I won’t be using the template this time because I figured I can just keep that bit personal instead of going overload on the detail here. It’s been a rough old week but there’s also been lots of positives mixed in there.
One of the negative states of mind I’ve experienced this week is the feeling of emotional numbness. This isn’t a new feeling to me but it’s not something I have felt in a while. This feeling is actually a coping mechanism that’s sparked by your brain. Different things can cause it for different people, e.g. it could be a certain traumatic event such as losing a loved one, or it could be as simply as going through a period of prolonged stress.
Switching off and feeling numb for a little while is a way for our brain to process a situation(s) without flooding our body with hormones, which is what it usually does under stress, kinda like how sleeping helps our physical body (but obviously, different too!)
It becomes a problem, however, if we choose to wallow in it. There are a few things you can do to break this mind set when you’re ready to do so. One is talking to writing about everything that you feel has caused the dissociation. Another is to touch physical objects around you. This can help to re-connect us to reality again – it can help for things like panic attacks too, although it doesn’t always work and it takes some mental effort as well as the physical activity. Sometimes, it just takes time.
Anyway, back to the positives!
1. I have made strong decisions this week to change myself, and now I’ve made that choice, I’m recognising more situations where I could modify my behaviour to induce a positive outcome instead of a negative outcome.
This took such a massive effort on my part, and doing this can also help long term depression, although it’s even harder to do when you’re depressed. Very easily, we fall into thinking patterns, and we get very comfortable in them. To be able to change your way of perceiving normal, every day situations is very difficult, but to do it in whole areas of your life is tough. I don’t feel I’ve made much of a change yet because this will be a very much ongoing goal. It will take weeks at the least, more likely months or a couple of years.
2. I reached out to friends. I guess this is part of the thing above. I’m not great with friendships because I’m not very open about how I feel – I’ve spent my entire life dealing with things on my own and I often feel that when I open up, people don’t fully understand. This is a situation that will seem familiar to anyone who doesn’t feel they’ve had a ‘normal’ life. It’s like the second you open up, you feel vulnerable and you immediately push people away by telling yourself they’ve misunderstood the situation. This makes most friendships feel very shallow and I don’t feel them on so much a personal level as other people do. I have about two people in my life at any one time that I trust fully, and even that’s on good days. Reaching out and re-connecting with a friend who I’ve rarely seen recently, and opening up to my ‘closer’ (the people I see more often – the relationship is by no means stronger) friends, I’ve made a step towards being real with them and being myself with them.
3. I’m being treated by my other half. This ties in with the situation I’ve been in in the last week. I don’t want to go into detail too much because I know he wouldn’t appreciate it but as my identity isn’t stated here and nor is his, I shall continue. In short, we hit a rough patch which resulted in him asking something of me which I found incredibly difficult – in my eyes, I had to give something up to achieve it, and it was a struggle to let that happen. At the same time, I had no choice if I want to be as happy as I was a few months ago. I didn’t consider this at the time and believed that giving up this thing ultimately meant giving up on happiness to an extent. There was no guarantee that giving up this thing would result in my happiness – in fact, of course, there’s tonnes of factors to happiness and this only concerned a minor one. One of the most predominant thoughts in my head was the fact that I was doing all the giving, and he wasn’t sacrificing or promising anything. Now that these have calmed down and we’ve worked out a few things, he’s taking me on a relatively spontaneous trip (something I’ve wanted for ages, we had many when we first started dating but of course, life changes and we haven’t had the money or the time), and I believe this is his way of giving something back to me for what I had to give up. I realise this probably sounds a little manipulative but keep in mind there’s many, many details I’ve left out here. It was a hard situation, but now it is on the mend.
4. Beer! Yup. I get beer tonight! I rarely drink and I often pass up the opportunity to go out with friends, even for a quiet night at the pub. It’s been a tough week so I’ve got a few beers ready, I’m having dinner at a friends and then we’re meeting others for a drink.
5. Bunnies. My bunnies are awesome. I know some of you will think they’re ‘just rabbits,’ but rabbits are closer to cats and dogs then you’d think – so are all small animals, really. I’ve had hamsters and rats too and they all have their own personalities. Rats are brilliant pets because you can strike up a very deep bond with them because they’re smart animals. I haven’t quite got to that level yet with my bunnies, but they’re so lovely. I have Whiskey and Rafiki, and Rafiki is an arsehole! Not like agressive or anything, just like ‘oh hey I’m in a grump so I’m going to poop all over your bed even though I’m litter trained and when you tell me off I’m going to flop right next to you because I’m ADORABLE!’
Whiskey is a lot calmer, she’s about a year older than he is. Funnily enough, at the minute, he’s neutered and she isn’t spayed yet. I would have thought the energy levels would be the other way round! She tends to just turn into a loaf when she gets nose rubs and her ‘thing’ is to have really dirty paws from digging where she shouldn’t be. They make me smile a lot 🙂
6. Everything is going to be okay.
I feel like I’m much more resilient than I used to be because everything crap about this week doesn’t even feel too bad anymore. Writing this has definitely helped, but even before this, I wasn’t too down. I know that I can achieve anything I want to. It takes hard work but sometimes making the decision is the hardest thing. I’ve been through worse situations and come out the other side, so I fully believe in myself. I’m finding that I feel a bit mentally lighter than I have done in ages. Sometimes, drama is a really good kick up the arse. Again, we get super comfortable in our thought patterns. Sometimes we don’t even realise there’s anything ‘wrong’ with the way we’re doing things (by ‘wrong’, I mean we’re not doing the best thing for ourselves. We might be ignoring huge issues or creating situations that ultimately leave us unhappy, or hurt the people we love, which could contribute to the unhappiness).
So there we go. Those are some of the things I feel positive about from the last few days. Things aren’t always as bad as they seem.