference? So when the black dog leaves you for a while and you start on your upward journey, you might be feeling a little better but any shock or sadness can knock you straight back down, right on your arse. In fact the drop back down can make the ensuing down turn worse than the previous one.
Preventing this is like walking a tightrope. At the end of the day, we can’t control what happens in life outside ourselves. As much as we want to sometimes. But when I am coming up from the low levels for air, I find I have to be careful about what I CAN control. This means that I ban myself temporarily from TV shows, movies, music, news reports, as much as I can if they are potentially upsetting. Instead I watch comfort shows, inspiring or uplifting music. I slow down. This means that I take my time to complete any tasks or chores that may have accumulated over my low mood, even when they seem urgent. Most things are not urgent, even when your brain tells you they are. I find it best to make a small list and prioritise as needed. I eat well. Sometimes when we are feeling poorly, we don’t always eat as well as we perhaps should, this doesn’t mean that any food is restricted, not in the least. All food is fuel and we need it, so don’t feel bad about what you eat when you are low, you did your best. But when you are starting to come back up, just try and slot in some veggies and fruits if you can, maybe some fruit juice or a nice smoothie. But most of all eat food that you enjoy and savour it.
Basically, what I am trying to convey, is that you need to take care of yourself even more when you are recovering from a low spell. When you injure your body you need time to recover, you stay off a bad foot, you take things slowly. Nobody really tells you that you need to do the same when your brain is recovering, but you certainly do.
Bye for now