The last few months for me has been characterised by mood swings, including waves of anxiety and depression.
Anxiety, I’m used to. Depression… less so.
In ‘normal’ times, I would have a variety of things I could do to manage the anxiety – places I could go, people I might see, activities I would do – meaning that I didn’t stay very anxious for very long.
In these new, ‘abnormal’ times, whereby I’m stripped of many of my usual coping mechanisms, the anxiety has sunk into my skin, far deeper than it usually would. The result has been depression.
Depression and a sense of hopelessness, powerlessness and pointlessness.
As I swim safely back to shore, riding the latest wave, I’m reminded of something that I’d forgotten.
I’m reminded that I always have a choice; that I don’t have to be a victim; that at any moment, I can make a tiny but meaningful decision and take back control of the moment in front of me now.
Maybe it’s a decision to get dressed, to open an envelop, to notice your breath, rather than a screen… if only for a moment. It might mean deleting an app from your phone, saying ‘good morning’ to a stranger, saying ‘no’ to someone you care about or simply walking with your head up.
It doesn’t really matter.
All that does matter is that you take back control and prove to yourself that you’re not stuck; that you have options.
Because as I’m beginning to remember, when you do this, you instantly feel more powerful.
Hopeful. Optimistic. Stronger than I did before.