I think I’ve addressed a lot of this before when I talked about how COVID-19 was impacting my mental health and how the lengths I’ve had to take physically, and for my physical health, have subsequently played a large role in the level of positivity and negativity of my mental health as well. Nevertheless, a few months later, I was unaware how very large a role the world around me would play in my mental capacity to be connected and engaged to what is going on. I think the biggest thing has been trying to take everything in, to be connected and informed and educated, but to take everything in stride and doses to protect my mental health.
Between COVID-19, the political climate, social issues, work/life balance, personal body confidence issues, our upcoming personal goals, outside family issues, etc., it’s just been a lot. A LOT. And it’s not all bad, it’s not all good. Some of it just is. But the one thing all of it has in common is that it is all taking a lot out of me; it’s all taking a lot of energy and mental capacity. There has been so much talk and comradery on Instagram about self-love, self-care, and recognizing that the state of the world is something that we need to recognize as a hard thing. We have to give ourselves grace for the state in which society finds itself today; the anger, the sadness; the complete ludicrous idiocy. But it’s easier said than done. I’ve been trying to adopt this mindset lately – with how self-aware I have always been about my mental health, I am trying to just exist and balance.
The juxtaposition here comes when you want to adopt this mindset of giving yourself grace and taking a break from being overly engaged in everything – but at the same time, i’m recognizing that there is a part of this that might mean that I’m just going through the motions of my life right now. Is that a bad thing? Probably yes and no.
I am aware of my mental health fluxuations and tendencies enough to know that I can tend to withdraw quite a bit when I am in the ebbs and flows of depression and anxiety. The image below is so fitting for this – there is still some guilt in me for my friends, my family, etc. when I’m in this type of stage that I’m not as responsive. But again, being kind to yourself physically and mentally – I have to also know and reiterate and be confident in the fact that this is not personal to anyone. It’s really not about anything other than just giving my mind what it is clearly craving right now – space.
While I definitely keep an eye on “going through the motions,” I also usually let myself live in this space and see myself through it for however long it’s going to be. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t live in this space miserably, I’m incredibly happy. Remember, depression and anxiety does not equal sadness. I have the best life: I’m so freaking happy with my husband every single day, have my dream career. Seriously, all of that has nothing to do with it. And that fact is SO important to recognize about mental health. You are completely missing the boat, missing the point, if you think that mental health or depression and anxiety just mean that you are sad. It’s time to dig deeper on yourself and the world around you if you are still stuck in that stereotypical mindset.
I really believe that whatever this phase means for me, it is preparing me for something bigger. I think there are a number of very large things that my mind and body are getting prepared for in the next couple years, and maybe the shitshow that is 2020 is forcing my mental health to grow and change and get prepared for those things.
Anyway, all of this babble I guess is to say that I feel as though I am in a very strange place mentally. Again, not necessarily good or bad, but strange. And I am feeling a bit withdrawn from people outside of my husband, but I’m allowing myself to be that way. I don’t really think it’s a bad thing, temporarily. I think we have to stop apologizing for not being perfect all the time, for not being happy to uplifting every day. There’s nothing wrong with feeling all human emotions – Just like the images above, I am proud of the person I am who recognizes the complexities within myself. This goes back to me being so much of a realist, I know, which by my nature makes this a little bit easier. I think if you are naturally a pessimist or naturally an optimist, feeling the realist tendencies are hardest because you are pulled to one or another end of the spectrum. Because I am almost always pulled toward a neutral and real/realism space, there is a tendency of that which makes this a little bit more natural or easier I guess? I don’t know! Guys, i’m fumbling my way through 2020, through life, through all of this just as much as you are.