I had a look at the stats page on my blog the other morning; something I almost never do. I try not to be invested in results. I write because I feel compelled to, because it helps me, because it might help someone else, and because it lets me connect with interesting people. I don’t want to grow angst-ridden about market share.
The timing of the peek was serendipitous. The post counter has me at one-hundred and ninety-nine posts, making this number two-hundred.
I feel compelled to create something spectacular, yet, remain stymied over what to say.
I wasn’t going to write today.
I didn’t write yesterday either. Yesterday, I was trying something new – taking time off. Putting it all off, the significant reading, the social media updating, the correct eating, and the recovery work.
I decided I needed a break. A vacation would’ve been better, but once again, I failed to win the lottery. Very disappointing. Lacking big bags of money, I settled on a staycation instead. An opportunity to do what I want and indulge myself with things I enjoy.
Doing something for myself coincides nicely with my theme for the year – the year of boundaries. In order to take care of myself, I’m practicing saying “no” to other people.
Saying “no” is a gift you give yourself. It’s hard for some of us, we judge ourselves harshly for setting limits, but saying “no” doesn’t mean you’re selfish, or uncaring, or rude. It means that you’re prioritizing yourself; it’s okay to do that at times.
What I chose to do on my break was mostly nothing.
The first thing on the agenda was a reading day. Not a heavy reading day, not a recovery reading day, not an “enrich my mind” reading day. Just sitting in my easy chair and working my way through the small stack of magazines piled up nearby (magazines are a weakness). The plan was to sit, and sip a drink, and read. I would not interfere with the various domestic problems that cropped up amongst the other people who live in my house. I would not get involved.
Their issues are not in my control anyhow, a concept I continue to struggle with. It’s so tempting to try and fix everyone else.
I also decided to not succumb to the urge to clean, tidy, and organize, which I mostly do to pretend that I have some control over things that happen to me, which I don’t.
The plan was to kick back, recline, and take glossy pages in hand. I would take time for me.
Which is what I did, and it felt pretty good. I read for five hours and then, further indulging myself, agreed to dinner out at a friend’s house. I talked myself out of refusing. I talked myself out of projecting my fears onto the situation. I talked myself out of worrying about getting fat if I ate anywhere but home and anything but what I controlled.
I had a good time.
It amounted to a whole good day, and I can’t remember when that last happened.
You forget, sometimes, when you struggle with mental illness, that good days happen.
There are consequences, of course. There always are. I bounce. It appears that it will be a single day of staycation. From up, I’m now down and sinking fast. It’s a frustration. Why can’t I stay in a good space? Instead, depression and anxiety rear up whenever things seem like they might be going well.
There’s been no joyful reading today. It’s dark thoughts and no motivation and a morning spent undressed and unwashed. It’s a low level of anger running through my veins.
All is not lost, of course. There are things I can do to help myself. I can write, even though I wasn’t going to. I can unpack the tools and techniques I’ve acquired to help deal with mental health challenges. I can meditate. Get some fresh air. Be gentle. Practice gratitude. Get dressed. I can try all the “hard to do when you’re down” things that actually help. Luckily, I have something positive to grab onto to help inspire me.
Two hundred posts. I did that. I accomplished a thing.
It feels good knowing that.
Thank you for reading them.