I used to have things to say. I used to care so passionately about a topic that I was driven to get the words on the “page.” I used to publish post after post after post and not think twice about all that writing. I used to be so prolific.
Now a days it’s a struggle to come here. I can’t find the words. I don’t have great posts swirling in my head, ready to be written. The ones that are up there have all been written before. I feel like I’m stuck, a record that plays to the same spot and then jumps back, constantly repeating itself.
My moods court depression, but never commits. I struggle to honor my feelings without wallowing in them. I’m never sure if a negative thought is realistic or pessimistic.
For me depression is characterized by a lack of a hope. My self talk circles around familiar narratives of despair and overwhelm, of being stuck and unable to find a way out. It’s hard to know if a situation is as bad as I perceive it, or if my thought processes are just falling into the deep ruts of hopelessness that they have traveled for so long.
The political situation is dire. I am still learning how to stay informed without panicking ineffectually. (I do believe panic can be a productive emotion, but panic about political situations I can’t control is not productive.) The truth is I had not been great about regularly reading the news and staying informed before; a lot of my exposure to current events was via article shared on FB. Besides the years I subscribed to (and read) The Week, this is the first time in my life I’ve consumed mainstream news media on the regular. I have not yet figured out how to digest so much content in a meaningful way. I have no clue how to repurpose it in the context of my own thoughts and commentary.
Even if I figure out how to do that, I don’t know if I will. I’m not sure I have the iron stomach to make this blog political. A terrifying prospect in today’s media climate.
I find myself retreating ever inward. I text less. I see my friends rarely. I don’t even speak with my husband much. I write the same posts over and over again. I read blog posts but rarely comment. I obsess about the minutiae in my kids’ lives because I have nothing else of substance on which to train my gaze. I listen to audiobooks and podcasts in the car. I play solitaire. (How am I not yet sick of solitaire?!) If I have a lot of mental energy I play Lumosity. I become engrossed in a couple of shows. I avoid phone calls.
It’s not as bad as all that, I can just feel myself retreating. On one had it has it’s positives. I no longer pine after a more active social life; I’m totally happy to stay home and watch a show. This really has helped me feel more content. But I also know that much of my attitude, and behavior, is in response to stress. A constant, low grade stress, that eats away at my very being.
Perhaps part of it is that things at home are somewhat easier. And in the meager space that is afforded when my kids play nicely in the tub for an hour instead of requiring my constant supervision, I’m not sure what to do. So I do nothing, and then I feel downtrodden.
Do I feel downtrodden because I do not yet having anything to fill these new spaces? Or do I do nothing with these pockets of time because I feel so downtrodden. It’s hard to know.
The one thing I do have working for me is perspective. I KNOW that this too shall pass. I know that I will eventually wake up one morning and the sun will seem a little brighter, and the work day will seem a little less long, and I will appreciate my kids more at bedtime. That day will come, and and I don’t need to work too hard for it. I just need to get through all the days that come before that one.
And be ready for all the days like this one that are sure to come after.