sometimes it snows in April
(I want to preface this and say that these are just my musings and I’m not offering any kind of professional advice on how to deal with depression.)
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish that life was never ending
But all good things, they say, never last
And love, it isn’t love until it’s past
I used to get the blues really bad. It was at its peak when I was in grad school and right after I graduated. I struggled the most in the mornings. It was hard to start the day, to get out of bed, to feel hopeful. I used to attest my state of mind at that time to undesired life events: various disappointments at school, or break ups with boyfriends, the long New Brunswick winters. And all of those things matter too, having been surrounded by five foot banks of snow for the better part of the year did have an effect on my mental state. However what was really at play for me is the rundown state of my body and mind. I didn’t feel strong, I felt tired. My youth allowed me to push myself far but it took a toll on my mental health.
Things I’ve learned:
Emotions that are unprocessed get trapped and affect you in ways you can’t predict.
Physical movement helps with processing.
You have to feel it all to move forward.
Being outside in the fresh air is the best feeling in the world.
Clearing your mind is harder than cluttering it.
I get sad when I feel lost.
Feeling lost makes me feel hopeless.
Feeling hopeless is a spiral.
Feeling hopeless kills creativity.
Resistance in the face of personal growth is inevitable.
You never arrive at a place where things are perfect.
Every day is a new day.
Meditation is effective.
Mental health is a journey.
Feeling good is a priority.
Feeling bad is a clue.
Being honest can save you.
Being happy is making an effort for yourself.
Most people want to help you.
Believing in yourself is the most important thing.
Things that soothe me:
ESPN documentaries including but not limited to 30 for 30,
Going to the movies solo,
Catching up on my French on Duolingo,
Going out for supper with a friend,
Reading wine labels in the vintage section,
Cooking with a new ingredient,
Spending time with my family,
Watching The Talented Mr. Ripley for the billionth time,
Going for a walk, a hike, spending time outside,
Laying in the couch with Marls (my cat),
Listening to Paul McCartney’s album Flaming Pie and imagining it as a musical,
Repotting my plants,
Finishing any kind of abandoned project (two weeks ago I repainted and lined my kitchen cupboards; it felt damn good),
Going to a coffee shop and having a coffee with whatever the freshest thing out of the oven is,
Filing my receipts with Chef’sTable playing in the background,
Looking up what all the podcasters I listen to look like,
Painting + drawing,
Looking through old sketchbooks.
The thing that helps me the most is knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt, knowing in my bones that if I need help I can find it as long I stay open. Thank you for reading, and I hope wherever you’re at you still have hope and if you don’t that you’re looking for it.
Things that I recommend (that ignite my fire):
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (this book is about the resistance within and how to recognize it as such and move past it. You can listen to it for free on the public library’s One Drive app)
Jordan Rides the Bus directed by Ron Shelton (this is why and how I graduated from being an admirer of Michael Jordan to totally obsessed. It’s about how MJ loses his father at the peak of his career and his choice to dig deep and humble himself in order to heal. This is one of the best 30 for 30 docs in my opinion. Others that I highly recommend are The ’85 Bears, and Bad Boys)
For and Against by Sharon McCartney (this is the most perfect book of poetry. It’s raw and clear and isn’t afraid of itself)