Self Care and Depression
"Self care cause don't nobody else care" - my best friend, Kina Johnson
First of all my bestie is a genius because that quote is the most real thing ever said. One thing that has been clear since my miscarriage is that nobody else cares. In the spirit of fairness, obviously there are so many people that care about me, but they don't care in the way that I do. They care enough to want the best for me and to see me happy again. When I lost the baby nothing changed for anyone else. There was about a week when everyone sat with me, felt my pain, and cried with me. The week eventually ended and life continued on; as it usually does. The pain has continued to linger for me. The depression always looming in the background of my thoughts. Somedays the depression is so strong it is debilitating, but I am still laughing with my friends, smiling at people, and carrying on normal conversations. All while feeling like a soul crushing, sumo sized, wrestler is sitting directly on top of my chest.
I am ashamed to say this, but I am someone who has been known to judge others on occasion. Whether it be judging what they were wearing, something they said, or a quirk they had. We are all humans and we have all done it. So if you are making a shocked face, or shaking your head, stop that shit. You know you have judged someone at some point in your life. It is a cliche as old as time. You never know what someone else is going through. I have heard people say this before. I thought I understood that phrase before, but I am here to tell you now that you have ZERO idea what anyone is dealing with. I smile, laugh, tell jokes, and have a good time with people. On the inside I am struggling. It is usually the people you think are so strong that are hiding their depression behind a smile.
Which brings me to the point of this entire post. It is not to talk about my depression, or even depression in general. It is to talk about how I have been slowly overcoming my depression through self care. Self care has become so widely talked about that it has been discussed as being a "fad". A fad is something that becomes really popular in a short amount of time and then forgotten at the same speed. I do not know about you, but I don't look at my own self care as a fad. I don't look at self care period as a fad. This past weekend I had made plans to go to the beach. I couldn't tell you why I felt as if this weekend was significant for me, but I could feel that the weekend was going to be a profound one.
It started a little rough because I got a speeding ticket on the way down. (insert eye roll emoji) When I finally arrived at the hotel my parents were already there and my younger sister was parking. We creepily arrived at the same time, but left from two different places at different times. Where the hell was her speeding ticket?! IM NOT BITTER. Moving on. It wasn't a conscious decision, but I spent the first night there completely unplugged from social media. I hadn't really looked at it. I didn't post anything. I had no idea what anyone else was doing. I simply had spent my evening eating Papa Johns pizza and watching The Bachelorette with my sister in our cozy hotel room. I took a two hour long nap and then headed out to this karaoke bar across the street. Truthfully, I was still groggy from my nap and in a little bit of a mood, but I knew my sister wanted to go. I rallied and into the most insane dive bar we went.
This bar was the definition of gross. It was full of drunk humans of all ages. The guy running karaoke kept making jokes about having sex, giving blow jobs, and rubbing up on people. Oddly enough the people who sang karaoke weren't that bad. We had two drinks, battled a drunk girl that kept hitting me with her purse because she was so drunk she couldn't stand up, and decided our adventure for the night was over. Despite the place being an STD magnet we had fun. We sang to some great 80's tunes. Laughed at the crazy drunk dancers. We even contemplated singing a song. I am considering the night an overall success. When we arrived back at the hotel my older sister, her husband, and my nephew had finally shown up! The whole gang had arrived.
I drove home on Sunday night feeling a content that I hadn't felt in a long time. It was the first time since I lost the baby that I went multiple days without crying. I felt a renewed sense of peace, hope, and inspiration. I had taken a weekend to myself. I unplugged from social media. I unplugged from feeling stress. I focused solely on myself and the things that would fill me up. I came home this past weekend ready to start fresh and really throw myself into the things that make me happy. The things that will help me live happier and more authentic. I am not saying that I am cured of that soul crushing, sumo sized wrestler sitting on my chest feeling. It is still there. I am saying that each time I take the time to focus on my self care I feel a little less sad.
It is going to take multiple self care acts to really feel whole again. I know that. I also know that without taking the time for myself that I clearly needed I would be a lot worse off. I hope if you have learned anything from this story it is that you NEED to set aside time to unplug and do something for only you. Sit in a room of silence and read a good book. Turn your phone off and binge watch a new series on Netflix. Leave your electronics at home and go somewhere in nature. Whatever it is that gives you uninterrupted time to yourself. Do that.
As always. If you feel depressed and need someone to talk to my inbox is always open and available. Please do not hesitate to reach out. I will help.