I don’t mind mornings, I just wish they’d happen later in the day.
Up and out the door early this morning. Lynn has a market in Stettler she had booked long before she fractured her ankle, so I ended up driving her in, and am acting as a runner for her, as well as getting some work done in the library.
Lynn gave me my Christmas present yesterday. We both know it’s early, but she didn’t see the point in having it sitting under the tree until Christmas.
She bought me a new Fitbit Alta HR to replace the original Charge I had that got wrecked during the summer. I’m definitely appreciative, and I’m hoping that having the tracker on will give me a kickstart to my fitness routine and self-care.
That said, I’m kind of wishing I hadn’t checked my sleep last night. I slept for just over 7 hours, but according to my tracker I slept just over six, which pretty much explains why I’m feeling like hell this morning.
It is amazing at how big a factor sleep plays in my mental health. When I’m getting tired and run down, my mental health goes to hell. I know it. Lynn knows it.
The problem lies in the fact that despite knowing it, I’m the last one to see it.
My psychologist cautioned me a couple weeks ago that I was biting off too much. My doctor said as such yesterday, and Lynn has been saying it all along. The question I have is this, with how important rest and moderation are to someone battling with the demons of mental illness, why are those who suffer always the last to realise it, and even then, why is it that when we do we’re already on the downhill slide?
There can be several reasons, and I’m going to touch on those as they pertain to me.
First and foremost for me, denial can play as a major factor. It’s not denial as in I’m not dealing with the illness, it’s denial that I’m overdoing it, because in the moment it feels like I’m coping. However, the further I push myself, the harder and longer I go for, the harder the crash when things finally catch up to me.
Secondly, when I’m keeping myself busy I feel good. I feel like I’m contributing. Those are both good things, and in the short term I can handle things well, but longer term, fatigue sets it and my resilience erodes. I know it, and it’s just a matter of pacing.
The third reason is similar to the second. When I am working, I feel normal, and I keep at things as long as possible to keep that normal going because I miss it and mourn working full-time. However, overdoing it burns me out, and I fall into the pattern of pushing myself as hard as I can, and then crashing, and rebounding, instead of pacing myself for the long term.
Finally, as much insight as I have into the diagnoses as I have, when I begin my descent into depression I don’t see it. I see the risk, I see the potential for trouble, but I don’t see it encroaching on me. Like the old saying goes, “I can’t see the forest for the trees.” There is a difference between knowing you are in the forest and paying attention to individual trees.
It’s often been commented that I tend to have amazing insight into my diagnoses. I’ll agree with that statement. Between the research I have done, and the treatments I have gone through I have a fairly deep understanding of my psyche. It helps me not kick my own ass as badly when I slip. The thing is, having the knowledge and insight is great and all, but it makes it even scarier when I can see myself headed off the rails and can’t stop it.
The bottom line, I know I need to work on my pacing. I am smart. I am capable. I just need to realise that mentally, with the issues I face, I need to do more to look after myself than most. I need to cut myself some more slack. I need to find that balance between pushing myself for growth, and overdoing it. I need to quit grieving for my ability to work fulltime, and adjust things accordingly. I know it’s easier said than done, but it is a goal to aim for.
As always, thanks for following along.