In the past I’ve had episodes of depression. Just minor cases which I snapped out of in a day or two. The last couple of weeks I had a series of events which really took a toll. Thankfully, though I am cautious, I brought myself out. I got the help I needed, if I had only asked.
The loss of someone’s life, whether expected or not, is not something I handle well. You would think with all the years in sobriety (combined), I would have developed better coping skills. It took me a while to determine it was a fear I had to grasp. When I die, would people really care? Is this what my life is going to be the rest of my life? Questions and more questions about my existence. Why I am here still alive?
For weeks I have done nothing but work hard, come home sleep and repeat the process without any relief. I would convince myself “it’s just another day”. But after a while, it wore off. I became disconnected, isolated, didn’t care about anyone or anything.
Due to the attendance the pandemic attendance policies at work are quite diminished. Thus, people can call in without a penalty which is stretching out resources thin. Those of us who show up to work have to work twice or three times are hard to get things done. On the other hand, I had to realize I was a contributor too. Claiming “mental health” I’ve called out several times in the last couple of weeks. It wasn’t right – at all.
It was at that point I reached deep down asking for help. It just came. While walking to work I made a commitment to myself to work harder on taking care of myself. I also included a prayer to my Higher Power I had thought of for a while but never said, thus I said it out loud. My mood was suddenly lifted. My fears were taken away. I wasn’t alone.
I can’t say I’m 100% myself. The monotony of life was getting to me. I have to work on some negative, selfish behaviors which I let creep back into my life during this time. The last two days after resting at home after getting home from work, I went outside taking a long walk to various places – just because. It has helped.
The point is I needed and still need to change my routine. I don’t need to drastically change anything. It’s small changes. For instance, talking a walk each and every day. Perhaps not eating the same thing each week (which is embarrassing but I do out of habit and convenience). Reading a completely new style of book or a completely new book (instead of the same series I’ve been reading for months).
By my selfish nature wants to do those big things! Though it may be late, perhaps I should look into a Bachelors in Software Engineering degree again. I started the process of getting my certification as a Peer Advocate back in February. Maybe, just maybe, look into relighting that dream? Let me just stop right now.
Lastly, perhaps that is my answer – small changes. Instead of drowning myself in self-pity start making small changes in my life. I may have the basic needs met – food, financial security and shelter. Be grateful. Yet, it may be time to shake things up a little. Do something new. Bring some excitement into my life. Change.
EDIT: I just hopped on FB for a quick second to find this: