Young black guy hiding under a book, feeling stressed and overworked at home.
Cover Image © Prostock-studio

The Mental Health Journey of the Last Few Weeks

Today I want to talk about something that I don’t see too many people shining a light on as we all live out our best lives on Social Media.  This isn’t a “woe is me” type of post, but I wanted to share to let people out there know you’re not alone and that it’s ok if this happens. Fair warning, this is a bit rambly.

Some Context

Things ramped up for me in the last few months kind of all around.  At work, I’ve taken on more and there’s a slow creep of pressure from working at home.  I don’t know what that pressure is necessarily, but I also have to acknowledge that it’s there and I’m personally learning how to navigate that.

I consider myself to be a candidate for high-functioning depression.  I’m always torn on using that label for how I feel most days because, to some extent, high-functioning depression can sound like another label for “someone just living life.”

Black teenager feeling tired, rubbing irritated eyes, sitting at desk with laptop.

There isn’t a constant sadness that makes each day hard. There are no manic swings between emotional states of being. But… There is a definite lethargy about existence most times.  Very few things feel “worth it” to me, so when I find things that do feel like they’re worth my time, attention, adoration, etc. – I get wrapped up in them. On top of that, I constantly need to remind myself WHY I’m doing things, and if that falls to the wayside – other things will soon follow. 

This is part of the reason I’m able to get as many things done as I do: I’m not necessarily striving to be successful and I’m not motivated by being the best at anything or money. Where I’m at most times in life looks like “happiness” as most people know it — but to those who deal with this, you know what’s up — I’m striving to distract myself most days.

There are fringe benefits to constantly trying to keep yourself distracted, but you also can’t spend all of your time running away from your own mind.

About Those Last Few Weeks…

Anyway, what happened in the last few weeks was a conscious decision to NOT distract myself at all, but to instead directly (and very intentionally) think about what was bothering me. 

I know that people say don’t wallow, but I find closure in the process most times. 

This may sound like I’m a glutton for punishment (I can be), but I like to explore my insecurities, regrets, and other negative thoughts so that I can move on from them.  I go through them to overcome them. But… When I do that, I also accept the consequences of those actions – and that’s where the last few weeks came into play.

I shirk responsibilities temporarily so that I can deal with bad feelings and thoughts before they fully mature into lurking issues; monsters that shape the lives of many adults.

It is part of what helps me be comfortable in my own skin and has probably kept me from needing professional help (which I don’t knock – and have used before — full disclosure) throughout my life.

African American teen guy shrugging shoulders, feeling confused.

There is a simultaneous ramping up and ramping down of my personal endeavors vs. things I need to do to survive, and I’m a good enough actor to keep a smile on my face when I’m around others. 

Please don’t worry – I’m not weeping behind closed doors or anything, but there are a lot of late nights staring at the ceiling.  Waking up in the morning and then just laying there — not enjoying the relaxation, but feeling pensive to the point of not wanting to get up because, “What’s the point?”  I might force myself through a workday but not have any energy to socialize after.  Things like that.

Just sounds like life, right?

“Every Day Feels Like a Rainy Day…”

Where all of this differs on my end is that the feelings I’ve described so far can be debilitating (and I know that there are people out there who can relate). Those feelings are constant and are managed. There is no, “Just sit and it’ll go away.” I have lived with this for as long as I can remember… And I wouldn’t necessarily call it “sad”. That’s where things get a little more nuanced.

My brain goes into a fog, my energy levels swing to new lows, and my concern for almost anything just becomes non-existent.  I internalize a lot, and I think that’s why I need to deal with things in the way that I do, otherwise, I’ll overflow (talking about it with someone or not — I have a bad habit of holding on to things).

But for the most part, I feel what most would call “fine”. This is the high-functioning part of things. In a poetic sense, every day feels like a rainy day – but I just happen to be someone who enjoys the rain.

Silly, right?

Anyway, that’s the shortest explanation of what’s been going on in the last few weeks regarding posting.  

Even shorter: I just didn’t feel like it.

I wish I had better reasons to offer than that or some more legitimate-sounding excuses beyond my just having an extended period of a case of “one of those days” – but I don’t and I prioritize mental health these days since I’ve been working from home for over a year now.

I will strive to make sure these scenarios don’t play out too often, but yeah – that’s what was going on.

Blurred black teenage guy lying on sofa at home, selective focus of medical mask, book and headphones on table.

Oh, and I made sure to take time to do things I enjoyed and hung out with people I love spending time with (and their pets), so the tank is as recharged as it gets for someone like me (for the time being).

One cool thing about all of this is that it’s sort of “Destruction comes before Creation” when it comes to me and this emotional state.  I go through these purge scenarios about one good time out of the year – and then, afterward, I become a bit of a savant for a few months in my work and personal life (LOL).  So… curious what that leads to this time around.  I’m preparing for a move to another state sometime this year, so maybe that’ll lead to some unique approaches to that situation.

We shall see.

Either way, thank you for riding with me. Thank you for being interested in what few things I have to say and share. Thank you for allowing the honesty to flow.

I mean… even if you didn’t… it’s my blog 🤣 (just kidding)

Until next time…

Peace, and thanks for reading.

 

The soundtrack for this post provided by…

Image Credits:
– All Images © Prostock-studio (Shutterstock)

Sharing is Caring
Resize Font
Contrast Mode
Created by Alex Volkov