I’m not going to mince words. I’ve been struggling over the last couple of weeks.
This time of year is never good for me. Add in how busy I’ve been with work and school, and medication tweak, and the deaths of three friends in the community in the last ten days, things have been a challenge. I’ve been unfocused and unmotivated. Unfortunately, my workout routine has fallen completely by the wayside, at least temporarily.
Still, despite the stress and grief, I feel I am doing better at this time of year than I usually do, and being honest, if I wasn’t feeling something with the loss of the friends, I’d have even more reason to be concerned.
That said, with everything going on the way it has, I know I couldn’t keep pushing on the way I was. September was the busiest month I’ve had with the paper, finishing 34 published articles between the various papers I write for under the Blackpress banner.
So, what is one to do? Change what I can control.
I had a chat with both my editors, letting them know that I will honour existing commitments, such as my usual council meetings, but I won’t be going out of my way to chase down other stories outside of my immediate community, aside from what I’ve already committed too.
As far as my schooling goes, I had a deadline driving ever closer for my English course at the November. After some discussion with Lynn and some thoughtful contemplation, I applied, and received, a two-month course extension, meaning I don’t have to have it done until the end of January now, which is helping ease the stress somewhat. As for my communications course, it is not due for completion until the end of December, a deadline which I feel I am still on pace to complete.
Mentally, I’ve been drained. Hell, I’ve been bordering mental exhaustion. To combat that, I’ve been trying to reset my sleeping again, going to bed just a bit earlier, and doing some non-work or school reading. I’m currently reading the Kathy Reichs novel Deja Dead which I am really enjoying. Aside from the reading, I’ve been letting myself get back into the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 on the Playstation 4.
I know that working out does help my moods, and I am definitely feeling the fact that I am missing them, however, with the fatigue and depression hanging over me, I’ve been picking my battles. I do know I’m not going to let myself go as long as I did last time I completely fell off my routine. That was a months long absence, and I have no intention of allowing that to happen this time around. With all that being said, I need to look at the second part of my list.
There are a number of things I can’t control right now. I can’t control the grief and depression I am feeling from the loss of the friends in such a short period of time. I can’t control the fatigue and emotional volatility associated associated from the PTSD associated with the time of year. I can’t control the brain chemistry changes with the new medication. I can’t control the pandemic that the world is gripped in right now, with two sides being extremely polarized between being vaccinated and not. Unfortunately, the only thing that will resolve all these things is time, and all I can really do about them is let the process happen, using the hard-fought skills I’ve learned over the last few years to make sure things don’t cycle out of control.
The fact is, my stress levels are probably at the highest level that they have been at in years, but conversely, my toolbox has more tools in it than ever before to handle the stress. Like a ship that noses into the wind to ride out a storm, I’m changing the variables I can to ride through the storm as well. It is definitely a storm, of a different sort.