“ Get your a** up and do something!” – says the needy vessel to the tired soul
Let talk about getting down. No, not like dancing, I’m not very good at that. In fact, if I get down while dancing, I’m most likely not able to get up and you should probably go get me some help.
No… I want to talk about what happens when our mental health gets down. What it’s like when your soul is tired, your spirit is broken, and how hard it is to pull yourself back up.
When I use the term “down”, it is simply the word I have assigned to the vast array of emotions and struggles that come with a mood disorder. But as you may know, “down” can mean so much more than it lets on.
Feeling down hurts. Down is draining. Down is dark.
Down is where the ugly lives and it’s hungry for happiness, ready to consume yours and that of everyone around you. The details of what truly happens during these dark times may be as unique as we are, the demons may vary, but in the end, we are fighting the same war.
“There is no way I’m getting out of this bed. There is no way I can face the world. There is no way I can let anyone see me like this, they will sense my sadness and failure. I will be judged. I want to disappear. I want to be invisible. I want to be like Alex Mac in the 90’s and melt into a puddle on the floor.”– Small snippet of actual thoughts at any given time by me
Then begins the self-hating. Guilt. Anger. Lots of bad feelings and unpleasant thoughts. This can last a few hours, days, weeks, or even longer.
What happens when bad feelings take over? We turn to our vices! Which usually are not healthy and often contribute to the vicious cycle of bad feelings we are currently trying to escape. (But that doesn’t seem to matter, because it’s what we need to feel better right now. The latter consequences are irrelevant)
You must fight! Your life is depending on it!
Often, when in a depressive state, we begin to neglect important aspects of our lives- maybe starting off small like dirty dishes or laundry, then snowballing into bigger things like personal hygiene, health, careers, and relationships.
I will admit that I have allowed my personal struggle with mental health to affect one or more of the things mentioned above. ( If I’m being honest, that list could be a lot longer… but we will get to the deep and gritty at a later time)
Once we are in that “down” place, coming back up is a guaranteed fight against our own personal demons. They can come out of nowhere, or it can be a slow creeping return. One thing is for sure though, the days become more treacherous and all motivation/inspiration/will-to-go-on is diminished.
Your struggle is not a weakness.
You have to get up. You have to move. That is your defense. Drag yourself into the shower. Make yourself eat-(think healthy), drink some water, then see how you feel. Are you still alive? Good. Slightly more energized? Good.
If not, don’t give up. Keep moving. Do not sit in one place, and for the love of all that is holy do not tell yourself that you are too depressed to go on.
To break a seeming life long habit of turning into myself and locking down in my comfort zone seemed impossible, but I knew my life depended on it. So I got up. I moved. I kept my body busy and fell in love with exercise. Don’t get me wrong. Part of me still hates to work out. There is a constant voice in my head that complains about waking up early and encourages me to give up. There have been times when the voice has won, I allowed myself to slip out of good habits back to bad ones, but I knew I had to fight back once again.
I encourage you to fight. Actually, I am ordering you to fight. Get up and move. Feed your souls with a little bit of exercise. I’m not asking you to suddenly become a 5 am-er or start heavy lifting. All I want is for you to move when you don’t feel like moving. Even if you just stand up and stretch, get the blood flowing throughout your body. Envision it, feel your limbs and spirit come to life. Imaging good feelings and healing energy rushing through your veins, lighting up every single cell it goes by. Wiggle your toes, lift your arms, and don’t stop moving. Keeping going until you are taking a walk, soaking up the sunshine. Allow yourself to feel good. Tell yourself that today is not the day for bad energy, today you make a change.
Today is the day you choose happiness, because you are worthy.
Today, some one will make a change. Today, some one will start building the foundation for a happier life. Together we can support and enrich each other, bringing the world to a happier and healthier state of being.