I’ve had a lot of thoughts filling my head lately and sometimes it feels like nothing is going on up there. It’s been a strange time. I feel like I have a ton to spill out on the pages, but I tend to be faced with the same thing…I have no idea where to start. And now I have stared at these first sentences wondering where I should go from here. Today is going to be a brain dump. I feel we need to dump our brains every now and again just to help make sense of life again. You get enough thoughts swirling around in your head and it is healthy to release them. Dump your brain however you want. Write about it, talk to someone, draw about it, sing about it. Do whatever you need to do to clear room. We start trying to go a million different directions. We end up getting nowhere as these thoughts begin to become difficult to keep track of and sometimes difficult to make sense of it all or difficult to know where to start. Add in my introversion, which has been hinging on reclusion with a sprinkle of being distant, and you have a recipe for a jumbled mess and very little direction.
I find myself being at home more and more. I find myself wanting to be home more and more. I have found myself avoiding going out if I don’t have to. I basically don’t want to leave the house. This thought has been increasing in my head over the last few months and has really been hitting hard over the last couple of weeks.
If I don’t have to leave the house, I don’t. Work is about it lately with very few exceptions. If I have to drive somewhere for work and help cover a procedure, I do it. I don’t want to, but I have to. It becomes more about the patient and less about what is going on inside my head. The work I do and the products that I cover have a direct impact on a persons care and wellbeing. I have to be present for that. I have to leave whatever is going on with me at the door and focus on the task at hand. I feel I am good at doing this. It’s almost like I can turn my brain off and focus on the task at hand. I’ve gotten good at this over the years I practiced as a nurse and now in the medical device sales industry I am currently in. Me being caught up in whatever is going on with me serves no purpose in caring for someone.
I can shut this off at work, mostly, so why can’t I shut it off when dealing with the rest of my life outside of work? One answer is practice. I’ve practiced this train of thought for around 25 years now. It didn’t happen overnight. It is a discipline.
Maybe I lack discipline in me personal life? There are areas of course where I do exercise discipline. Of course there is, but in my mental health life I believe I am still learning this especially when it comes to my thoughts. I haven’t been actively working on my mental health for very long. It’s been a little over three years since I asked for help and stopped trying to solve everything myself. I’m forty-six so three years is really a drop in the bucket compared to other areas I may exercise discipline in.
A common theme throughout my blogging is patience. Something I struggle with almost daily. I want things to be better now. Not down the road, but now. I am not good at giving things time to work out or giving things time to become good habits. I’m trying, but impatience has been with me for many many years.
Through the impatience, I am learning new ways of becoming better disciplined with my mental health. I’m not there yet and it has really been showing lately.
I am in the middle of adjusting to a new medication. I’ve been on it for a couple of months now and I do see a difference. I feel like I am less depressed. The depression has come on a bit lately and can be intense, but I find it does not last very long which is a relief. My anxiety? That part has been a bit confusing and I will try to elaborate. I’ve also made some less than desirable decisions about my mental health care.
That’s a lot to unpack in one small paragraph. Here comes the brain dump part of the show.
Lately, I don’t want to leave the house. Over these past few years I have accepted that I am introverted and I am definitely a home body. I prefer to be at home and I am most comfortable at home. Lately it has become more of a reclusive behavior versus introversion.
In my mind, introversion and being reclusive have a grey area between them as they meet and I think I am in this grey area.
I try to avoid everything I can. If I don’t have to do it or leave the house then that is what I choose. I feel like I have shut down. This includes the hobbies I like to do. This includes my mission to spread mental health awareness and the content I try to create and share. I want to do it, but I find myself not knowing where to start or just not wanting to put the effort in to create. The ideas are not flowing like they have before. Really nothing is flowing right now.
I really haven’t struggled with depression so much, when I do it tends to be severe and short lived. It’s really that I feel like I don’t care anymore. I really just want to hide from everything.
I haven’t drawn in a while. I haven’t picked up my guitar or played my drums in a while. Blogging has been sporadic at best. I was reading an awesome book and just stopped more than halfway through it. No real reason. I don’t go out on my deck in the evening because I don’t want to be seen. Not that anyone sees me, but I feel like I need to hide from something. I love sitting on my deck in the summer.
It has all just halted.
I lay in bed more and more. Not really due to depression, but it is my favorite place to hide. I feel like no one can get to me there. So I lay in bed. I’ll watch TV sometimes, but it doesn’t provide a ton of excitement. Most of the time I just lay there thinking of ways to disappear. If I can get out of something, I will. I feel unplugged, but not in the carefree way.
I know I have put some walls up. I feel like I am slipping into some reclusive version of my former self that also doesn’t want to let anybody in and also a version that wants to do it all myself like the old me.
