Depression #31: The Relapse, The Reminder

It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve started making exercise almost a daily affair for me. I’m very happy with myself and my progress. I’m just enjoying food and enjoying workout at the same time. At times, I find myself falling asleep on the sofa after an hour of solid tennis playing. Mornings pass by very quickly now that I exercise.

Looking back at the past, I have some new realization now that I can see things clearer. When I had my first major depression, all that mattered to me was to recover as soon as I can, it took me about half a year to finally rise again. I had the help of medication and I was happy that I found a name/term to the condition I was in.

Never would I have thought a relapse would happen and when it did, it was scarier than the first because I knew what the feeling was, I followed the feeling from being ok to spiralling downwards again. You know you have to get up and get out but you just can’t. This time around, I bounced back within a month or two, much faster than the first. The relapse was a message and a reminder to me. I didn’t only focus on getting well, it taught me to get down to the root cause, to understand my mind and body better, to be hopeful, to be positive and to just live my life without fear and anxiety. I was always looking for an answer but I wasn’t able to find it and I wasn’t even sure what kind of answer I was actually searching for. I stopped looking for an answer and to just allow life to unveil itself. Sometimes I still have a little discomfort tugging at my heart when I’m about to do something new but it doesn’t bother me that much anymore, I just let it be and told myself I can do it. I need not be perfect. I just need to be ok with the imperfect ways should I bump into them.

For 3 months, my mum was with me for 24 hours, considering I’m still not working and I get to spend most of the time with her. She made sure I have balanced home-cooked meals. At first, I felt like a burden to her. A 30-year-old something lady still having her mum preparing meals for her and to be by her side while she gets out from the depression crap. I finally came to terms with it and just see it as the love a mum has for her daughter. I didn’t want to feel bad because it wouldn’t help me anyway. Instead, I filled my heart with gratitude and love.

When my mum flew home after being with me for 3 whole months, I cried. I started crying a few days before she flew home, knowing that I’m gonna miss her so very much and that I had enjoyed the time spent with her. I was worried if I could cope being alone in the house, if I was able to prepare meals for myself and go about with my daily life since Mum made sure I had a routine and that we did things together.

I’m happy to be my independent self again. I’m happy that I’m cooking and preparing meals for myself and my sister whenever she’s eating. I made sure I do something everyday, whether it’s for the wedding preparation, cooking something, meeting a friend or just crossing things off my to-do list. I attended a concert with a friend on Friday. I’m thankful that I have 2 friends who are not currently working like me. One is on a long maternity leave so I get to visit her once every 2 weeks to check on her and see how she’s coping with taking care of her first born all by herself. The other is also on a health recovery journey that has been bothering her for a year now. We come out for meals and just share our thoughts.

I also used to think I am a failure if I am unemployed. I don’t think that way anymore because it isn’t because I want to be lazy and do not want to work but it’s because I really needed the time off, to put things down so that I can come back again, for real this time. I’m also not very bothered of what others would think of me. That itself removed lots of weight from me. They wouldn’t fully understand anyway unless they experienced the same thing I did. Even if someone doesn’t understand what depression is or how someone like me could land myself in depression, it doesn’t matter. Words cannot fully explain it unless you’ve been through it.

Depression #30: Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

I’ve been waking up by my jerks in the morning. It usually happens just around the time the brain starts the engine in the morning while I’m still in bed. It started while I stopped one of the medication that made me stopped worrying but at the same time made me ate a lot. Nothing scary that I felt previously but yesterday and today, I felt a little lost. Not wanting to let it grow into something that is out of control, I took out my yoga mat and did 5 sets of sun salutation. I felt better and looking back, I think it’s due to the lack of exercise. Yoga classes in the evening have been cancelled as there are not enough students so I’m going to replace it with tennis session, my own workout at home or just yoga session at home. I’ve decided that I’m going to do exercise everyday whenever possible, even if it’s just a 30-minute walk. It is a must. I think exercise is the only most effective way for mental health as it reduces the body’s stress hormones. Relying on medication alone is just not enough because once you’re off medication, you’re back to square one. No matter how positive I think and if I stay idle with all the stress hormones accumulated in my body, I’m not making any progress.

I just played tennis at 6pm today and I’m going to play 8am tomorrow. This is also helpful in setting my day right as there’s something to look forward to. Something to kick start the morning and then that should get my system running and I can be more productive later in the day. My priority now is health, followed by wedding. I still think of the future when I sit on the toilet bowl a little longer but they are just thoughts and I would bring myself back and say, “I’ll deal with it when it comes. I don’t know how but I will deal with it when it comes.”