Today I am unhappy and I find it absolutely necessary to listen to music in order to function. It’s taken many years of “bad days” for me to get to the point where a depressed day is not the worst day of my week. Sure, it’s not ideal, but I know I can be functional because I’ve had to be functional, so now it’s more of a choice. I have an hour or so in the morning of grumpiness, I whine to myself or on the internet a bit, and then something reminds me that yesterday was pretty good and just because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed doesn’t mean I have to let it ruin my day.
I’m not saying it’s easy.
But it’s do-able.
This morning, “Float On” by Modest Mouse came over the radio and made me smile. The warm weather seeping through my slightly-opened window made me smile. I got a sense of nostalgia, like maybe I walked to school listening to this song once (I don’t think I did, but my nostalgia often comes in the sense of walking to or from school, since I did that practically everyday middle school through high school, and most of elementary), and suddenly I felt like I could manage today. I’d still rather be at home, curled up in bed
It’s about separation, and it’s not easy to do. I used to give my depression an identity and hate on it. I think that worked to an extent, I could write as Eowithien and imagine this brooding persona in my mind and sink all my depressing thoughts and feelings into her. And then write, photograph, let go a little. I still cut myself, so obviously it wasn’t fool proof; I knew she was still me (I’m not really crazy). Ultimately, I’ve found that the only way for me to truly “manage” feeling depressed is by recognizing that it’s not tangible and it is a part of me. Just because my hormones, brain chemistry, and/or gut is out of whack doesn’t mean I have to drop everything I’m doing to go mope in a corner or risk my job security by taking a mental health day. I have so much to look forward to, just by remembering how good I felt yesterday, and knowing that I might just feel that good again tomorrow. I separate my depression by not letting it be an entity, but by accepting it and just continuing on.
So maybe I am feeling depressed today because I didn’t get my supplements right. OH WELL. I’m sticking with them for now, and tomorrow will be better just for having remembered that yesterday was good. The worst part of this is knowing that if I was reading this a few years ago, it wouldn’t mean much to me. I don’t know if I’m aptly describing the separation I’ve been able to achieve and make work for me on “bad days”, but even if I am, I know that past-me would probably not appreciate it. I might’ve thought “She doesn’t really get what it’s like to be depressed,” and maybe in my optimism, she’s right, maybe I don’t get it anymore, but I think that’s a good thing.