The past 48 hours have been rough.
Or at least that is how I framed it in my head. What really happened was my boss had me work three earlier shifts leading up to the holiday.
Although I am more of a morning person, my body was getting used to the closing shifts. Getting home around midnight was not the worst thing in the world.
My internal alarm clock was still going off around 7 to 730 AM, leaving me four hours to write, work in the yard, load the dishwasher, etc. It gave me time for myself. These three earlier shifts bracketed the day in such a way that I lost those hours.
Part of that may have been how I used them.
I admit I had the alarm set for 6 AM but hit the snooze the first morning three times. SO, it was 630 before I got up. “Sleeping in,” I lost that ½ hour of me time. The second morning, I realized I was doing the same thing. So, before the last shift, I just reset my alarm clock for 630 AM.
I justified my actions because I have been fighting off a late summer cold.
For the past three days, I have been popping Dayquil at work and Nightquil before going to bed. My self-guided medical intervention has worked. All the achy-ness and fever are gone this morning. Popping tablets before work, in the middle of my shift, and then at bedtime kept the cold from getting worse, and the extra sleep helped my body recover.
So why am I saying that the past 48 hours were rough?
They were just life. And thinking back over the past three days, I am proud of the decisions I made. I felt guilty about hitting the snooze button, but that was what my body needed. Taking it easy, drinking plenty of water, and taking cold medication was the course of action that I needed.
But the guilt of not publishing a blog post was killing me.
To say, two days ago, I will not write yesterday, was very hard. I am feeling driven to get my thoughts out of my head. This process is helping me to work through how to structure my life with depression. I am learning about myself, and how depression has infiltrated and influenced most of my decisions. This is both freeing and infuriating.
To see how much influence depression has had on my life could send me into “shoulding” all over myself. How could I not have seen this? How could I not be smart enough to understand all the unhelpful thinking depression was tossing my way?
Even in the past 48 hours, how I framed my situation was influenced by depression.
I took the necessary steps, FOR ME, to make the schedule work. I took the necessary medicines to keep my body healthy. And I took the extra sleep, to give my body every chance to fight off the cold and not let it get worse. My response to the situation was exactly what I needed.
This means I need to work on how I frame the situation in my head.
I got to work, I took care of myself, but I did not get to write. I feel guilty about not writing. This has been a huge part of my self-care, to journal before the world, laying out my thoughts honestly. To not sugar coat my life with depression, but to remind myself and others there is a path forward. I have found it and understand that my life is and always has been living with depression.
Lately, I have been getting much better at catching myself in unhelpful thinking.
This has been a key element in putting depression in its place. And part of catching those unhelpful thoughts, is to begin to reframe them into a positive picture. For instance:
Instead of thinking about the 1,000,000 reasons why something won’t work, why not focus on finding the one thing that will?
Despite my depression, I have always been the glass half full kind of guy.
So, to say, the next 48 hours are going to be rough, or they were rough is not how I want to think of the situation. I know I did the best I could for myself, based on the change in my schedule, fighting the summer cold, and the lose of that chunk of time I use to do things before work.
But this is life.
It can have downs as well as ups. And taking care of myself during the downs leave me with an up feeling. So maybe it is OK to not feel and frame my day as positive when it is not. I am going to work on this. It would certainly be more honest to say I feel down when I feel down.
But as soon as I say that, I start to think that one negative thought may lead to another negative thought, which will lead to the rabbit hole and the circle of death and destruction lying at the bottom of the abyss. And with each bottom getting deeper and more hellish, I am not even remotely interested in going there again.
So, I will fake it until I make it.
I will continue to frame my life in the most positive terms I can conjure up and will face each day knowing I can handle whatever life throws my way. I get to decide how I frame my day and I can continue to support myself with positive affirmations.
I’m out of bed and living my life in the present.
How do you keep yourself focused?
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