I haven’t been writing about it much but actually I have been mildly depressed since August. For a few months I didn’t even realize it. Only slowly did it come to me that my bout of feeling “meh” had lasted not only weeks but months already. It’s not as if I didn’t try to snap out of it. Once or twice I even thought I was getting better.
I never know whether my mood changes because of the things I’m doing or because of some weird brain chemistry shift. Though I’d say that the way I live my life also influences my brain chemistry. It’s not as if my brain weren’t connected to the rest of me. While I do know what to do to make me feel better I have been strangely reluctant to change my behavior in any way. It was as if I threw myself wholeheartedly into the vortex. There’s this cycle of not caring for myself, not sleeping enough, eating more junk, not making music, spending too much time mindlessly surfing the internet, not doing housework… I have become even more stupid, forgetful, unreliable, and overweight than before.
It would be nice if there was a magic pill. I could go to a doctor, take it and feel happy and healthy again. But I doubt that it works that way. I’m not really clinically depressed. In fact I am a cheerful person despite the fact that life looks a bit grey all the time, and everything I do feels like pushing a big boulder uphill. Even things like doing the dishes, getting out of bed, or taking a shower.
The reason I’m writing this now is that I actually do feel a bit better. I have been getting enough sleep for almost a week now, and I have started to tackle things that have been lying around and weighing on my conscience for months now. Like reading a friend’s manuscript (I told her in September that it would take me a couple of weeks, ahem.), like starting to sew a bag that I originally planned to make in August, starting to knit something that I bought the yarn for in October. Since it has been such a long time since I cared for such a lot of things I couldn’t finish everything that I started or wanted to do since August in the past week but I made a start.
It seem that I really need structure and routines to feel good, even if that structure and routines don’t feel good when I’m in the midst of them. Like exercise. I only feel good after I have done it. Somehow I have to remember that dreading and procrastinating something often takes more of my energy than actually doing it. Maybe I should make a banner of that and post it over my piano.
So, to celebrate feeling better I’d thought I’d post a list of things that make me happy. in fact, I encourage you to do the same, whether you feel good or not, because it lifts your mood anyway.
- The first flowers peeking out under the snow.
- My son starting to spell words.
- My son starting to play the very first chords on the guitar.
- Hearing my husband play his guitar through the wall.
- Taking out the guitar not with the notion of, “I have to practice for work.” but just for fun, and playing around with it for a whole afternoon. (In fact I found out that I think of my two guitars as “work guitars”. When I use them I have to be efficient, and to the point. Get the most out of limited time. So I took one of my husband’s for play.)
- Writing blog posts again.
- Baking bread.
- Eating the bread I made.
- Pulling out an exercise DVD that I used to work out to three times a week, and finding that I’m not totally out of shape.
- Seeing my son dragging around his new bunny and playing with it.
- Waiting for my hibiscus to blossom.
- Watching my son singing along with “Sky Children“.
- Having no unread posts in my feed reader.
- Being almost able to sing again after weeks of throat problems.
- Not having to teach until next week.
- Knitting the Scheherazade-stole with exquisite Wollmeise-yarn, something I have been looking forward to since at least four months.
- Giving up on being perfect all at once, and instead just changing one thing at a time again.
What have you been happy about lately?