To top it off, I have canceled two therapy appointments and also an appointment with my psychiatric nurse practitioner. If there are any alarms left in this state I find myself in, they are going off right now. I’m not proud of these decisions I’ve made regarding my care, but I own them as well.
Why did I cancel? I didn’t want to go. I didn’t feel like going through the process. I didn’t feel like playing the game. This is the worst time to be doing this. It can take a while to get back on their schedule and time is something I shouldn’t be playing with right now and I know it.
Have I rescheduled? Not yet. Why? I really have no good reasons except I don’t want to. I know I need to and I will, but I prefer to hide. Pick up the phone, Jason, it’s not that hard. Then why is it so hard? I think the dangers of hiding have in a weird way become comfortable to me. I look forward to my bed more than most things right now.
This is not the state of mind I need right now. I need to follow-up with this new medication. I feel like I need to try a dosage increase. Or maybe I don’t. Maybe this medication is not for me and all of this reclusiveness is really some jacked up side effect. Or maybe it isn’t.
I know I need to find some sort of direction right now. I feel like I am playing a dangerous game and a game I know I shouldn’t be playing. I am losing myself. So why play this way? I’m not perfect and I’m a bit lost right now.
This is the reality I am faced with. I can completely lose myself or I can do what I know I need to and work on getting back on track.
The crazy thing about all of this, and the one thing that maybe makes the least amount of sense, is that I haven’t felt particularly “bad” through most of this. I feel totally numb, but I’m not sure if I feel bad. It doesn’t compute. It’s unnerving. It makes all of this almost attractive. I really can’t believe I just said that. There is nothing good about what is going on, but I think I might like some of what is going on. What?
I know I don’t want to dwell on this belief for much time at all. I worry it can manifest into a more “normal” part of being. No matter what I feel, I do know it isn’t coming from anywhere good.
I know I don’t want to avoid the outside world. There are things there I like to do and I like to be a part of.
So how do I go about changing this current attitude or way of life:
- At the beginning of this all is rescheduling the appointments I have canceled. This is a must. Seeing the pros has always helped with finding direction and keeping me on course.
- I need to exercise. I was walking a bunch in the not so distant past and I just stopped. Exercise has always been a key for me.
- I need to eat better. I have fallen back into some really bad eating habits and my weight is showing it. My mind is also showing it. Sugar and Fat do not do a body good and that includes our minds and the way we think about ourselves.
- Get up in the morning! I get up for work, but other than that I’ve tended to be in bed more. Getting up in the morning, around the same time each day, helps to develop a schedule and I know I do better with a schedule. A schedule can help form good discipline for my life.
- Shower. I’m not proud to admit it, but I haven’t been the most showered lately. I go days sometimes without showering. I always feel better after a shower. Plus it goes hand in hand with getting up in the morning and forming a schedule.
- Go to sleep earlier and stay out of bed during the day. My sleep is really screwed up. Sleeping during the day will keep you up at night and doesn’t play well when you have somewhere to be the next morning. More schedule building.
- Hobby again. Most of my hobbies involve some type of artistic creation. I use them to tell my story and I always feel good after spending some time with my hobbies. I get a sense of accomplishment.
Number one is at the top of the list. Seeing my therapist and psych nurse practitioner will help to clear away a lot of the jumble in my head or at least get me on a new track or will help me get back on the path I was on.
The rest are in no specific order, but I need to begin them now versus waiting for number one to occur. I cannot wait possibly months before I start making changes. I can do the other stuff now while I wait to see my mental healthcare team.
I just don’t feel like hiding in my house is healthy for me. It isn’t what I want. Brain dumping is always satisfying because it forces me to really think about what is going on. This has been a confusing time, but writing it all out feels like a little bit of direction and I need whatever I can get right now. I’ve even laid out some ideas to help get me back on track, so I feel better now than before I started writing this.
There is nothing easy about our mental health. I wish we could wave a magic wand and our mental illnesses would disappear. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work this way. Mental health is an ongoing battle. There will be highs and lows and then there will be highs and lows again. The difference being we now know more about ourselves than we did when all of this came to light the first time and it leaves us better equipped to handle what comes at us next. It all takes constant practice. We have to remain active in our care. It’s time for me to get more active in my care again. I can accept the introversion, but the reclusive life and what I have seen so far needs to go away. I do need to interact with life again.
Have you fallen on some tough times? What are you doing to get back to interacting with life again? Talk about it, write about it, sing about it, draw about it. Release it. Dump your brain. Better direction is just around the corner.
I got this! You got this! We got this! Let’s keep walking this journey together.
Have a great day!
Feel free to come visit at www.rockingmentalhealth.com. This blog lives there and you will also find other bloggers who are sharing their stories and experiences. We also have music, videos, art, books, and more. This website is meant to spread mental health awareness through multiple forms of creative expression. Wanna join in? Wanna help spread your reach? Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with whatever you are working on and I will get you added. I would love to help share your message. We are stronger together!