So at first it was all quite and exciting and everything. Moving back to what is possibly the greatest city in the world, and no lockdown in sight! A stressful but exciting time. Now, however, it would not be inaccurate to say that I identify more as a tightly knit ball of stress than I do as a human.
While the feelings inside – those of sudden bursts of extreme loneliness, the dizzying worry that things are spinning out of control, those come and go, and I am somewhat able to address them, it’s the physical effects that make me feel most powerless. The fatigue that makes me not want to leave the bed, the aches in my back, sudden headaches, the indigestion despite eating everything right. These are what make me feel the most helpless. Like no matter what I do I’ll never be able to get my life together again.
Some facts: I have recently moved away from my family after a prolonged stay with them during a pandemic. I have ended a long term relationship and lost someone who had been a constant – a positive constant, for the most part – in my life for so long. I have somehow ended up living alone, despite my best efforts not to, although the situation might be temporary (one can hope). I also work from home, which means I spend the majority of my time alone in my apartment.
None of these factors would be considered conductive to great mental health on their own – but together, boy they are really working a number on me. There is no hiding from the fact that despite taking medication and trying to keep up with generally healthy habits like eating well, getting exercise and sunlight, I am suffering. The usual routine is not cutting it.
What is required now is firstly, to quit judging myself for being a mess. In fact, I don’t want to call myself a mess, because my current bad mental health is not all that I am, it is a negative experience I am having right now. With that mindset, I need to take a hard look at my lifestyle and identify the bigger, over-arching changes that need to be made. I need to dial up the self-love so much, much more. I don’t want to be busy and do more just for the sake of doing things. I need to understand what I am doing and what for. I don’t want to spend any more of my twenties just making it through everyday somehow, I want to actually live, feel happiness, have a purpose, thrive.
For that to happen, I am trying to actively choose to let myself be now, accept it when I am incredibly sad and have dark thoughts, because the pain cannot be skipped. It demands to be felt, and it will take its time. The most I can do is try to treat myself like a friend, remind me I am not my thoughts, and be gentle with my heart and mind. So while I write mainly to commit to myself, I hope this can serve as a nudge to anyone reading this to be kinder, especially to yourself.