On my journey up out of the pit, I learned to read my own signals. How is watching the news affecting me? What kind of music would be a support to me this afternoon? How is my blood sugar? What’s underneath my emotional response to this situation? It’s an important part of the climbing, understanding how you are wired, and how to work with that wiring… what your triggers are, what your most helpful tools are.
And then, there can come a point when we start to read too much into it. And other people read too much into it as well. If there is a day when you are too tired to leave the house, someone assumes you are “not doing well.” If I am overly emotional I worry that I am on a slippery slope.
But sometimes, tired is just tired. Emotional is just emotional. Did you know feeling emotional is a perfectly acceptable way to feel? After being in such a dark space several years ago, it is easy to be afraid of “going back there.” I really hope I never have to. And it can be an adjustment getting used to normal highs and lows. I could read too much into any up or down. Did you know highs and lows are normal?
When I was in the hospital being induced into labor for baby #3 five weeks early (due to crazy high blood pressure), my husband and the kids came in to see me. The kids were six and three. I had been hooked up to a monitor to be sure the baby was ok. I had not eaten lunch because I was rushed in from a doctor’s appointment to the hospital. And I had not slept the night before (after putting on my school’s Christmas concert) because I wasn’t feeling well. It was now four in the afternoon. The nurse had not put the buzzer within reach, and I had been sitting there strapped in the bed with wires in this condition for over 2 hours with no one coming in to check on me.
When my husband and kids walked in, I was sitting there crying. My ever-sensitive 6 year old son asked in his concerned little voice “Mama, are you ok?” I looked at them, and smiled, and laughed and wiped my tears and said “I’m just tired and hungry.”
It was true, and that little conversation has come back to me so many times in the last nearly 8 years. Sometimes I’m just tired and hungry. Sometimes it’s just the normal fluctuation of hormones. And I need to make sure I’m not reading too much into it. I need to give myself some grace to ride it out. (And ask for grace from others).
Please Note: I have been so far deep in The Pit, that only medication enabled me to find a finger-hold and begin the long climb back out. You have to know when you are at the point that you cannot do it by yourself. I made use of the tools of medication and a couple years of therapy. It’s how I got where I am today. Sometimes someone else can see where you are at, and you need to listen to them. My person was an amazing doctor. Don’t ignore the signs of depression. It isn’t worth it. And life is so much brighter on the other side of the climb.
What about you? Is it easy to read too much into how you are feeling?
This post is part of my 31 Days series: Embracing Autumn- So long Seasonal Affective Disorder! (Find complete list of posts here). You can subscribe to receive my posts daily in your email. Just pop over to my homepage, and type in your email in the little box on the right! Big SHOUT-OUT to the NESTER, for hosting this fun blog challenge again this year! Be sure to check out the other great series being posted by all of my fellow-bloggers here!