Sometimes stopping isn’t the answer…

Little Theatre is done for the year, and I am grateful to have again taken part.

Despite the adversity I’ve dealt with during the month of February, I am grateful for the experience and for the production that this group of talented individuals managed to bring together.

The hours may have been long, but seeing crowd after crowd come through the doors made the effort worth while. I’m definitely looking forward to what next year has to offer.

All that being said, the last month has long and tiring. Between chasing stories for the paper, the theatre, and helping at the store I was already holding a lot on my plate. The unfortunate circumstances surrounding Brenda’s passing piled more on. I’m spent.

I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. The only reason I got up and stayed up this morning was because I was on sound at church. Today has been one of those days where it would have definitely been way to easy to stay in bed, and am thankful that I had the commitments that forced me to get up. Some times those commitments are the push that is needed to keep going when you feel you can’t.

This has nothing to do with mental health. After the last month anyone would be exhausted. Where mental health enters into the mix is how someone responds to the exhaustion and stimuli.

In years past I would be self-harming. I would be falling into a major depression. I would be having an all around rough go. I would be at the point where I would be so rung out that I would hit bottom with a thud and it would take me weeks to claw my out.

Yes, I am at risk for sliding towards the abyss. Knowing that I am vulnerable right now gives me opportunity to mitigate the risk.

What does that mitigation look like?

Rest, to start. Slow down my schedule where I can so I can regain my focus and look after the keystones to my health. Work on scheduling so I can get my sleep back on track.

Second, find time for me. Read. Play PS4. Take the dogs out for a walk. Exercise. Go for coffee. Work on photo projects. Do things that aren’t work or chore related.

Third, work on the chores. Start getting the house cleaned up. Get my office cleaned up so I can work out of it again.

Fourth, keep my safety plan in mind. Double check that I have the numbers for friends or others on my phone handy so if I do struggle I don’t have to waste time finding them. Make sure I have my rescue meds available in case my anxiety starts flaring.

Finally, allow myself to feel. Allow myself to slow down, but not stop. Sometimes slowing down can be way more effective than allowing life to grind to halt. I know I need to treat myself gently when I do have a bad day, but I can’t let that bad day define me.

I have a plan. I have the skills. I have the support. Now it’s just a matter of putting them together, let myself grieve, and let myself heal.

Thanks for following along.

Kevin

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