Busy vs the Alternative

As I alluded to in the prologue to last week’s poem, there’s a lot going on right now. Thankfully, I had planned on PTO this week, though the original plans of relaxation, maybe some family fun time, maybe even a day retreat all were put on hold, because we got news that my grandfather is likely in his last days. So, I’ve been trying to fill my days some other way.

Cleaning sign
Photo by Oliver Hale on Unsplash.com

Saturday morning, while my husband and kiddo were at kiddo’s swim class, I took some time to clean up one of our bookshelves, and reorganized so that we didn’t have piles of books on top and in front of other books. I also picked up, dusted, and cleaned up the inevitable pile of shoes by our door. Monday, I emptied our pantry and spice cabinet, purging anything that I didn’t trust anymore, rearranging what I wanted to keep, and unpacking the snacks that should be in our quick-grab bins, which take up far less space than a bunch of boxes. Yesterday, I scrubbed both bathrooms and swept and mopped the floors in both bathrooms and the kitchen. I’ve also spent at least part of the afternoon each day at my mom’s house, visiting her and my grandpa. Wednesday was the first day that I didn’t take on a major project around the apartment in the morning, and that might be because it was the first night in quite some time that I had problems sleeping. I had stayed up kind of late watching NCIS (the end of season 13, which had a few episodes in a row that ended with “To be continued…” When I’m binge-watching, that’s the worst phrase to see at the end of an episode). But, even after going to bed, it took forever to fall asleep, and, according to my fitness tracker, I didn’t finally settle down into a solid sleep until almost 4 am. I was back at it on Thursday, though, taking a huge pile of papers and other “stuff” we’d been avoiding sorting through for over a year out of our bedroom, into the living room and doing a massive sort and purge.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m keeping myself busy. I’m trying to keep doing things, because it’s better than the alternative. My processing plate is feeling pretty full, between all the here and now stuff that’s going on and the stuff we’re working on in therapy. Over the weekend, I wrote the following in my “brain dump” file, which is what I call my word doc that has become my journal:

I feel like I’m walking on a tightrope over a canyon. I’m doing OK, and I know I can make it through this, but one wrong step and I could possibly go falling back into a depression. I very much feel like I’m on the edge of another round through the storm, like I could navigate around it if I am careful and focus on each step, each day, and really monitor my mood and self-care habits. I realize that, especially right now, I need to be vigilant and balance being gentle with myself with not allowing myself to wallow or hibernate too much.

 

I won’t lie. This isn’t the first time since starting therapy that I’ve felt this way, and, in fact, I’ve mentioned it before in the blog. I also know that it won’t be the last time I feel this way. I know and accept that. So, I will take advice from a little blue fish, and “just keep swimming.” I’ll keep busy, because it’s so much better than the alternative. I’ll keep cleaning, keep caring for myself, keep focusing on my symptoms and my mood. I’ll keep working on moving forward. I’ll likely withdraw somewhat from both my personal and blog social media (ie: Twitter, Facebook), and be in more of a lurk mode than an active mode. I’ll take in the things that help to keep me healthy and try to turn away from the stuff that tries to amplify depression’s whispers. I’ll keep music on when my thoughts get too loud, until I’m ready to sort the good from the disposable. I’ll spend more time in prayer, more time with God. I’ll keep visiting the Blessed Sacrament, which is my favorite peaceful place. I’ll keep writing, even if it’s just keeping up with my brain dump file and finding something, anything to fill my weekly posts until writing gets easier again, even if my brain dump file starts looking like a daily log of what I’ve been doing, even if I’m only getting 200-500 words in a day.

On the edge of the storm
Photo by Jack Robinson on Unsplash.com
Layout from Canva.com

I know I’ve been through far worse than this, and I’ve gotten out of it OK. I’ve come this far. I know that the voice that tells me that it would just be so much easier if I just curl up and sleep is not actually looking out for my best interest. I know that suppressing until who knows when isn’t what I need to do, and so I will keep myself busy, feeling all the feelings, and focusing on finding balance.

Will you keep going with me?

One thought on “Busy vs the Alternative

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