For as much as I love staying in all cosy with a book and a cup of tea, there are times when I have to get outside for a walk in nature.
Thankfully I know myself well enough by this point, and understand that the dread and anxiety of leaving the house will melt away once the only sounds surrounding me are chirping birds and soft winds blowing through the trees.
My husband and I purposely choose places not overrun by people, where long periods can be spent by us ambling in comfortable silence just taking in our surroundings.
I’ve had a rollercoaster of a week, health-wise. After much anxiety I’ve received the best possible outcome at the doctor’s office today. I feel emotionally spent and need a couple of days to recover.
And I know by Sunday I’ll be ready to head for the trees to recharge once again.
I woke up early today with a paw on my face. Through the dim light I could see my cat’s face up close to mine. If I wasn’t wearing earplugs, his blood curdling screams for food would have left me deaf. Part of my brain tried to reason that it’s because it’s past my normal weekday wake up time. Cats like routine.
But the other part is sure that he’s just being a cat and reminding me who’s in charge. Did I roll over and go back to sleep? Please. My job here is to cater to their every whim and neither cat will let me forget it.
Now, partially caffeinated, I’m sitting in my craft room slash office admiring my handiwork. It took longer than I had planned but I’ve finally finished setting it up. Complete with a seating area for the cats. Obviously.
I think I might do some planning for an upcoming trip to Paris this Summer. I’ve visited multiple times but this time I’ll be playing tour guide to someone who’s never been. It’s going to be fun seeing my favourite city through fresh eyes.
Other than that I suspect my day will be filled with errands, meal prep and – you guessed it – slaving over the cats.
I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. We discussed my anxiety and depression, and agreed that upping my medication for the time being would be a good thing. I’m hoping that in 4 to 6 weeks I’ll be feeling somewhat normal.
Since my diagnosis of panic disorder over a decade ago, I’ve been forthcoming with my mental health struggles, because I know that this isn’t my “fault”. And I don’t have anything to hide. Just like someone with an irregular heartbeat or a lisp isn’t at “fault”. We’re dealt the medical and physical cards that we are, and are left to navigate through life the best we can. It’s really that simple.
To the woman who called me crazy 15 years ago during an ugly blowup at the end of our friendship, was that the best you had? Your harsh choice of words stung at the time and I still think of them periodically. But taking medication to level out my anxiety and depression doesn’t make me crazy. Certainly no more than your addiction to alcohol, subsequent sloppy and oftentimes irrational behaviour does you.
I don’t know where you are with your life these days but I hope that you’ve come to terms with your own issues and choose your words more carefully. Life isn’t easy. The least we can do is show empathy to others.
Lately I’ve been struggling with depression. That’s on top of my regular daily panic disorder. Needless to say, it’s been a challenge. I’ve lost interest in pretty much everything, and spend my time mindlessly scrolling through my phone. Which only brings in feelings of guilt. Which brings more anxiety. If you struggle with your mental health, I’m sure this kind of spiraling is familiar to you. And for that, I’m sorry.
Part of the reason I decided to start this new blog is that it will give me something to focus on – something productive and (hopefully) enjoyable. Little projects and lists to check off might just help me to break through this omnipresent fog that’s settled around me.
I’m starting with a small list of goals for the coming week. Small in length but looking at it fills me with dread. But I’ll try my best to get through it. Wish me luck!
If you’re struggling too, I invite you to join me in challenging yourself to write a list for your coming week.