Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Coping with 'illness fallout'.

Bronte peers up at me from underneath Xin's legs... XD

As I have posted over the past few days, I am still recovering from a weekend full of migraines and other illnesses. I have had to complete an assignment during this time, which was difficult given my eyes don't really like exposure to computers right now.
Either way, on Monday I hit a bit of a wall.
I could feel that not being able to do much was affecting my mental health - depression was looming like a giant cloud on the horizon. And all I could do was watch as it came ever closer.

This is what I want to talk about briefly - something I will call, for now, 'illness fallout'.

I have retrained my thoughts to such a point that I don't really see being sick as the worst thing ever to happen to me any more. I welcome the many opportunities to rest and reconnect with myself, more often than not.

But that doesn't mean it isn't hard to deal with sometimes. Particularly during times when I have multiple illnesses at the same time, I find myself getting bogged down in everything again, and I watch as my mood grows darker.

I used to fight this tooth and nail. I REFUSED to let my depression to come back - even for a moment. But I realised recently that depression has always been, and probably will always be, a part of me. It's not always obvious, but I still have to take certain measures to make sure I don't end up in an emotionless state because I'm so overwhelmed by everything. I have to give myself space to breathe.

So, on Monday, I gave in. I saw the depression come in and, instead of fighting it and making myself feel worse, I went to bed. I put my headphones on and listened to music - loudly. And I cried. I cried for everything that has happened to me and I cried about my anxiety and my fear of the future. I didn't realise that I was holding so much sadness within me until I made the conscious choice to let it out.

And after that, I got up, I talked to my boyfriend on the phone for awhile, and then I went and spent some gentle time watching tv with my parents while we ate dinner. And on Tuesday, I woke up feeling lighter and stronger. By giving in to that weakness, and allowing myself space to grieve for a part of me that may never cope very well with being ill, I gave myself permission to rebuild myself and move forward.

I'm not saying this to get sympathy, nor am I saying it will work for everyone. However, I used to be someone who saw crying as weakness - pure and simple. Now I see it as something different - a way to acknowledge myself and my own feelings, and then move on with my life.

Love to all who read.

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