Pictured: a pair of hands writing on a laptop surrounded by books, a coffee cup and a vase of flowers

Writing, errands and depression introspection

This Confession is brought to you courtesy of a writing date with one of my best friends, Ben.

Writing with a friend

We do timed sessions virtually over WhatsApp, usually for two hours so that we can do two fifty-minute sprints with two ten-minute breaks for chatting. It’s very helpful to have him as an accountability partner because lately my days are so wildly unplannable. Some days I feel like I can take on the world and some days I have to sit still for hours, dulling my thoughts with ambient podcasts, movies, shows, etc. Having someone to write with for two hours a day gives me some structure though.

Another hard day

Yesterday was a hard one, but luckily it was hard in the sense that I did things that were hard, as opposed to a day when it’s too hard to get out of bed.

I ran lots of errands yesterday, perhaps the second most draining activity for me after socialising. I also had one gloriously embarrassing moment when my handbag overturned in the middle of a Eurogiant, unleashing chaos at the till (and yes, there was a queue behind me). So I got €14 worth of Hallowe’en decorations but lost much more than that in dignity and runaway-concealer.

After yesterday’s efforts, today I’m feeling pretty low-energy so I’m grateful to have some writing time. That’s work that takes very little energy from me. I’m hoping to write a chunk of a Medium article today as well as make some progress on my book, but I do have a fair bit of housework to get through as well.

How I'm actually feeling

Is it just me or are these Confessions mainly just lists of what I have to do and what I’ve managed to do? I guess I use lists a lot as a way to ‘manage’ and ‘control’ my life, especially when it feels beyond my control. But I guess that might mean I’m hiding my feelings behind batches of tasks.

I’m writing a lot lately, which is very helpful, but I’m only really writing about my depression in terms of what I can or can’t do in a day and how high or low my energy levels are. I guess that’s mainly how I think of it – as a barrier to me achieving my full potential.

So how am I actually feeling? I guess I’m… having trouble putting it into words. It feels like I’m wading through water in everything I do, fighting against a current. Physically, I feel weak and my appetite has pretty much left the building. I cry a lot but generally I feel more numb than sad lately – I think that’s the meds at work. It’s an improvement, for me at least. I know lots of others would disagree. In the words of Three Days Grace, “I’d rather feel pain than nothing at all.” Not me. I’m good with feeling zilch, at least for now. But while my sads are kept on mute by the meds, I’m going to have to work extra hard to rebuild some joy for myself.

Writing is a friend that I’ve known my whole life, so I’m confident that this is at least a good place to start.

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